The Journey in His Presence

An evening of music, readings and videos to celebrate the centenary of Fr. Giussani's birth in Lancaster.

On the 11th July, at St Joseph's Parish Church in Lancaster, we organized a special event to celebrate the Centenary of Fr. Giussani, the founder of the Catholic movement of Communion and Liberation, to which my husband and I, and many Italians in this country and abroad, belong. Fr. Giussani was not only a priest but also an educator. He inspired many young people, he was revolutionary in his time because he understood that faith was something connected not only to the church but to all aspects of life. He was passionate about beauty, art and music. He amazed his students with his proposal directed first and foremost to their reason and their freedom and by his capacity to reach the depths of the human heart.

With the approval and support of Fr. John Paul Evans and the musicians, choir and friends I have made in the Parish, we combined music, readings from articles and books of Fr. Giussani and some clips from the international ground-breaking series, The Chosen. The event has been called “The Journey in His Presence” and it was a real journey in faith. Each of us has an initial question about life: Who am I? Why am I here? With God’s grace, this question begins to be fulfilled in an encounter: our friend, parent, spouse? And we are in front of this encounter wondering why me? And curious, we begin to follow. However, as humans, we fall and we betray. But we will discover that the beauty of being Catholic is to feel the experience of forgiveness in the unity of the Church.

All these aspects of the journey in faith were explored: each step was connected to a reading, a hymn or a piece of music and to a clip.

It was a very eclectic evening and many people were struck and curious about Fr. Giussani and his life, and also amazed by the wonderful music played and sung.

The admission was free but we asked for a donation for a project supported by AVSI, which is a non-profit organization founded by people connected to the Communion and Liberation movement. In particular, we choose to support the building of a Musical Academy of Little Prince Primary School, in Kenya. People have been very generous and we raised £ 367.69.

The evening ended with a fantastic refreshment where some new friendships blossomed! We really hope that this will be one of many other events in St Joseph’s! A big thank you to all the people involved in organizing and all the people who trusted us and came to support us!

Laura, Lancaster