Stories - 2021

Marcel Uwineza

Rwanda: inexplicable freedom

EncountersLuca Fiore

At 14, he lost his parents and siblings in the genocide. Fr. Marcel Uwineza found himself face to face with the man who killed them, who asked to be forgiven. "I stopped being a prisoner.”

Margaret Karram © CSC Audiovisivi

Unconditional love

EncountersAlessandra Stoppa

It is not forgetfulness, nor indifference, but “looking reality in the face”. Even pain for her homeland. A dialogue on forgiveness with Margaret Karram, of Palestinian origin and the new president of the Focolare Movement.

Fraternity Exercises in Kampala

Belonging to a people

WorldDavide Perillo

Rose Busingye speaks of the impact of the Fraternity Exercises, which for her and her Ugandan friends have been an explosive novelty. “You felt like jumping on the chair and shouting to everyone that life has meaning. And you are no longer afraid."

In a house in Gaza (© Mahmoud Issa/SIPA-USA/Mondadori Portfolio)

Holy Land: forgiveness on the other side of the wall

WorldAndrea Avveduto

Abu Omar, a Palestinian, had been able to forgive his brother’s murderers thanks to his classmates. Daniel, a former solider, describes an impossible coexistence. And Fr. Gabriel, a parish priest in Gaza… This is how peace can be reborn.

Gaza Strip, May 18 2021 (©Mahmoud Khattab/Mondadori Portfolio/Zuma Press)
The Mina family

Grace in my house

WorldAnna Leonardi

The Mina family has flourished thanks to the presence of a daughter with a disability. Her gentleness has edified the family without her saying a word. “She was our permanent pass to get directly to what is essential." From May Traces.

Grazia Maria and Cecilia
Photo: Unsplash/Jorel Zapata

Brazil: among the stars and lasagna

WorldFilippo Matteo Cavaleri

Seven years of marriage, including the last year amid the difficulties of Covid. But it has also been an opportunity to discover what keeps you on your feet. Filippo recounts the story of his family.

Novella Scardovi

Novella. Life reborn in an encounter

WorldGiovanni Bucchi

A housewife, wife and mother, who allowed herself to be "welcomed" and thus welcomed and transformed the lives of others. 25 years after the death of Novella Scardovi, a celebration with the Bishop of Imola "to encounter the certainty that sustained her".

The celebration in the Cathedral of Imola, Saturday May 8, 2021
Lulù during an online workshop

Mexico: Among Lulù's books

WorldDavide Perillo

A retired teacher, with her illness and difficulties. Yet during the pandemic she has continued her reading workshop for children online, which started a few years ago and has distant roots made up of encounters, like that with Fr. Giussani…

The bridge between Denmark and Sweden (Photo: Johannes Rubensson)

Sweden: The bridge

WorldPaola Ronconi

Life with the link to Denmark closed, far away from friends with a new job... Valentina talks about what has changed in her daily life in Malmö. From the April issue of Traces.

The homepage of the EduacCes portal, websites to consult about learning disorders

Romania: widening your gaze within the pandemic

WorldDavide Perillo

In Romania, problems have multiplied and children are abandoned to their own devices. Sometimes 5 or 6 people live in a one-room apartment. Simona Carobene, from the NGO Fdp, talks to us about their new projects created in response to the emergency.

Simona Carobene (second on the left) with the promotors of EduacCes
Yan, Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic: "You are full of hope"

WorldPaolo Perego

Yan is part of the small CL community: "Instead of weakening our bond, isolation is making us take School of Community more and more seriously." A vitality that stands out.

Rosetta Brambilla in the favela (da amicidirosetta.org)

The flood and Rosetta’s hope

EncountersDavide Perillo

For days she has been on the front line rebuilding one of the educational works set up thanks to her in Brazil, which was devastated by mud. Today she recounts what she is experiencing: "A great opportunity to touch the Lord with my own hands".

Brother Elio Croce (Photo: Mauro Fermariello)

Uganda: How Brother Elio responded

WorldMaurizio Vitali

“He taught me to forgive and to love.” In the midst of feuds and massacres, Brother Elio Croce unified a people simply by serving them. These are the stories of his life through the eyes of those who knew him. From February Traces.

Fr. Luigi Giussani

Fr. Giussani and I. Confessions of a headteacher

US, UK and MoreLuca Fiore

Sixteen years since the death of Fr. Giussani, the story of Hans van Mourik Broekman who "met" Giussani last year, making him reconsider his way of working and living his faith. From the February issue of Traces.

Hans van Mourik Broekman
Fr. Pigi presents at New York Encounter 2018

Pigi Bernareggi on Fr. Giussani

EncountersPigi Bernareggi

On the occasion of the death of Fr.Pigi Bernareggi, we present his witness at the 2018 New York Encounter event, A Human Gaze, A History: the Life of Luigi Giussani. "He opened our eyes to the presence of God in everything."

The church of Saint Francis Xavier in Taishan (Taiwan)

The beating heart of Xiao Ping

WorldPaolo Perego

From January Traces, the story about the woman from Taipei mentioned at the Beginning Day. She dedicated her life to work and had no religion until she became ill. The encounter that changed her life continues to transform the lives of others.

Xiao Ping, on the left in her wheelchair, during a community assembly
Communion at the "Drive-Thru" in Harrisburg, South Dakota

Fr. John and the “Drive thru”

US, UK and MoreFr. John Rutten

A new, suburban parish in a town in South Dakota. The pandemic, the loneliness of the people, and the suspension of Sunday Mass. Fr. John recounts what has been happening, and talks about the line of cars in his driveway.

Fr. John Rutten
Photo: Unsplash/Bill Oxford

Francesco’s fifteen minutes

WorldPaola Bergamini

Qualified by decree, he immediately finds himself visiting Covid patients at home. The story of another young doctor in a time of pandemic, and of the "care the Lord has for me".

Photo: Unsplash/Mehmet Turgut Kirkgoz

Cecilia and the bursts of Light

WorldPaola Bergamini

She found herself assisting patients in a Covid ward without even celebrating her graduation. Yet, amidst so much fatigue and suffering, she finds herself "taken by the hand" by someone. The story of a young nurse.

Nur-Sultan, the capital city of Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan: "When God interrupts you..."

WorldLyubov Khon

A series of "Christmas meetings," including poetry, education, charity. Online, but with guests from around the world. Here is what has been happening in and around Karaganda in recent months.

Lyubov Khon with her husband Valeriy
Photo: Unsplash/Vladimir Fedotov

"That whisper that sweeps cynicism away"

WorldPaola Bergamini

In the last few months, recent medical school graduates have found themselves catapulted into the hospital in the midst of a state of emergency. What have they seen and experienced? Some of them have told us, like Melisa, a first-year graduate resident.