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Building Bridges

From June 3rd to 7th, 2024, we Sisters Ângela Biagioni, Seli Rico and Rosilene de Lima, had the joy of carrying out, for the third consecutive time, a mission in six schools in the municipalities of Adrianópolis/PR, Itaoca and Ribeira/SP. Since 2022, we have nurtured this partnership, with the aim of offering young people a unique opportunity for reflection and growth. This year, inspired by the theme of the 2024 Fraternity Campaign, we chose to address the importance of ‘Social Friendship’, aiming to help youth understand that our relationships must be guided by humanization in any context. The target audience was students in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd years of high school.

We have seen that since ancient times, classical and medieval thinkers have offered a vast reflection on friendship, as an essential part of a virtuous and happy life, based on reciprocity in search of the common good. The content presented was prepared based on the Fraternity Campaign manual and the Encyclical Fratelli Tutti, by Pope Francis. We also used the song ‘A Lista’, by Osvaldo Montenegro, and a short film ‘O porcupine,’ to help and illuminate reflections in the context of the relationships between them. In interactions with young people, friendship stands out as empathy, companionship, loyalty and trust, fundamental pillars of open friendship.

Pope Francis' expressions in Fratelli Tutti, on social friendship, were greatly appreciated, some of which we highlight: 'Love goes beyond the barriers of geography and space; live free from any desire to dominate others; love that breaks the chains that isolate and separate us, building bridges; the daily ability to expand my circuit, to reach those who I spontaneously do not feel are part of my world of interests, even though they are close to me... An immense provocative richness, which builds the culture of encounter.

Our work reached around 400 students. We thank God for this opportunity and the warm welcome from all schools and their boards. We believe that this beautiful partnership will make us better known and will increasingly promote the culture of encounter, more humanized relationships wherever we are and the experience of friendship that is always more open, where WE BUILD BRIDGES AND NOT WALLS.

Sr. Rosilene de Lima, sjbp

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What a wonderful initiative. God bless your work and inspire the young people whose lives you touch to be channels of peace and bridge builders.

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