Under the auspices of the Rns, an International Centre for the Family will be built in Nazareth
"An interesting showcase of good and bad things concerning families in the world". This is one of the strengths of the International Centre for the Family in Nazareth, according to Salvatore Martinez, President of the Renewal in the Holy Spirit movement (Rns), interviewed by Sir; the movement will be in charge of realising, animating and operating the centre in agreement with the Pontifical Council for the Family (Pcf), the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the Holy See, which owns the land. The Centre, which shall be built thanks to a fund-raising campaign ad hoc and presented during the 7th World Meeting of Families to be held in Milan, will include a 500-seat auditorium, a diocesan pastoral centre, a church, a 100-room hotel, a playroom and a children's recreation centre. Estimated cost, based on the quotes provided by local firms, experts and consultants, will be of approx. € 10 million.
Mr. Martinez, how did you get the idea for this Centre?
"It was May 15, 2009, when Pope Benedict XVI, during his pastoral journey to the Holy Land, announced the building of an International Centre for the Family and consecrated the first stone of what he would refer to as 'a promising sign for the future'. As a matter of fact, Benedict XVI was making the dream of Blessed John Paul II come true, which dated back to 1997: as a matter of fact, in Rio De Janeiro, during the 2nd World Meeting of Families, he was the first to talk about the need to have such a centre in the Holy Land. In agreement with the Holy See and, more specifically, with the Pontifical Council for the Family, the RnS has accepted to build the centre and be in charge of the spiritual animation and reception of pilgrims, along with management, ecclesial and social activities that will be promoted in this connection".
How's the Centre coming along?
"The Centre will be built on a hill overlooking the city of Nazareth and the Basilica of the Annunciation; for the time being, there's only the land, which is the property of the Holy See and the Rns. A Vatican Foundation established under the auspices of the Pontifical Council for the Family will be in charge of fund-raising. Then, during the World Meeting of Families to be held in Milan, we will have the opportunity to present this project and raise the awareness of people all over the world about its importance, along with the Holy Father's wish to have it realized".
What activities will the Centre promote?
"When fully operational, the Centre will deal with family spirituality, formation to parenthood and new evangelization and will be a showcase of good and bad things concerning families in the world: family and education, family and leisure, family and welfare, family and the mass-media, in cooperation with the Bishops' conferences and Catholic Universities in the world".
How will the above-mentioned activities be carried out?
"Any planned activities will be carried out in conjunction with the Pontifical Council for the Family and an International scientific committee, which will be responsible for the Centre's spiritual and pastoral care. Moreover, a residential community of lay people, priests and nuns coming from all over the world and following the Rns movement will be in charge of animation, reception and running of the house, where meetings, events and international weeks on the social and ecclesial role of families will be held".
What relations will this Centre have with the Christian communities of the Holy Land?
"The Centre will be built in Nazareth and therefore it cannot set aside the dialogue with the local Church. There are several Catholic traditions in the Holy Land and a Centre like this can play a key role in encouraging the unity of Catholic Faith and promoting ecumenical and interreligious dialogue. The family is a unifying force, especially in the light of the current crises of religions and the lack of common issues; Jewish authorities and the local Church have, in fact, ensured their contribution for the promotion and the realization of the Centre, which is seen as a prophetic sign".
In addition to this project, how are you getting ready for the event to be held in Milan?
"It's a special year for Rns: in fact, we are celebrating the 40th anniversary of its foundation in Italy; a jubilee event will be organised in Rimini with exceptional guests, including Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone; another important initiative is the Dieci piazze per Dieci comandamenti project (Ten Squares for Ten Commandments). Moreover, during the event in Milan, we will start a perpetual chain of prayer and adoration to accompany the participation in the meeting of many families from all over the world; there will be men and women who, before Jesus, will provide an intercession service day and night without stopping, both in the exhibition area where the international meeting will be held and in an adjacent church. A meeting for families and other special initiatives will be also presented in the exhibition areas, in line with the project of the International Centre for the Family".
(18 April 2012)