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Jaén, Spain -- "The social dimension of life"

On the weekend of November 14 to 16, the Fourth International Symposium on St. Josemaría was celebrated, with the focus on “The social dimension of life.” In the inaugural act the mayor of Jaén, Carmen Peñalver, said that “we all understand as a daily challenge the importance of serving and helping others.”

The first address was given by Teresa Maria Perez Payan, board member of the Foundation for the Promotion of Culture. She stressed St. Josemaría’s spirit of initiative, daring and optimism, and considered at length one of his key ideas: “para servir, servir” (to be useful, serve others).

A round table discussion followed on some of the initiatives inspired by the teachings of St. Josemaría. Those taking part included Josep Masabeu, director of the Braval Volunteer Service in Barcelona; Pilar Lopez de Uralde, president of Child’s World in Malaga, and Francisco Martín Lopez-Quesada, president of the Laguna Palliative Care Center in Madrid.

The closing conference was given by Bernadette W. Musundi, executive director of Women for Development in Kenya. She reminded everyone that Africa is “hungry” for assistance: “The aid we need is not merely material but human. The kind of aid that Europe once provided to Africa, but now seems anxious to withdraw. We need education in virtue. It is only by fostering virtues and values that we can prevent corruption, delinquency, and the menace of AIDS, which has already taken millions of lives.”

Romana, No. 47, July-December 2008, pag. 339.