Argentina: create an EoC culture

Notes from the “Economy of Communion: an expression of the culture of giving” meeting

by Carolina Carbonell

“One day, many years ago, on my way to work I suddenly realized that I was not a happy entrepreneur.”130927-29 Parana 07 rid

These were the words with which the Brasilian entrepreneur Armando Tortelli opened the 32nd Meeting of the EoC entrepreneurs in Argentina held on the 27th September at the Bar’s Association Headquarter in the city of Paraná and then continued at the Mariapolis center “El Salvador”.
What Armando tells us about was a turning point in his life. Although he was a successful entrepreneur and had a beautiful family he was feeling dissatisfied.

It was 1991 - the year in which Chiara Lubich launched the Economy of Communion. It was a challenge that Armando accepted, conscious that such a commitment would be fascinating and hard at the same time. It was a challenge that overturned his life.
130927-29 Parana 09 rid

Nowadays, together with his wife Roseli and their 5 children, Armando manages 4 companies. One of them operates in the sector of pharmaceutical distribution where it is hard to grow without bribing people along the way. Since the very beginning, this had been the warning of the people he started to work with.

However, today those same employees are the first to defend the EoC culture. “But in what way can a new culture can be generated? – Armando used to wonder. The answer: through example, just as the Pope has been showing us. Whenever an entrepreneur wants to generate a new culture, he should do it by giving an example”.

A City Councilman of the Socialist party arrived at the end saying that the EoC meeting had been declared one of “common interest” by the municipality of Paraná.


130927-29 Parana 15 ridArmando also recounted a story of his when he was 12 years old. In that period he wasn’t following the Focolare Movement but had heard talking about a certain Chiara Lubich. Since he used to collect stamps and had just a few from Italy, he decided to write to this lady and ask her some more. Unexpectedly Chiara sent him an envelope full of stamps! Then at the university, he met a girl from the Movement, the same who would have later become his wife.


The program on Saturday morning was opened with the main topic of the meeting: “The Economy of Communion as an expression of the culture of giving”. Patricia Santoianni presented an interesting anthropological reflection on the culture of giving of the indigenous peoples, emphasizing the fact that only those who “give” have a name, a face. Only the ones who give “are”. And the more they give, the more they are.
130927-29 Parana 18 ridIn the afternoon several workshops (individual and in groups) were held. Their aim was to reflect on the steps that need to be made in order to experience the EoC in depth.


130927-29 Parana 22 ridThere is no doubt that such an adventure demands preparation and conviction. As Nando, a young entrepreneur from La Plata, said: “Do not think that you’re going to change the world. But be sure that you are going to change yourself”.
The day was spent in sharing thoughts and reflections. And the night was full with the smell of roasted lamb, some folklore, songs and dances.



On Sunday morning we remembered Horacio Pirotta – one new protector of the EoC in heaven. Ceci Di Lascio went through some of the most beautiful moments of his life with the EoC. The main goal of Horacio’s and Blanca’s company “Nexus” was exactly to create links and heal the broken bonds within the firms.


130927-29 Parana 01 ridThe meeting was really rich and fruitful. Both believers and non-believers (as Rogelio who had registered after reading about it in the newspaper), youth and adults, entrepreneurs, students, workers and unemployed - all people with very different political orientations - were present. A total of 110 participants from different parts of Argentina as well as 13 from Paraguay came together, all of them people concerned with the greater reality of Latin America.

“Earth, earth… heaven, heaven” was written in the invitation for the meeting. Let us love the One in heaven by loving the ones who we meet here on Earth. This is communion. So goodbye till 2014 … or maybe even earlier … in any place where communion links us as one!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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