BERGAMO, Italy- On Sunday, June 29, 2014 a great feast was hosted by the SMM community in Bergamo-Redona to celebrate the tenth anniversary of a venture, which involved more than a hundred and fifty young people over the years.
From 2002 until 2013, every summer a group of young people from Italy visited Malawi for a three-week experience. The visit was organised by the Mission Procure of Bergamo in partnership with the SMM community of the Italian Delegation in Malawi. Fr. Eugenio Cucchi, presently in Kisangani, R D Congo, guided and animated the group from the very beginning. On their way back home after the visit, many of these young people decided to get actively involved in solidarity projects. They organized themselves and started supporting, often in a very faithful and creative way, the work of the Montfort Missionaries in many parts of the world.
More than a hundred people turned up for the anniversary celebration, some of them with their own family and children, all still animated by the enthusiasm and the joy that made them go to Malawi in the first place.
Mara Guerinoni, one of those who organised the meeting, shared some thoughts with us.
What is it that has driven me, and so many young people, to go to Malawi? The answer is very simple: the joy of the mission. For me it was an extraordinary experience: a trip where you visit and you are visited at the same time. It was the experience of a true encounter with “the other”, an experience where you learn from the other and with the other; a journey in which, step after step, you come to know your companion and little by little you discover them as friends. It was the experience of being welcomed by the other in their land; also the experience of “the Other” who is God-with-us.”
After the introduction by Fr. Cucchi, the representatives of each group addressed the assembly, sharing photos, experiences, current projects and dreams. Mara, then, presented a booklet entitled “La gioia della Missione”, the joy of the mission. It is a collection of experiences and testimonies that persons and groups have contributed to mark the occasion. The art-work of the book is by the well known painter Umberto Gamba.
Towards the end of the morning a Eucharist was celebrated, followed by a fraternal meal shared among the participants.
We are very thankful to Fr. Eugenio Cucchi, SMM: a man of authentic passion for the gospel and for the people; with his own life and deep spirituality he has taught us the joy of the mission.