This November Christmas comes a little “early”… in theaters. Again, the beloved and the greatest story of all time, the Nativity of our Lord Jesus comes alive on screen… and
An in-depth journey that plunges into the heart of the Christian faith: the Resurrection. November 7, 2023 to April 13, 2024. This is the itinerary that biblical scholar Fr. Giacomo Perego, longtime international coordinator of the Centro Biblico San Paolo, in collaboration with the Centro Culturale San Paolo, is proposing for Pastoral Year 2023-2024. We spoke directly with him about it, trying to understand the reason for this choice, which will have as its concluding event the Pilgrimage to the Holy Land planned for April 2-9, 2024.
Don Giacomo, from where does the need for this proposal originate?
It comes from listening to people, from reading some texts, from confronting the experience of mourning of friends and family members. For many, the belief in the resurrection constitutes something very confusing that at times is mixed with beliefs that have little Christianity about them: the dissolution of man in creation, various forms of reincarnation, the view of the body as a heavy shell from which to free oneself; that deny the founding principles of our faith such as the resurrection of the flesh the incarnation, the necessity of a path leading to the fullness of the New Life, the communion existing between us and our loved ones who have already fallen asleep in Christ, the vision of the hereafter as a reality not entirely separate from the hereafter.
How did you came up with the idea?
I talked about it first with my Superior, Don Ampelio Crema, head of the Centro Culturale San Paolo in Cinisello Balsamo (Mi). Then, together with him and other trusted people with whom we proposed an introduction to the Old Testament last year, we outlined the stages of the journey. Simplifying, three moments were proposed, different but complementary to each other.
The first part is more “formative” and consists of seven evenings-which you can follow both online and in-presence-where we will discover how faith in the resurrection comes about and what characterizes the Christian faith compared to other faiths (Judaism, Islam, Buddhism…). The speaker for the seven evenings will be me. It starts at 9 p.m. and ends at 10:15 p.m.
The second is more “spiritual” and offers eight evenings of lectio divina, on texts that all have to do with the resurrection, where biblical commentary dialogues with the reinterpretation that art and cinema make of it. These appointments will mainly characterize Advent and Lent and will close, in the aftermath of Easter, with a public concert entitled “He is not here! He is risen!” offered by the Lainate (Mi) Chorale. This second part can also be followed online or in presence and will be conducted not only by me but also by other speakers (Alberto Bourlot, Don Fulvio Rossi, Don Stefano Negri, Viviana Croci) competent in the languages of cinema, art and music.
The third part will see us pilgrims in the Holy Land, with a somewhat sui generis itinerary that proposes to touch the most significant caves in Palestine. It is no coincidence that the pilgrimage has been given the title From death to life: the caves of the land of Jesus.
Great! So … when does it start?
The 7th of November. After the liturgy has made us contemplate, once again, the mystery of New Life and that of its passage to it- thanks to the Solemnity of All Saints celebrated on the 1st of Nov, and the Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed on the 2nd of Nov.
I look forward to many of you. Online or directly in my Cinisello community.
To know more, here is the program.
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