A letter from Sr Alessandra Smerilli
Good morning everyone,
It is my pleasure, in the name of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, to deliver a few words of encouragement to you as you gather here in Split at the EOF International Summer School.
Let me start by thanking the EoF Hub of Croatia for taking the lead in this initiative, and the Catholic University of Croatia, the Faculty of Social Sciences of the Angelicum University, and the Docat Center of Split. I am encouraged and impressed by such collaboration, particularly due to the youthful nature of the project.
The theme you chose for this year's Summer School revolves around the political perspective of the common good. This is a highly relevant and timely argument that captures two inseparable dimensions required for peaceful and harmonious co-existence both in local and global communities: politics and the common good. For choosing this theme, you are right; there must be a rethinking of our politics to create room and incentives for consideration of the common good.
Through this initiative, you demonstrate that the spirit of the Movement is more alive than ever and able to create powerful synergies and partnerships among the changemakers in our global society. I urge you to continue to be in the vanguard in this process and inspire the much-needed change in our social, economic, and political systems, which were exacerbated in the past years and continue to affect us during this historically difficult time.
Since the call of Pope Francis in 2019 and following years of hard work and collaboration, mostly virtually, you come together today - in person - to assist and celebrate what good can be done on the ground by talented, driven, and capable young men and women such as yourselves.
The Dicastery I am honored to represent is tasked with the promotion of integral human development. Such development entails an indispensable collective component.
From the Encyclical written by Pope Paul VI, Populorum Progressio, we know that:
“It is not just certain individuals but all men who are called to further the development of human society as a whole. […]. Therefore, we cannot disregard the welfare of those who will come after us to increase the human family” [Populorum Progressio, no. 17]
The culture of encounter proposed by Pope Francis has proven to be a powerful impetus of meaningful change. I encourage you all to keep this in mind, be it in the classroom or in the field, as you work to better serve your own communities, utilizing your unique skillset derived from your personal experiences for the collective good. As we involve more and more people, the more voices we raise and the more action we inspire.
Initiatives such as the one taking place this week here in Split do more than simply raise awareness: they manifest change.
In concluding, allow me to briefly share a few words regarding the process of review of the Economy of Francesco currently underway.
As most of you already know, the Dicastery has been engaging with the EoF Organizing Committee in a process of analysis and review of the Movement, whose aim is to evaluate the hard work of the last three years in order to understand and shape the best way to move forward– according to the needs and expectations of all its participants. In fact, as the Economy of Francesco community keeps growing, it was important to reflect and look back on what has been done. The survey you should have received over the past few weeks will prove to be instrumental. I am happy to share that - as of today – we have received around 560 responses. These results will be analyzed by a team of independent experts and help to shape the future trajectory of the EoF. Therefore, I thank you for your active involvement in this crucial process!
I wish you a fruitful and enriching week of exchanges and encounters. Please count on the Dicastery for help as we all work toward our common goals.