An arsenal, many friends
Publish date 15-09-2023
Over the years, numerous friendships have been born which have aroused in many people and groups from many towns and cities from the north to the south of Italy the desire to bring a piece of the Arsenale to their communities of origin.
Here are some of the testimonies that reached the editorial office.
Friends of Sermig in Bonate
Seventeen years of journey with Sermig. In Bergamo every year we celebrate our group's birthday and go back to our first steps in the courtyard of the Arsenale. It was 2006 and the first of us, then, were teenagers.
How many things have changed since then. New families were born, other young people joined us, each one developed their own professionalism. Life has become hectic and challenging, full of questions and paths to seek.
Over the years Sermig has never stopped accompanying us. It now lives inside everyone, it is a house with walls outside and inside us. It leads us every day to discover what it means to live a spirit of brotherhood: the effort, the joy, the tireless will to build something together. Being Sermig is trying to cultivate our dreams, it is being sincere and non-judgmental friends. It's trying to be each other's guardians where we are, at home, at school, at work, because we now know that attitudes of attention and care are attractive, even revolutionary. Perhaps, being Sermig means believing that we can only be saved together and that unattainable things can somehow become reality.
“Goodness is disarming” says the writing at the entrance to the Arsenale. We with Sermig have learned to disarm ourselves, to lower our defenses and also to show our fragilities. We are often amazed by the encounters we have and the crumbs of eternity that we breathe together.
We are grateful and curious to see where the road takes us!
Friends of Sermig in Vicenza
The Arsenal of Peace has transformed our gaze, teaching us to see the world through the concreteness of the gospel. We try to live the Word every day in everyday life, making it ours to give it new life. At the arsenal we experienced the joy that accompanies putting oneself at the service of others and, in this, we saw that it is still possible to hope today. Our consciences have awakened, raising new questions and answers in us.
We learned about a story that began with a great dream, we understood its importance, its value and we decided to believe in it, doing our part, trying to live it in our territory. We are convinced that this choice can be an opportunity for many young people who are looking for meaning in their lives. After about ten years of presence in the Vicenza area, our association has been based in the rectory of Camisano Vicentino since 2020. We want this house to be a tool and a means for different generations to meet. With those who come to visit us and with those who wish to join us we try to experience restitution, putting our time, our resources and our skills back into circulation to try to respond to the needs of those around us with the awareness that each of us we can start to change the world starting from ourselves.
Friends of Sermig di Mori
We set foot in the Arsenale as kids, eleven years ago, at that age when you are looking for a place to feel at home. The desire to return as frequently as possible was soon combined with the desire and need to bring its spirit into our daily life in Mori (TN), over 300 kilometers away, because we understood that what makes the Arsenale is not the walls, but the people, with their determination to grow in goodness, in creating a family. Now we are young adults who feel loved and accompanied by God and the Fraternity and who have chosen to walk with this house, loving in the joy of giving back.
At the Arsenale we have learned to put ourselves at service, doing good well: we give it back every time we prepare and distribute shopping bags and clothes to families in difficulty in our community. We have learned that young people are the heritage of humanity and we communicate this to the children we meet, in schools or parishes, dreaming with them of a more just world, which starts from us.
We have learned to consume the steps of the wise: every training meeting together with the Fraternity, of prayer together, of exchange with the ladies of Caritas is an opportunity to grow and to recognize the richness of the comparison between generations. We have learned to have big dreams and to reach out to make them come true: we enter the space that was given to us in Mori knowing that we are not alone. Where we are, the Arsenal accompanies us. To always feel at home.
Friends of Bonate, Vicenza, Mori
SPECIAL: An Arsenal that speaks
NP June / July 2023