With the second day of the Plenary Council of the Order the work of listening has begun. Today the friars listened to Professor Mauro Magatti. The theme of this talk touched on how work in its daily dimensions could be a possible response to the developments of work in modern society. There is an urgency to rediscover work, how it shows us how to 'take care' of others; to seek to live a 'productive' work as part of our mission; to seek to be involved actively in the processes of the society in which we live. Professor Magatti did not hesitate to say: "The Franciscan Order that is not prophetic is like the salt that has lost its savor."
The witness presentation that accompanied this day was that of Pedro Opeka, a Vincentian missionary in Madagascar. In the second part of the afternoon the friars were invited to work in their small groups, to take up again the reflection and not lose the important intuitions offered by the two speakers.
We invite you to listen to the presentations and witness talks on the audio, as we are also making available the texts given to us by the speakers.
Profile of Professor Mauro Magatti
A sociologist and economist, he graduated in the Social Economic Disciplines (DES) from the Bocconi University in Milan in 1994, then earning the PhD in Social Sciences at Canterbury (UK) in 1991.
He has been a research professor since 1994 in the faculty of political science at the Catholic University of Milan, and since 2002 an ordinary professor in general Sociology.
From 2006 to 2012 he was President of the faculty of sociology at the Catholic University of Milan where he teaches the sociology of globalization and analysis of the institutions of contemporary capitalism.
Over the years, he has published numerous monographs and essays in Italian and foreign journals, participating in the international university network and guiding projects for state, private, and charitable agencies.
He is a member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Political Anthropology, of the Scientific and Sociological Committee and the Editing Committee of Sociological Studies, International Dialogue, and Social Updating.
Since 2008-09, he has been professor of the sociology of religion at the Theological Faculty of Northern Italy.
Pedro Opeka, Vincentian priest
Father Opeka was born in the outskirts of Buenos Aires (Argentina) on June 29, 1948 of Slovenian parents who had both fled from the communist persecution that began after the Second World War. He entered the Vincentians at 17 and studied at Ljubljana (Slovenia) and at Paris. He was ordained priest in 1975 and was sent to Madagascar as a pastor and began to work there among the marginalized people.
In 1989 his superiors called him to Antananarivo for the formation of seminarians. Nevertheless, he began at the same time to dedicate time to the marginalized in the capital who found refuge in the dump at the gates of the city. He began a dialogue with them, showing them respect and seeking to help them to get out of their misery.
Today, 25 years later, he guides, with 500 volunteers, the community called "Akamasoa – good friends." Thousands of families, that at one time were living in the dump, have learned again to live in community, interrupting the infernal cycle of poverty. Akamasoa today includes 18 villages (about 20,000 persons) with all their infrastructure: shelter, schools, libraries, clinics, hospitals...
Pedro Opeka has been recognized with many awards: The Legion of Honor (2008), the Cardinal François-Xavier Van Thuán award for solidarity and development (2008), the Gold Medal of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Slovenia (2009). This year he was nominated for the third time for the Nobel Peace Prize.