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Let me begin with Matthew 14:13-21, the story that teaches us about feeding 5,000 people. The story comes immediately after Matthew provides the reader with the news that John the Baptist’s head had been placed on a platter and displayed at a fancy birthday party at King Herod’s palace. Essentially, the government killed the baptizer because he had become an inconvenience. John, let us remember, was the one who had greeted Jesus while both were still in the womb (Lk 1:39-55) and who had prepared Jesus’ way by baptizing him into his prophetic vocation (Mt 3:13-17).

    The creation of a movement formed by Catholic graduates and professionals was an idea pursued with determination by Don Giovanni Battista Montini, Igino Righetti and Angela Gotelli, when, at the beginning of the thirties, they led the branches of the Federation of Catholic University Students (FUCI). The announcement of the new proposal of religious formation and Christian militancy addressed to former university students was made in 1932, during the congress of the FUCI of Cagliari, and the following year, after a long gestation, the Movement of Catholic Graduates formalized its foundation, starting its activities in the dioceses and at the national level, not without effort.

    The globalization is profoundly disrupting our society. It calls into question some of our absolutes and the institutions that transmit them. It creates new types of relations, between countries and within countries because of migration. All this gives rise to hope or despair and radicalisation depending on the perspectives offered to people. This invites our movements to changes, conversions, to be able to assure our mission in this new context. We believe that concrete experiences play an essential role in this conversion process.

     As many of you know, the themes addressed by your SIIAEC  meeting in Warsaw are topics that our movement has been working on over the past year. The concerns raised by members of our movement around world have led us to launch a campaign on Christian Citizenship and the Crisis of Democracy.

     This crisis of governance is not unique to Europe. We see the rise of xenophobia and populism in many places around the world, including here in the United States. We see corruption in nearly all levels of government from the local to the international. I see my students asking questions about the future: Is there any hope in democracy? Is there a future for international structures such as the European Union or United Nations? Should we just give up?

Building Communities for Social and Personal Change

Pope Francis meets a group of immigrants at the pier in Lampedusa, Italy. Since his election, Pope Francis has called  attention to an unprecedented global crisis. Never before have people and planet been so threatened by human sinfulness. Consider, for example, the massive global humanitarian crisis marked by refugee flows in nearly every region of the world. Or the ecological and human destruction resulting from our excessive consumption patterns. At the national level in many countries, including the United States, we are seeing a crisis in democracy and a rise in xenophobia, isolationism and nationalism.


The Catholic Church in Ireland is “very lacking” in people of intellect who, educated in their faith, can address the pressing issues of the day, Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has said.

He was “haunted” by a quote from Pope Benedict at the beatification of Cardinal Newman in 2010. “He said: ‘The service to which Blessed John Henry was called involved applying his keen intellect and his prolific pen to many of the most pressing ‘subjects of the day’,” the Archbishop recalled.

“If the place of the Church in the current social and political discussion in Ireland risks becoming increasingly marginal, this is not just due to some sort of external exclusion; it is also because the Church in Ireland is very lacking in ‘keen intellects and prolific pens addressing the pressing subjects of the day’,” said the Archbishop.

Role of Art as an actor and a vehicle for peace

     Art as a cultural and motivating expression of feelings, coming from the heart of the society is a powerful tool for the service of the common good welfare.  Art has a social function beyond the aesthetic and it is a key element in the integral development of peoples. Art is a great tool to unite society, therefore education must take into account its potential to affirm cultural identity and createwellbeing, which are essential for a culture of peace.

The Church can only carry on a meaningful dialogue with the outside world if she is committed to an internal culture of dialogue.

In Article 17 of the Lisbon Treaty, the European Union undertakes to hold an “open, transparent and regular dialogue” with the churches and religious communities. This dialogue, carried out at various levels, also includes EuropeInfos. This publication puts forward comments with a Christian perspective on current issues of the European Union, proposed in the spirit of dialogue.