An opportunity for conversion

Marta describes the significance the Rimini Meeting has for her and why she decided to sign up as an ambassador for this year’s special edition, all the way from Scotland.

Almost 30 years ago I was invited by a priest friend to travel with him and others students from Turin to Rimini. I was not aware that the experience that I would have that unique day would shape my life experience up to now and for the rest of my life.

Fr. Berna led me through the “fiera vecchia” exhibition palace in Rimini. There were meetings on the most diverse topics, many exhibitions, thousands of participants and thousands of volunteers who were there with only one aim, just one gaze, the same “radiance in their eyes”.

The desire to have that same gaze sparkled in my teenage heart and, to be honest, from that very moment never weakened within me.

That is why over the years, when I could, I actively participated in the Meeting as a volunteer, or just simply went there as a visitor. Once we even went there with our baby son, newborn, and he was the mascot for the maiden voyage of the new special train of the Rimini Fiera!!!

Every single year, the Meeting has been an opportunity for conversion, because I always went home different, impressed by the fact that such a great experience of generosity could change the cultural understanding of so many people.

When you volunteer at something like the Meeting, you realise that you are contributing to build a huge work of art, and nothing could succeed without your simple, and sometimes easy or repetitive, little job. I am always surprised by the videos of the volunteers, young or old, there for the first or the forty-first time ... they are all certain that by offering their unpaid time working as volunteers they will discover a new way to look at what really matters in life.

When you make yourself available, you are open to whatever God wants of you. This is even more pertinent this year because of the special edition. Gratuitousness has been the core of the Meeting since the very beginning and it is even more essential for this year’s special edition.

While I was seriously wondering how I could contribute to the Meeting 2020, I realized that this moment, this special edition, was a great opportunity for me, since I could not physically participate in the last few editions because here in Scotland schools always begin in the middle of August. So I signed up to be a volunteer ambassador to collaborate and help promote the Meeting 2020 from the city in which I live.

Read also - The Meeting is wherever I am

The theme is availability, the freedom of doing something when asked, and being able to answer promptly to someone’s call. It is not about what you expect from the situation, but of what is asked of you, otherwise it is not worth getting involved. You have something in mind, but it is even greater than that, you just need to obey. The idea and the expectation are the same as with any other Meeting, it is not the circumstances that move us or stop us. We need to follow the wonder and reality.

Marta, Hamilton, Scotland