A gift for Genoa and Liguria

The Sala del Maggior Consiglio of Palazzo Ducale in Genoa during the evening for Don Giussani

In the shadow of the Lantern, an evening of readings and music to remember Don Giussani one hundred years after his birth. A journey through the history of the relationship between Don Giussani and the sea that bathes the Ligurian coasts

Mario Predieri

Wednesday December 21stthe cultural centres “Charles Péguy” of Genoa And “The bridge over the sea” of Chiavari invited the city to an evening of songs, dramatized readings and testimonies entitled “You are just like this sea…”. The occasion, the Giussani’s birth centenaryhe collected in the Sala del Maggior Consiglio of Palazzo Ducale in Genoa more than 400 peopledespite the pouring rain that has paralyzed the city since the early hours of the afternoon.

The idea of ​​”doing something beautiful” for the anniversary of the Founder of CL was born during the summer holidays in the mountains of the Ligurian community: we could collect some texts by Giussani that take their cue from the seain particular from that of Liguria, trying in some way to restore in those who would have listened to them the extraordinary charm that we had perceived.

The organization of the evening was not easy, we found each other also grappling with problems and technical aspects that required a certain competence: through dialogue, the help of friends and getting together, sometimes a little difficult due to everyone’s commitments, we gradually developed a realistic and artistic vision of the evening, also in comparison with the young director of the theater “The torn curtain” of Arenzano, Sara Damontewho has offered us her supervision and has also involved herself in difficult choices.

The program materialized with the contribution of a rich presence of actors and singers: together with Sara, George Bonino, actor and dubber, took turns reading Giussani’s texts and poetic passages related to them. Some highly experienced artists, Charles Shepherds, Valentina Oriani, Walter Mutothey accompanied with music and songs. Benedetta Baravelli, cellist, enriched the event with a prelude by Bach, a moment of classical music that could not fail to remember the priest from Brianza. A final video collected the testimonies of those who knew him personally, such as Don Pino de Bernardis And Don Mimmo Borzini, or even in class at the Berchet high school in Milan. This is the case with Marco de Petro – who also recalled when he participated in the Holy Week Triduum in 1960 in Varigotti – and of others who met him through his friends and the works he created.

The Ligurian coasts represent an important place for Fr. Giussani’s life: in the first years of his priesthood he stayed at Ligurian cells as chaplain of a colony; to Varigotti he spent a long period of convalescence and it was no coincidence that he chose this place as the setting for the first courses Spiritual exercises of the first Giessini between the fifties and sixties, often leading the meetings on the Torre Saracena in front of the sea. In 1956, he spent a few days at Rapallowith the first students who followed him, and some photographs of the trips to Monte di give an account of it Portofino and to the lighthouse. He often went to Chiavarisince the 1960s, to meet and support the young people who followed the same attraction that had involved his first Milanese students.

A path, the one we have proposed, which started from a letter dated 1946, written to Varigotti, ad Angelo Maioclose friend of Giussani, who went through some of the most significant passages of his texts, such as Dante’s Ulysses resumed ne The religious sensebringing the audience up to the eighties and nineties, in an attempt to sharing that “tension” with everyone Fr Giussani never stopped communicating: human life is a movement, a profound dialogue, an inexhaustible friendship, if it is a response to the irresistible impetus of God’s presence. All accompanied by the music and the voices of the invited artists who have re-proposed, for example, songs by GabrielOf From theOf Claudius ChieffoOf Guido Clericetti and Adriana Mascagnidisappeared in those days.

Everyone was very impressed and happy with the evening and, somehow, in many of them, as they commented, the perception was clear that they had relived a charm they wanted to meet again. Monsignor Nicolo Anselmioutgoing auxiliary bishop and about to leave for Rimini, the seat of his new office, brought the greetings of the Archbishop, Monsignor Mark Pocket. Sandro Clavarino, Provveditore agli Studi di Genova, commented on the current show that he was struck by the lyrics and the music. A charm also declared by others present in the room, such as the commissioner Lorenza Rossorepresenting the mayor Marco BucciAnd Maximilian CostaPresident of the Italian Catholic Scout Adult Movement.

The event was also an opportunity to propose a fundraiser for AVSI to be allocated to two works entitled to the founder of CL: the “Luigi Giussani” school in Kampala, Uganda, and the “Obras Educativas Padre Giussani” in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

An evening, therefore, which was a moment of living memory, also in its connection with our land. And a “gift” to Genoa and the other Ligurian cities. A “beautiful day”, even on a rainy winter day.

#100 Initiatives

A gift for Genoa and Liguria