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Sunday 13 February and Sunday 13 March 2011 from 11.00 to 12.00 at the Benazzis’

Via A. Vespucci 72 – Legnano (MI) – Italy

At the end of the Meeting, a copy of the Bible will be offered, as well as a cup of coffee.

Parliamo italiano. We speak English. Nous parlons français.

For information: 392 1943729 e.mail: maurizio.benazzi@poste.it

Map on www.tuttocitta.it or maps.google.it

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The daughter of a sea captain, Lucretia Coffin spent her childhood on Nantucket Island. She was reared in the Quaker faith, unique among American religions in encouraging the equality of women. In 1811 she married James Mott and they made their home in Philadelphia. Soon she began to speak in Quaker meetings, developing confidence and eloquence that were rare at a time when women seldom spoke in public.

In the 1830s Mott advocated the radical idea that slavery was sinful and must be abolished. She was one of several American delegates to the 1840 World’s Anti-Slavery Convention in London, but the women were denied seats. The lesson was clear for Mott and young Elizabeth Cady Stanton. How could women fight for the rights of others unless they enjoyed rights of their own? In 1848, while Mott was visiting her sister in Auburn, New York, she met with Stanton and helped to plan the first woman’s rights convention. Mott delivered the opening and closing addresses at the Seneca Falls Convention, and her husband James chaired the proceedings at the Wesleyan Chapel.

Motivated by her religious convictions, Mott dedicated herself to the twin causes of antislavery and women’s rights. She harbored runaways slaves in her Philadelphia home and agitated for Negro suffrage and education when emancipation was finally won. As she wrote, spoke, and attended women’s conventions, younger feminists recognized that Mott’s early leadership had been crucial in the infancy of the women’s rights movement.

Additional Resources:Bacon, Margaret Hope. Valiant Friend: the Life of Lucretia Mott. New York, New York: Walker, 1980. NOTES: Includes index.

Cromwell, Otelia. Lucretia Mott. New York: Russell & Russell, 1971

Hare, Lloyd Custer Mayhew.The Greatest American Woman, Lucretia Mott. New York: Negro Universities Press, 1970.

Greene, Dana editor. Lucretia Mott: Her Complete Speeches and Sermons. New York: E. Mellen Press, 1980.

Palmer, Beverly Wilson, editor. Selected Letters of Lucretia Coffin Mott. Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 2001.

Slavery and “the woman question” – Lucretia Mott’s Diary of her Visit to Great Britain to Attend the World’s Anti- Slavery Convention of 1840. Edited by Frederick B. Tolles. Haverford, Pennsylvania: Friends’ Historical Association, 1952.

Discourse on Woman. Philadelphia: W.P. Kildare, 1869.

Papers 1834-1896, Swathmore College, Friends Historical Library. Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.

Let me do my work each day;
and if the darkened hours
of despair overcome me, may I
not forget the strength
that comforted me in the
desolation of other times.

May I still remember the bright
hours that found me walking
over the silent hills of my
childhood, or dreaming on the
margin of a quiet river,
when a light glowed within me,
and I promised my early God
to have courage amid the
tempests of the changing years.

Spare me from bitterness
and from the sharp passions of
unguarded moments. May
I not forget that poverty and
riches are of the spirit.
Though the world knows me not,
may my thoughts and actions
be such as shall keep me friendly
with myself.

Lift up my eyes
from the earth, and let me not
forget the uses of the stars.
Forbid that I should judge others
lest I condemn myself.
Let me not follow the clamor of
the world, but walk calmly
in my path.

Give me a few friends
who will love me for what
I am; and keep ever burning
before my vagrant steps
the kindly light of hope.

And though age and infirmity
overtake me, and I come not within
sight of the castle of my dreams,
teach me still to be thankful
for life, and for time’s olden
memories that are good and
sweet; and may the evening’s
twilight find me gentle still.

By Michelangelo Rossellini

———————————————–

Hi, I’m Mike and I am from New Orleans, Louisiana. I am an R.N. with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), specializing in Public Health. I love being outdoors in nature, hiking, camping, exploring old roads, rain forests, thunderstorms, the smell of fresh coffee, hot cinnamon rolls and snuggling under the covers in cold, rainy weather. I’m a Quaker (Hicksite-FGC) and my spirituality is an important part of who I am. I’m a sports fan, especially rugby, ice hockey and football. I enjoy cooking, reading, listening to music, playing backgammon and card games. I like to travel.

