The meeting dedicated to Fr. Giussani in Tunis

"Recounting" Fr. Giussani in Tunis

A classical music concert, a dialogue with Fr. Ambrogio Pisoni and the exhibition "From My Life to Yours." The North African city's cathedral hosted Christians and Muslims to learn more about Fr. Giussani.

Communion and Liberation is a very small reality in Tunisia: the Memores Domini women (Fausta, Giovanna, Olivia, Chicca, Maria Luisa, Laura), and Paolo and Giorgio – the two "musketeers" as we jokingly call them – are here for work. There are very few of us, but we are certain and grateful for the great history in which we have been immersed and, therefore, increasingly fond of the people and place that have been given to us.

Our experience, thank God, is communicated through us without the need for proclamations, but the centenary of Fr. Giussani's birth and the extraordinary Audience with Pope Francis last October 15 have kindled in all of us the desire to "recount" even more about "the Don Gius" and the adventure we are living.

Also encouraged by our Archbishop Ilario Antoniazzi, we thought of organizing a public meeting, along with the exhibition on Giussani "From My Life to Yours," supplemented by a panel dedicated to the Audience and exhibited in the Cathedral of Tunis.

The preparation was a very interesting opportunity to get to the bottom of what moves us and what matters to us, ranging from how to organize the exhibition to what to offer as refreshments. Everything has increased the familiarity between us. It was a work that also encouraged us to start meeting again to resume School of Community, after a break because of Covid. The attentive and friendly participation of some friends has been a gift.

Having overcome some organizational problems, the event finally took place on Saturday, February 18 in the Cathedral, in the presence of Fr. Ambrogio Pisoni, invited to speak about the founder of CL. Beethoven's Violin Concerto Op. 61 – accompanied by some texts by Fr. Giussani commenting on the piece – welcomed the audience: almost seventy people, Christian and Muslim friends. A very welcome presence was that of the Italian ambassador, Fabrizio Saggio. Claudio Chieffo's song La Strada opened the meeting.

In his initial greeting, Monsignor Antoniazzi emphasized Fr. Giussani's contribution to the Church of our time. Pisoni then answered several questions, "Who, in short, is Fr. Giussani? What does he have to say to the world today, with all its drama? What is his contribution to addressing the educational emergency that concerns us all? What value does his proposal have for the non-Christian world, particularly the Arab-Muslim world? What does "judging" mean?"

With the passion to which he has accustomed us in years of friendship, Fr. Ambrogio communicated to us the fundamentals of Giussani's proposal: his total love for Christ and therefore for man, his intense relationship with reality, his loyalty to the criteria of the heart, his infinite esteem for freedom, his wish to never be quiet... He challenged us by reminding us that Jesus, in the Gospel, asks questions that we cannot evade. One, in particular, which is addressed to us in all our attempts to find satisfaction and which we have a responsibility to ask those we care about, now "haunts" us: "What are you looking for?"

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The meeting, of course, did not exhaust these open questions, but, as Pisoni himself noted, "was, rather, an 'aperitif.'" During the verre de l'amitié (chalice of friendship) that we offered to continue the dialogue in a convivial manner, we could perceive the interest and appreciation of many friends.
The day continued with lunch, hosted by the Archbishop. In the afternoon, at the invitation of a journalist friend, Fr. Ambrogio also spoke about Fr. Giussani in a radio interview with RTCI (Radio Tunis Chaîne Internationale). What an impression and what gratitude to be able to communicate what sustains and enlightens our lives in this way. We have a great desire to continue this journey together.

The CL community in Tunis