“I’ve been asked several times what it is the reason that led to organize a Festival of the Mission: is such a great organizational and economic effort worth it? I strongly believe that it is worth it! The missionaries’ choice of life leads them to leave their land, their family and emotional ties, their habits and security, to cross borders, cross seas, face new environments of life, learn different languages, assume new habits and styles of life, dealing with cultures very far from one’s own, appreciating their characteristics and hidden values, falling in love with worlds and peoples in which they deeply fit … It is for all these reasons that the life experience of missionaries is very rich and meaningful! But it is also little known outside the usual ecclesiastical circles“.
Don Giuseppe Pizzoli, director of the Missio Foundation, intervenes at the presentation of the Mission Festival (Milan, 29 September – 2 October) which took place this morning – 19 September – in the Basilica of San Lorenzo in the Lombard city (here – at minute 4’30 “- an extract from the interview released on the sidelines of the press conference).
The Festival «allows to to bring this wealth “to the streets”, within everyone’s reach », says Don Pizzoli. «Meeting the missionaries and listening to their stories helps to broaden horizons, to savor worlds that are mostly unknown or superficially labeled according to deceptive stereotypes; it also helps to reflect on the meaning of our life, our culture, our traditions; above all it helps to create a new mentality based on universal brotherhood. This is my wish for all those who will experience our Festival“.
In Milan, during the days of the Festival, they are 30 thousand participants are expected. This was explained by the operational director, Father Piero Masolo, PIME missionary and collaborator of the Office for missionary pastoral care of the diocese of Milan. More than 100 guests, Italian and international, who will participate in the 29 events of the main program with the title “Vivere per dono” and in the calendar of the “Festival is also”; over 150 missionary witnesses who will animate aperitifs in the bars and bistros of the center; 200 volunteers to help in the management of the Milanese days; over 20 religious structures and parishes to welcome the 1,500 people from all over Italy who have already reported a request for hospitality.
The location chosen as the pole of the event are the Columns of San Lorenzo, historical and characteristic place of the city, which has always been a meeting place for the Milanese nightlife and for the younger ones. But they are expected meetings also in other significant places, such as the San Vittore prison and the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, as well as Sunday mass in the cathedral, with the choirs of young people from different realities of the diocese of Milan. The red thread of the mission will also connect the same basilica of Sant’Eustorgiowhere the missionaries will take care of moments of spirituality, with the St. Stephen’s Basilicawhere the Missio Milano exhibition will be set up for the days of the Festival; Lombardy Palacefor an exhibition and theatrical performances, with the conference room of the Diocesan Museum, which will host book presentations and a meeting on ethical fashion, and Church of S. Giorgiowith the workshops on restorative justice and Agenda 2030.
And Vetra square (behind the Basilica of S. Lorenzo) will host the two events in which the largest presence is expected: Saturday 1 October, at 9.30 pm, “Get up and #ViviPerDono”, to look forward to the World Youth Day in Lisbon, in 2023; Sunday 2 October, at 5 pm, the final act of the Festival, where peace will be the reason that will accompany the music and testimonies of the “Missio Contest – Peace Concert”with the presence of the artists Liza Miller and Anna Tchikovskaya, respectively Russian and Ukrainian.
To the proposals of the main program (downloadable here) are flanked by those of the “Festival è Also”: four affiliated museums, 27 bars and bistros for “missionary aperitifs”, meetings with the authors and presentation of 14 books, five film screenings, 11 churches open for artistic itineraries and guided tours , four shows, various workshops for children, teenagers, young people and adults and five-a-side football tournaments.
Further details on the Festival presentation press conference are on Church | AgenSIR
For more info on the Festival visit the website www.festivaldellamissione.it