Traces N.8, September 2019

Out of the ordinary

This year the Meeting of Rimini turned 40, and it has remained faithful to its effective formula of dialogues, exhibits, and performances.

It remains something truly out of the ordinary, because of what happens; that is, because it continues to be a place of encounter for everyone and to bring into conversation worlds that otherwise would find it difficult to even look at each other, something that is increasingly urgent in our lacerated society. It is also out of the ordinary because of how it happens, an aspect that deeply strikes those who come from outside Communion and Liberation: the volunteers, the gratuitousness, and the thousands of people, including many young people. “I’ve never seen a Christianity like this,” said one of the guests during a dinner, identifying the wellspring that has always nourished this beauty–while everything else around it changes form or disappears–with such power that it is impossible to reduce it to the meritsof those who work there and attend.

Julián Carrón, the leader of CL, noted how Fr. Giussani’s foundational concern – “the generation of the subject, of an adult who is passionate about life. All the rest is the consequence of this” – emerges clearly in the Meeting. So if you want to truly understand such an extraordinary event, and its surprising “presence charged with a proposal” for everyone, you have to look at faith. “Only the Christian event, lived as the wellspring of an ideal, is able to create friendship, that is, a space to encounter ‘a person with a message within.’” The origin of this beauty is Christ, and the Meeting is an opportunity to encounter Him, no matter your background.

So in order to understand what happened in Rimini, we offer you detailed reporting about facts, episodes, and encounters–the life –at the Meeting, which have the unmistakable accent of glad intensity. The contents of the encounters are of such depth and richness that it is worthwhile to review them at or the website of the Meeting. These are ways to grab hold of ideas that otherwise might be overlooked because of the richness of everything that surrounded them in Rimini, and to be amazed, once again, at their origin.

This same richness fills the rest of this issue, from the letters, to the testimonies from the Balkans, to the focus on the Amazon, the topic of the next synod. These stories have a single source: the lived Christian event that generates women and men and friendship.