The world is a big patchwork, made out of numerous cultures that don’t exist side by side but interact continuously. Our occidental societies cannot anymore be characterized by one sole culture but by the existence and relationship among many. The Church as well as the religious communities, immersed in the world, mirror, are a consequence and incarnation of this so human reality.
The Urbanian Pontifical University, facing this reality, designed a Congress under the question: «Multicultural Communities for what Formation?». It intended to deepen in the intercultural competencies both for the pontifical universities teaching and the formation in the formative communities of consecrated life.
The first day was dedicated to multicultural teaching experiences. It recognized the need for interculturality of the philosophical thought and of the Church’s own being, as well as the challenges it poses to the human sciences.
Multicultural consecrated life in the USA and Italy was the theme studied and explained on the second day. The challenges faced by many religious women and men, outside their home countries for their consecrated life options, were highlighted. At the same time, the speakers remarked on many of the multicultural realities present in the formative communities, emphasizing the paths and difficulties that still need to be embraced for consecrated life to be a presence of the Kingdom today: unity cannot mean uniformity, but communion in diversity. Sr. Patricia Murray, UISG Executive Secretary, echoed the multicultural religious communities’ experiences and the formative proposals UISG offers on Interculturality.
The words we say show us the way but are not enough. We often speak well of Interculturality, but when reality arrives, we fail to open ourselves to what is different, preventing it renews us from inside. We need to tour our personal interculturality story, accept our own cultural identity, name and welcome our resistances, recognize the culturally different richness and risk walk together, beyond our prejudices. The before mentioned was the third day’s theme: pointing out the future as an intentional no return path towards the interculturality in universities, education, and formation.
Sr. Paula Jordão, Verbum Dei