Granada, Spain. Fr. Paul Smith facilitated the European Students’ Encounter on Interculturalism in which he accompanied the students through a reflection on what interculturalism implies and what we can do to advance in this way in our communities.
The gathering took place in Granada from 24 to 26 February. It was attended by 35 students from 17 different countries. They all come from the Claretian formation centers of Colmenar Viejo (Madrid), Poland and Granada (Betica).
During the conferences Fr Paul Smith accompanied the assembly in a process of reflection following the following steps: 1) to become aware that the same reality is observable from different perspectives; 2) collect the prejudices that we have before other cultures; 3) reduce our prejudices with a tool of analysis of reality; 4) concrete actions possible in a community that moves towards interculturality; 5) concrete and possible actions to which I commit myself to walk towards interculturality.
Throughout the process, dialogue, group work and deep reflection have been done. The reflection was enriched by 9 written testimonies of Claretians about their experience on interculturality. We also had the privilege of having a forum that brought together Fr. Paul Smith (facilitator), Félix Clemens (a member of the province of Chenai who has been living in Spain for 5 years) and João Carriço (student of the province of Portugal who is studying in Grenada and has recently had a 4-month missionary experience between India and Sri Lanka).
The overall assessment of the meeting has been very positive for the topic discussed and for the moments of encounter between the students.