When the edge becomes the center

www 1 P3210054

The working group for Social Ministry of the Conference of Europe held its annual meeting in March 2017 in the city of Bochum, Germany. After meetings in Luxembourg, Barcelona and Vienna, this place was chosen because of a new modest initiative for social ministry in Hustard, a suburb of this city. The Redemptorist monastery in the center of the city of Bochum was closed in 2011. In 2013, a joint venture among the Redemptorist Province of  St. Clemens, the Missionsschwestern MSsR and the diocese of Essen initiated this project on the outskirts of Bochum with three keywords: social, spiritual and in solidarity. The Hustadt is a neighborhood with a predominantly Muslim population from 50 different countries of origin, where ecumenism and interreligious dialogue are part of everyday life for a Christian minority.

During a visit to a mosque and an extensive exchange with the delegate for dialogue of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, Ahmed Aweimer, the group got an impression of the growing mutual trust across the boundaries of religions. The new pulpit for the mosque’s prayer room, built under guidance of Fr. Winfried Pauly CSsR, is a living testimony for this.

For the working group, the subsequent visit to a refugee camp was an impressive experience. In 2016, the city of Bochum hosted up to 6,000 refugees.

Fr. Jacek Zdrzalek, coordinator of the Conference of Redemptorists of Europe, took part in the meeting of the working group. He experienced this place as suitable for being in solidarity with the poor as a witness of Redemptorist spirituality and as messengers of joy.

During the exchange of the working group, some guests were also present. Frater Marco Limberger presented the Fresh X initiative (fresh expressions of church) from the Anglican Church. This was as stimulating for the group as the reports on the social-pastoral activities of the participants themselves.”

God bless

Winfried Pauly

www 2 P3210066

Print Friendly, PDF & Email