July - December 2021
“Nobility of mind (futuwwa) is experiencing joy when one meets one's brothers.”

Eight years after holding our annual meeting  at the monastery of Fonte Avellana (PU), the Italian Commission of DIM•MID again enjoyed the warm and attentive hospitality of the Camaldolese monks who made it possible for us to conduct this year’s meeting in an atmosphere of renewed friendship and deepened spiritual communion.
Since many members of the commission participated in last year’s meeting online because of the pandemic, there was great joy in being able to be together “in person” once again. There were twenty-nine participants at this year’s meeting, but unfortunately the group was less “varied” than in previous years. Christians from various monastic and other religious communities (Benedictines, Cistercians, Camaldolese, the Monastic Community of Bose, the Monastic Community of Santa Maria at Pulsano, Poor Clares, Capuchins, Carmelites, the Little Family of the Annunciation, and the Monastic Community of St Seraphim of Sarov) were joined by Zen Buddhist monks and nuns, as well as a Muslim brother and sister from the Italian Islamic Religious Community (Co.Re.Is.). Also present were Fr. Giuliano Savina, director of the National Office for Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue (UNEDI) of the
Italian Bishops' Conference (CEI), and Fr. Paulin Batairwa Kubuya, Undersecretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID). This year we also had the pleasure of welcoming new sisters and brothers to share our interreligious journey.
The meeting opened on the afternoon of Wednesday, September 1, with a visit to the monastery guided by Fr. Gianni, Prior of Fonte Avellana, followed by a brief introduction of the participants. After we joined the monastic community for Vespers and dinner, Br. Cesare, monk of Fonte Avellana and member of the Italian DIM•MID, gave us a brief overview on the relationship of solitude to community life in the Camaldolese monastic tradition of the past and present. Tracing the origins of Camaldolese history through the figures of Saints Romuald and Peter Damian and summarizing developments that have taken place over the years, Br. Cesare introduced us to this year’s theme: Solitude and the Common Life in the Monastic Experience.
Thursday, September 2, began with Lauds, following which the entire morning was dedicated to six presentations that addressed the question: “What have we inherited from our traditions about the relationship between solitude and the common life?”. Abd al-Ghafur and Fatima (Co.Re.Is.) spoke from the Islamic contemplative tradition, Sr. Chiara Angela (Poor Clares of Urbino) described the tradition of the Franciscans and Poor Clares, and Sr. Luciana Mirjam that of the Benedictine monastic tradition. The Venerable Elena Seishin (Enku Dojo of Turin) then brought the voice of  Mahāyāna Buddhist monasticism to the topic. Svamini Hamsananda and the monastic community of the Gitananda Ashram presented the Hindu monastic tradition through a video specially made for the occasion. Finally, Sr. Maria Clara and Sr. Cristiana (Carmelites of Sassuolo) complimented this interesting overview with a presentation in two voices on the Carmelite Christian monastic tradition. Unfortunately we did not have sufficient time for a discussion about the ways our respective communities actually live out the relationship between solitude and
the common life.
After lunch together - like every meal, an occasion for precious fraternal exchanges - the group visited the botanical garden of the monastery, which had just been landscaped thanks to the support of the Italian Buddhist Union (UBI). From there we went on a walk of dialogue through the wonderful natural surroundings of the monastery to the so-called cave of Peter Damian. Walking along a stretch of road together provided another opportunity to share what we hold in our hearts.
Back at the monastery, after a moment of meditation led by Venerable Annamaria Shinnyo (Shinnyo-ji, Florence), we joined the community of Fonte Avellana for Vespers and dinner. The day closed with the viewing of part of the documentary film Nostra Aetate: The “Leaven of Good”, produced in 2017 by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.
Following Lauds on Friday, September 3, we had the pleasure of listening to Fr. Paulin Batairwa Kubuya, Undersecretary of the PCID who is in charge of dialogue with Buddhists at this Vatican decastery. He spoke about his experience of interreligious dialogue during his years as a Xaverian missionary in Taiwan and, in particular, about his encounters with Buddhist monasticism, which is flourishing in Taiwan.
We concluded our time together with the usual meeting of the members of the Italian Commission of DIM•MID. Besides sharing some personal experiences, we discussed possible places and dates for the 2022 annual meeting and accepted the proposal to extend our meeting by half a day. The coordinator then presented an initial proposal for a monastic experience in Thailand, which was enthusiastically received by the group.
Home | DIMMID Introduction | DILATATO CORDE
Current issue
Numéro actuel
Previous issues
Numéros précédents
| About/Au sujet de
| News Archive | Abhishiktananda | Monastic/Muslim Dialogue | Links / Liens | Photos | Videos | Contact | Site Map
Powered by Catalis