EUROPE/SWITZERLAND - Scalabrini-Fest 2017: migration seen from a different perspective

Thursday, 4 May 2017


Solothurn (Agenzia Fides) - In many parts of the world walls are being built against migrants and refugees and many lose their lives at the borders of countries that could welcome them. Yet the international community recognizes more and more the contribution that migrations give to the development of communities. In this context the International Training Center "G.B. Scalabrini", headquarters of the Scalabrinian Secular Missionaries in Solothurn, celebrated the spring Scalabrini-Fest from April 28 to 30. This edition, titled "People who go ... Pave the way. Towards Sustainable and Integral Development for All", about 340 people from 39 countries took part.
As Luisa Deponti reports to Agenzia Fides, during the Scalabrini-Fest the Forum gave space to different voices and perspectives. Johan Ketelers, from 2004 to 2016, Secretary General of the International Christian Migration Commission (ICMC), based in Geneva, considered the global horizon with its lights and shadows pointing out that "development is a process involving all humanity. It is necessary to elaborate effective migration policies.
Emigration must become a choice and not a constraint: a process of life, human dignity and growth that contributes to development. It is a shared responsibility that includes all nations, local populations, and migrants themselves. We cannot consider migration just as the symptoms of a crisis, but as an opportunity".
Karin (Austrian) and Serge Agbodjan-Prince (Togolese), married and parents of three Children, presented their experience of life: the aspect of the person's growth and relationships within their family and in the different cultural environments they lived in Europe and Africa. The encounter with diversity is for them a great opportunity for personal growth. Agnese Varsalona, theologian, underlined: "Immigrants and refugees, who left everything behind them, bring attention to what is most important in every person's life: Relations with others, the true homeland where we can find ourselves anywhere". Authentic development is, therefore, a process of humanization, which finds its way and goal in Jesus Christ, who fully lived humanity according to the Father's plan.
The theme was further deepened in the exchange groups, in the workshops, through the celebration of the Eucharist, with a concert with young artists from various countries and pilgrimage to the Einsiedeln sanctuary. (LD/SL) (Agenzia Fides 4/5/2017)