ECUMENICAL NETWORK FOR YOUTH ACTION - ECUMENICAL YOUTH
whether we are conscious of it or not, every history cannot be but, a subjective narration of events, feelings, memories, experiences... all of which shape our present and future. We therefore cannot talk about this years work without talking about last years work. Each seminar builds on the previous ones. My first ‘ENYA’ seminar in 1995, broke at least two records in my life. It was the only trip up to now, which I prepared for just within 24 hours, my travel agent had to open his office on a Saturday evening for my sake to sell me the tickets - and the second record is related to the fact, that at the seminar I established some of the deepest relationships in my life. There are some experiences in life, that one cannot find words to describe easily, even if one is a linguist, which I happen to be! The first seminar was certainly one of those experiences. My feelings are too profound to capture in this kind of forward. I can, however tell you a little about the so called hard facts. Towards the end of this seminar, after having spent a good time in communion with each other -- and now I especially remember a prayer meeting with candles that we held in the public garden in the middle of night in the middle of Prague. We, some of us, at least, felt that now we could not just go back on our own way as before. We could not ignore the strong bond of friendship established between us. And we came up with at least two solutions. While at lunch, three of us from Malta, Czech Republic and Finland (later joined by Ireland bringing together North, South, East and West), decided to set up our own ecumenical correspondence group. Each of us agreed to find a circle of friends back at home and each group would write to each others’ groups regularly every two months on the same date. The intention of the meeting and the subsequent letters was to get to know each other better, and to reflect upon and discuss Christian and ecumenical issues. And for almost two years our correspondence was a success.
Also at this seminar, the Ecumenical Network for Youth Action was established ("Youth in a Uniting --- Divided Europe"); September 1995). The organising Committee was chosen and the Coordinators. I believe that ENYA has a very good programme of events that could good a long way in helping young people, and not so young people; educationally culturally and spiritually. It certainly has been my experience as a participant in two of the training seminars in 1995 and 1996 and as an organiser of the seminar in Malta in March 1997 on Christian Education. I am sure that all the many participants of the events run by ENYA would also agreed with me. Towards to future, I wish us all a very productive future. If I have started this forward on a very personal and emotional note, it is because I believe that this is what unity and ENYA is all about. It is about us, as emotional beings who continually learn to appreciate each other better, and who also want to be together. May God be with us.”
A very wise man - the late Joseph Campbell - once said that the greatest challenge to this generation is to think globally. Not like CNN. It’s not an easy thing sometimes, you can experience an identity crisis, or you don’t know where you roots are. It’s not easy as well, because thinking globally means acting globally. Let me quote from the aims of ENYA in its constitution: “The network promotes a common identity and encourages the building of koinonia, by working for the unity of the Church and humanity.” That is the first step in thinking globally, transgressing the boundaries of one’s locality, region or nation. Why do I say all this? Because we are living in times of tremendous changes, and we don’t know where they are going to take us; we are on the threshold of a new era, and the only way we can be sure to prepare ourselves is by thinking globally. In our programmes we have dealt with some really tough problems and issues from national identity and nationalism, the conflicts in Northern Ireland, reconciliation processes, the questions and our concern for refugees, Christian Education in the schools and parishes, the ideal of a democratic and civil society, harmonising in an inharmonic Europe, women’s issues, trafficking of women, children and youth, to mention a few.