Mike

Quaker’s silence: Milan – 20th January h.07.00 pm-  in 8, via Carducci (subway station: Cadorna) – pls ring to “Officina della psyche – dottoressa Aloi “

 

From Silence to Action

The whole idea is this, in effect: from Silence with God, in shared worship or in solitude, to Action with humanity.

Action in a Quaker spirit, naturally, means: far from feeding exclusively on the spiritual food given by silent worship, as a pure mystic would, Quakers, as “active mystics” commit themselves, between one time of worship and the next, to socio-religious works: perhaps working in nurseries or schools of every kind and level, distributing educational texts, taking and giving courses on world religions; helping those at the edges of society, those in prison, the alienated and mentally retarded; opening dialogue between communities separated by religious, racial or national hatred without siding with one or the other; or mending the social fabric ripped up by the hurricanes of war or of revolution.

There is no need for the enthusiasm of a novice to idealise the works of Quakers in the few centuries of their existence. Well-researched religious and non-religious history books are full of accounts of their continuing involvement and service to humanity, without regard to what kind of people they are, their race or their religion.

Silence is one way to rediscover the deep roots of people’s humanity, but it is not everything: after having used it well, and having drawn from the experience of others, through the numerous business meetings, Quakers do not omit to carry out social and philanthropic activities in the field best suited to them, in line with their ideals.

Unfortunately the world is in desperate and urgent need of this, and Friends know that they are little more than a drop in the ocean.

Davide Melodia

http://www.quaker.org/melodia/silence/

FREEDOM OF CHOICE. IT IS YOUR RIGHT NOT TO AVAIL YOURSELF OF THE CATHOLIC RELIGIOUS TEACHING (CRT)

A Guide to an aware choice of the catholic religious teaching (CRT) in public schools

 

It is  right to remind that the CRT is  a confessional catholic teaching, as teachers are selected by bishops, with educational qualifications obtained in institutes authorized by the Santa Sede  and with syllabuses worked out by the Conferenza episcopale italiana(CEI).

This means a benefit to a religious confession,  even if  followed by the majority of people in Italy, often with the presence of evident catholic symbols in the Italian school that should

be  secular and public. For all these reasons we think  it useful that both parents and students/ school children should be correctly informed in order to  be able to choose in a conscious way as

 

IT IS YOUR  RIGHT NOT TO AVAIL YOURSELF

 

As a matter of fact, according  to the Italian legislation, students can avail or not avail themselves of the CRT.

      

***

 

TO AVAIL OR NOT TO AVAIL YOURSELF OF THE CRT IS A THOUGHTFUL CHOICE TO MAKE COHERENTLY TO THE EDUCATIONAL PLAN, PROPOSED BY PARENTS, REGARDING CHILDREN’S RELIGIOUS FORMATION.

 

It is important to  know that:

1.     The CRT is not compulsory.

2.     The hours per week are respectively: 1,5 in the  nursery school,  2 hours in the primary  school, 1 in the secondary school of first and second level.

3.     Students-schoolchildren who avail themselves of the CRT  have a compulsory attendance.

4.     Students-schoolchildren who don’t avail themselves of the CRT don’t have a compulsory attendance.

5.     The school must provide forms to draw up in conformity  to the ones alleged to the ministerial decree: Mod. D,  Mod. E.

 

Students/schoolchildren who don’t avail themselves must choose among the following activities:

          Educational-formative activities: that is an alternative school-subiect selected by parents or by students of the secondary school.

          Assisted individual study: students / schoolchildren often move to other classes.

          Free individual study: students/ schoolchildren don’t usually do any school-activity and are simply surveilled by the teaching staff.

          Going out of school: with an application to the headmaster (by students, if of age, by parents for schoolchildren).

The ministerial decree 368/85 provides, even in cases of registration ex officio, the right to choose every school-year whether to avail or not to avail yourself and  specifies that the  headmaster must provide the prescribed form to the people who have this right.

 

 

ILLEGITIMATE  BEHAVIOURS

 

EXAMPLES:

          Schools generally tend not to encourage alternative activities because of difficulties in  managing teaching timetables and lack of funding.

          They provide forms not corresponding to the ministerial ones.

