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Jesuits News Formation “Community of Connections” and discernment in politics
Formation Politics

“Community of Connections” and discernment in politics

A meeting of the politics formation school Comunità di Connessioni at La Civiltà Cattolica

An association that promotes commitment and debate on the major issues on today’s political agenda.

Created from the experience of the school for political formation founded in 2009 by Fr. Francesco Occhetta, Comunità di Connessioni (“Community of Connections”) promotes formative meetings, one of which in an institutional setting, and publishes articles, books and multimedia material themes regarding justice, work, Europe, cities and sustainable development. The Association promotes the connection of local realities and participates in conferences, seminars and training events organized by other associations active in the territory. A project that originates from the perception of a deep need, as Fr Occhetta explains:

“The project originated from a feeling of loneliness on the part of many young people and their desire to experience political commitment. Connessioni has therefore become a community of young people who, since 2009, have been meeting to discuss and learn about the issues on the political agenda. The commitment is to “think politically” in accordance with the Social Doctrine of the Church. It is a non-partisan and plural aggregation, but it is not neutral on democratic issues”.

What is it actually proposing?

Since then, more than 1,000 young people have joined us, many of whom are getting involved in various ways. We are connecting new people that have skills and are united by a common method. This is also the subtitle of our book ” “Le politiche del popolo. Volti, competenze e metodo” (The people’s politics. Faces, skills and method) with a preface by David Sassoli, President of the European Parliament.

How do your meetings take place?

Each meeting, both in-person and online, has a spiritual introduction, in which we learn about the keys to spirituality, such as rules of discernment, contemplation, examination of conscience, etc. Then we deepen a theme. Ministers, constitutional experts, journalists, ambassadors etc. have come to help us. Each meeting includes group work on concrete cases relating to the theme of the year, led by young experts and professionals. It is a sort of “gymnasium” on deliberative democracy, with the objective of bringing out the values in conflict in order to understand what choices to make. It is the ancient method of Jesuit case studies.

What’s new for this year?

In these difficult times we have opened a new newspaper . We have been quoted in Parliament and by national agencies such as ANSA, signs that “the return to thinking” is rewarded. We are also organizing a Conference at the end of September, in which the 100 most involved in the project will participate.

What feedbacks have you received?

Many, even too many, and we are becoming better structured. Local administrators, parishes and dioceses, foundations and associations are asking to join our project. We are getting the involved, everything we do is a service and we do it in a spirit of poverty, we pay our own expenses, but we are rich in relationships.

What does politics need today?

It needs more European culture, new words, rules that simplify the game, credible and prepared personalities. What we are wants to respond to Hannah Arendt’s warning: “It is in the emptiness of thought that evil is inscribed”. What we are is a response to Hannah Arendt’s warning: “It is in the emptiness of thought that evil is inscribed”. Young people who wish to do so can contact us:

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