At the beginning of February the representative of the African continent on the International Commission of the Economy of Communion, Genevieve Sanze, received a telephone call from the Apostolic Nuncio of Ivory Coast, Mons Joseph Spiteri, informing her of her nomination as member of the Pontifical Council of the Laity. “I had absolutely no idea that this was coming,” Genevieve tells us, with the open question about what it might entail. Genevieve, who is originally from the Central African Republic, lives in a Focolare community in Abidjan in Ivory Coast. The only African among the lay members appointed by the Pope, Genevieve was chosen because of the role she plays within the Economy of Communion.
“I’m very happy with this nomination, particularly for the fact that of all the roles I play in the context of the Focolare Movement, the Economy of Communion was the one mentioned,” she explained shortly after she heard the news, sharing her feelings on the subject. “It is a great joy for me to be able to work for the Church, because I chose to do this in my life, serving the Focolare Movement and the Church.”
A few days after the nomination, Genevieve Sanze was in Kenya working for the preparations of the upcoming Economy of Communion Assembly in Nairobi in 2015. She was able to meet with the Nuncio when she got back. “It was a very beautiful and profound moment. Mons Spiteri gave me the document with my nomination, with his advice to live this service for and in the Church. Maria Voce, President of the Focolare movement, wrote to me as well: ‘I am very happy with this appointment’, assuring me of her prayers and support. I feel that it is only together, in great communion, that we can be of service to our brothers and sisters and the Church.”
The Central Commission of the Economy of Communion wrote to Genevieve: “Heartfelt congratulations on this new and beautiful challenge: from how we know you, you have all the qualities needed to face up to it”. Luigino Bruni summed up the joy of everyone: “This is the Africa that the world needs to know: wise, bright, soberly joyful, sisterly, regal, Marian.”