Rivista DMA

Beyond the threshold of reciprocity

Beyond the threshold of reciprocity Adriana and Sandro, a young couple living near Florence, have chosen to establish their home in the parish house where there is no priest. They collaborate in the animation of the Christian community. In Trento, Julia and Mark have given up personal careers and are at the disposition of the parish ministry. These are young lay people who live collaboration in terms of coresponsibility, convinced that being Church means carrying out gestures of convergence on journeys built together between consecrated and nonconsecrated persons.
When visiting the Sisters in Cambodia, I asked them if  they had to close their house so that they could be present at the planning meeting. “Certainly not,” they replied, “there are the volunteers, and there are the lay people who carry out the activities.” Castelnuovo Nigra, close to Turin, has become a symbol of reciprocity between FMA and Past Pupils. It is a reality built together in the passing on to the laity for journeys of continuity beyond our frontiers. Similarly, since 2006, in the retreat house of Los Teques in Venezuela, the religious community has left and the management is now entrusted to the Past Pupils. At Villetta in Paraguay, laity and FMA together animate a familiar structure that welcomes children in situations of risk, in a family structure. In schools and youth centers, in varied works in every part of the world, we live and work side by side with the laity in sharing spirituality and mission. And frequently we entrust to them places of action that in the past saw us as the sole protagonists. From the time of the Council on and in the light of recent guidelines from the Church and the Institute, we have entered into a unanimity that has asked of us the difficult passage from the extraneous to collaboration. And it now renders us available for a further journey: from collaboration to co-responsibility. In the original meaning of the word, collaborating signifies suffering together for a travail that must produce something new. Being co-responsible is something more. It means feeling called by the Spirit, though with different roles, to the same level, ready to accept His provocations. In the conviction that one cannot without others. It is a journey of reciprocity set in motion and open to even further steps.
The theologian Ina Siviglia recognizes that the relationship between laity/religious is “on the threshold” of reciprocity. She emphasizes: “Perhaps we have not yet crossed it. I ask myself : “What could communion, dialogue, the idea of charity be like once we have crossed the threshold. It will deal with a free, creative experience in reciprocity. Perhaps we have yet to discover it in a good part of the newness of common life, this being together …a mirror of Trinitarian life.” However, in our communities real steps to go beyond the threshold are ever more numerous.


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