Take a look at the pictures of the many volunteers who worked to ensure the smooth running of the General Meeting, and then at the bottom of the page for a look at their services and a few testimonials.
EN TODO AMAR Y SERVIR
We can be grateful for those who, both during the Assembly and in its aftermath, have sought and found God in all things. What insights can we gain from reviewing the services rendered? How can it inspire each of us ” to love and serve ” according to our vocation? Here are a few testimonies in the light of Saint Ignatius of Loyola’s principle: “Seek and find God in all things, learn to love and serve God in all things”. This grace is requested by the retreatant at the end of the Spiritual Exercises, and guides the fruits of the Assembly.
To find God in all things, that’s what the two hundred delegates and one hundred and eighty volunteers did, as well as all the participants in the “open day”, and all those around the world who were paying attention to what was happening in Amiens. All these people welcomed and were welcomed. They were willing to move, both literally and figuratively.
Love and service are never achieved alone. For many, this commitment began long before the Assembly, particularly for the Phileas organizing team and for the delegates. Delegates experienced it first-hand, sharing in small groups chosen to represent the diversity of the world community, to reflect together on how to better hear the cries of the world in CLC tomorrow. Volunteers also had the experience of “doing things together”, working as part of a team (translation and interpreting, liturgy, clowns, communication, conviviality, décor, welcome, health, etc.), with volunteers from all walks of life, who came to experience Assembly service together. Here are two video testimonials gathered during the Assembly (interviews in three languages).
Through very concrete tasks, it was also possible to experience the international and universal dimension of CLC.
When I started my service, I was immediately thrown into the deep end with all the flags that had to be classified by continent/region and then made into banners (which decorated the courtyard where all the masses were held). We were looking for the flags with our smartphones… Thinking it was a duplicate, we almost confused Ireland with Côte d’Ivoire. Here’s a little exercise: take a good look at the colors on these two flags! It was a great reminder of the impressive number of countries present. (Pascale)
Each Eucharist ended with the song En todo Amar y servir, and as the days went by, the voices grew clearer and more harmonious (listen to a version orchestrated by Chilean musicians, click here). Delegates and volunteers alike participated wholeheartedly in the Eucharistic celebrations and meal times, joyous moments of exchange in every language.
Volunteers also had the opportunity to take part in special prayer sessions, to help them live out their commitment in a spiritual way. They were accompanied in this by Christine, a member of the Phileas team (to listen to the audio interview in French, click here).
Here are some of the volunteers’ thoughts on the fruits of the Assembly. What they wish to witness for tomorrow can inspire everyone, in their own way:
I’d like to witness the benevolence of all, despite the difficulties encountered by delegates and volunteers among themselves. I hope to be able to show that the international, national etc. level is not an option in our membership of CLC but a real richness from which everyone can reap the fruits. Claire
I want to witness that language is no obstacle when the heart is open. Nathalie
I feel a great joy and an impetus to be more anchored in Christ and available to serve Him as He wants, with others. How? by starting to live it myself! Agnès
I’d like to bear witness to the fact that unity is possible between people of different peoples and cultures, thanks to a common will and a shared faith that transcends all our poverties and limitations. Véronique
I’d like to bear witness to the joy of service. The smiles on the faces of the delegates, the volunteers, everyone. The encounters that evangelized me, especially one with an African delegate. The sense of God’s sustaining presence, thanks to the times of prayer and the general mood of the assembly. The seriousness and determination of all involved (volunteers, salaried staff and delegates). The warm gratitude we received. Sylvie
Even if everyone has now gone home, “en todo amar y servir” doesn’t end with the closing of the Assembly. The first signs of this Ignatian experience will be seen in the local communities. The transformations will also be felt in everyday life: a different way of doing our work, of listening to family members, of looking at strangers, of getting through trials or accompanying those who suffer close to us. For loving and serving cannot be separated. May this Assembly give us the inspiration to find God in all things, wherever we are being sent!