Rimini volunteers bring meeting’s message to their work

Rimini, Italy, Aug 26, 2012 / 05:23 pm (CNA).- Three young Canadians all give one reason for volunteering at this year’s Rimini Meeting – they encounter Jesus Christ through their involvement with the lay Catholic group Communion and Liberation.

“What I really remember of my first encounter with Communion and Liberation was that I had never met people – Catholic or non-Catholic – who were so alive, so free, and so fascinated by reality,” Francesca Silano, 24, told CNA in an Aug. 23 interview.

Standing on either side of her were 25-year-old Giacomo Zucchi and 22-year-old Marc Charabati, both from Montreal and both with an identical experience of the movement that was founded in the 1950s by the late Father Luigi Giussani.

 “For me it’s been the way through which Christ revealed himself to me, in a sense, became present in my life,” said Zucchi, a law student at the University of Montreal. Zucchi said he belongs to the movement because it’s where he sees Jesus “more clearly” and where he is “helped to see him more clearly everywhere else in my life.”

“It also introduced me to this unity between faith and the rest of your life,” Charabati remarked, after listening to his two friends.

The three Canadian volunteers are just three of the 4,000 volunteers who make the Rimini Meeting possible.

This year’s event has drawn over 800,000 visitors from more than 20 countries to visit the Rimini Fiera Conference Center. Attendees are able to enjoy seminars, guest speakers, exhibitions, cinema, theatre, music and sporting events.  The overarching theme explored throughout has been “By Nature, Man is in Relation to the Infinite.”

The Canadians’ task for the week has been to work in one of the many food outlets that cater to visitors. In return, they have to pay for their own travel and lodgings.

But despite the seemingly unfair trade, they firmly believe they got a good deal.

“The theme of the meeting becomes like this question that you carry with you when you go to work every day,” Silano related.

 “So it has become a really fascinating dialogue, even with the tiredness and the fact that you are burning hot, that means you finish the day and find yourself so happy.”

“Yeah, working with everybody had been very simple and very beautiful,” added Charabati. “As Francesca said, you may feel completely dead, completely tired, and yet there is still this possibility to experience how beautiful all this is in a very different way.”

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