          They often try to convince parents to change their choice after a school-year.

          They don’t allow students/schoolchildren to go out of school  during the CRT lessons.(in particular in the nursery and primary schools).

          They perform confessional/lithurgical activities inside schools (such as pastoral visits, pilgrimages, blessings).

          They  write the evaluation in CRT in the report-cards.

 

 

OPEN PROBLEMS

Fioroni ministerial decree n. 26 / 03-15-2007, repeated in 2008 assigns the students who avail themselves of the CRT some formative/educational credits to be admitted to the school-leaving examination.

But according to the section  8, paragraph 13 , even teachers of educational/alternative activities can assign the same credits. In recent times they made an appeal to the Tribunale Amministrativo Regionale (TAR) against this decree and many of the problems are still unsolved with a real risk of discrimination in the students’ evaluation.

Dear Friend,

This weekend’s violence in Tucson, Arizona is dismaying, as is violence anywhere. Our thoughts and prayers are with all the victims of the shooting, as well as their families and friends. Please join us in holding them in the Light.

Today, AFSC issued a public response to the violence and a call for all those in public life to change the political culture away from violent rhetoric and instead engage the real needs of our society with seriousness and civility.

I wanted to share our thoughts with you. If you resonate with them, feel free to
share them with your friends and family.

Thank you for joining with the American Friends Service Committee as we work with communities to overcome violence, discrimination, and poverty. I will send an update on AFSC’s progress in other communities – such as in Port-au-Prince, Haiti – later this week.

In peace,

Shan Cretin
General Secretary, AFSC

Responding to Violence against Those in Public Life
(Also available online at www.afsc.org.)

The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), a Quaker organization committed to overcoming violence in communities throughout the U.S. and around the world, is deeply saddened by the violence of January 8, 2011, in Tucson, Arizona, when an attempt to kill U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords brought death and injury to so many.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all victims of the shooting, as well as their families and friends who are now mourning the deceased and anxiously awaiting the recovery of the injured. As Friends say, we are holding them in the Light.

In our work for peace, we have seen how each act of violence hurts not only the immediate victims, but tears at the fabric of entire communities. In the wake of such a senseless violation, everyone in Tucson will struggle to feel secure, to regain trust for each other, and to work together to move forward. Our hearts go out to all in Tucson today.

Today’s strident political atmosphere escalates tension and helps to set the stage for
incidents like this one. Our world is increasingly swept up in a tide of intolerance. We are all too accepting when political and spiritual leaders use rhetoric that demonizes
those with different beliefs; when those who should call us to higher purpose, instead, contribute to an atmosphere that provokes the most vulnerable, disturbed
among us to acts of vandalism, violence, and assassination. We all must take responsibility for correcting a political climate that has become so polarized and vitriolic.

It is not an accident that this tragic shooting took place in Arizona, where punitive laws and anti-immigrant scapegoating have only resulted in misunderstanding and divisiveness in our borderlands. These laws have brought us no closer to creating humane, workable policies that respect the rights and needs of those living on either side of the border. This is one of many examples that show how our nation’s political conversation is counterproductive to developing solutions that address our society’s fundamental needs.

What would help us move forward?

The American Friends Service Committee urges our elected officials, spiritual leaders and community leaders to commit now to act with civility and common purpose to heal our society. Real healing goes beyond civil words and tamped-down rhetoric and looks to the root causes of violence in our society, the conditions of inequality and injustice. A political culture devoted to honestly and reasonably addressing those conditions would be a healthier one for all of us.

We call on national, state, and local leaders to respond with compassion to the needs and aspirations of those who have been disenfranchised by the political system and excluded from the economic recovery. This is a time to fulfill the promise of “justice for all.” This is a time for leadership towards “a more perfect union.”

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Dietrich Bonhoeffer

We must act and dare the appropiateness and not whatever comes to our mind not floating in the likelihood but grasp the reality as brave as we can be freedom lies in action not in the absence of mind obedience knows the essence of good and satisfies it, freedom dares to act and returns God the ultimate judgment of what is right and what is wrong, Obedience performs blindly but Freedom is wide awake Freedom wants to know why, Obedience has its hands tied, Freedom is inventive obedient man respects God’s commands and by virtu of his Freedom, he creats new commands. Both Obedience and Freedom come true in responsability (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

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