The participants are between 22 and 25 years of age. They approach the Centro Poggeschi, in the historic centre of Bologna, through friends. Some are searching for something more from life, others come out of simple curiosity. Welcoming them is a weekly open to all journey, Come and See: ‘a proposal to learn to name one’s emotions, to pray, to find answers for questions of faith, to learn the art of choosing,’ Fr Loris Piorar, the director, explains.
“For those who then wish to continue, we offer the experience of the Spiritual Exercises in Daily Life, the EVO. This is carried out over a year from September to June where we offer times of daily prayer, a spiritual guide, retreats, and extracts to discover the strong link between faith and everyday life”.
It is a strong experience that brings about profound change. “I went deep”, says Michele, “I understood what is essential”. “I found so much discipline. It helped me in the confusion I was experiencing,” Maria adds. “This year was a turning point for me,” Paola confesses.
“The Exercises are a strong formation for the heart. Experienced in silence and in community, the retreatants are always accompanied by a guide who helps them to apply the Word to life. Through the experiences of faith the desire to be of service is born: in hospital, at the Centro Astalli after-school centre, at the juvenile prison, as animators of groups of young people, engaged couples or young couples.
At the Sunday and Wednesday evening celebrations the young people all gather together.
Over 300 have experienced this proposal, an Exercise, which continues.