01-03-2008 - Traces, n. 3


A Friendship That Can Cope with Everything
Sunday, February 24th: in Sao Paulo Cathedral, before 50,000 people and Cardinal Odilo Scherer, Cleuza and Marcos Zerbini consigned the Landless Workers Movement “into the hands of Fr. Carrón, because in meeting Communion and Liberation we have met with all we ever needed.” This is an account of a moving event that marks a breakthrough for CL, and in more than South America

by Vando Valentini

last Sunday, February 24th, the driving rain failed to deter the young university students and members of the Landless Workers Movement thronging the Cathedral square. Cleuza and Marcos Zerbini, the Movement’s leaders, declared: “The aim of the event was to meet our shepherd, so that all these people would recognize that our movement wishes to serve the Church in harmony with the charism of Communion and Liberation.” The rain kept pelting down, so at 4:00 pm the organizers requested that the assembly be allowed to enter the Cathedral. Many had to return home in the downpour since the church was not big enough to hold them all. The event continued inside.
Cardinal Odilo Scherer opened the meeting by saying, “It’s wonderful to see the Cathedral packed with young people. I’m happy so many of them and many other people who are looking for a plot of land on which they can live are being helped by having Communion and Liberation united with the Church of Sao Paulo as their point of reference. I hope your work will reach out to many young people and enable them to study at the university and also to know the Church.  Perhaps God sent this pelting rain so that some of you would enter the church and feel you are in the Church.  For this reason, as Archbishop of Sao Paulo, my task is to welcome and encourage them so that they feel they are part of the Church, which wants to accompany them, so they will have a positive future filled with hope. Your presence here and the work of your movement is a sign of the fact that ‘God lives in this city,’ in the words of the motto for the centennial celebrations for our#Archdiocese.”
Then Cleuza and Marcos Zerbini spoke, thanking the Cardinal and Fr. Julián Carrón, the head of Communion and Liberation. Cleuza said, “The rain that falls today represents the tears of 20 years of struggle to build homes and all of our movement. This is the most important moment in our history. Years ago, when Fr. Carrón encountered Fr. Giussani, he consigned his movement into the hands of Fr. Giussani. Today, we of the Landless Workers Movement of Sao Paulo desire to consign our movement into his hands, because in meeting Communion and Liberation we have met with all we ever needed.”
Fr. Carrón closed the event with these words: “I felt small and unworthy to listen to Cleuza as she entrusted her movement into our hands. But I have no fear, because He that has begun a good work in our midst will bring it to fulfillment.  We are the children of Fr. Giussani. And I can say that I was not wrong, because my life has become more intense, more joyful and richly motivated. For this reason, I am happy to share this experience with you. With you, we wish to build a friendship that can cope with everything: fear and sadness, struggles and suffering, but also happiness. We are afraid of nothing, because Christ is with us! Christ is with us not as a feeling or an idea, but as a fact that makes life ever more beautiful... May we soon meet again, friends!”