Also called the City of Dialogue, Katowice – in the south of Poland, is a mining city par excellence – because it is one of the Polish municipalities that has the most numerous interreligious representatives. It boasts a Centre for Islamic Culture dedicated to prayer and education, and the Doha Centre for Dialogue and Culture dedicated primarily to dialogue, which will celebrate on 29 May, the «3rd Day of Christianity among Muslims» focused on the theme “Jesus – brother of each one of us,” as seen from the Christian and Muslim perspective. Also Maria Voce and Jesús Morán, President and Co-President of the Focolare, respectively, will participate, and who also will be travelling to Belarus and Poland to visit the communities of the Movement.
In retrospect, there has been for some time now in Katowice, a network of fraternal relationships and cooperation among Christians of various Churches, Jews, Muslims, the academic world and civil institutions. On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the city’s founding, the international Gen Verde band was invited to bring a message of fraternity with its music. The band has for some years now, brought to the public an educational artistic project implemented through workshops that feature onstage the youth who have attended their workshops of various disciplines: dance, singing, theatre, percussions on various instruments and even “body percussion.” About 140 boys and girls attended the workshop in Poland and contributed with their talents to the show staged with the band. But what really stirred up interest is the fact that the project also saw the participation of young Muslims, Jews and Christians of various denominations. The posters announcing the event drew the attention of so many that only six hours after the opening of the box office, the 1,450 tickets were already sold out.
A Muslim girl who participated in the workshop and the show, thanked the group since she had never “felt so warmly welcomed.” This fact impressed all especially against a background of the recent terrorist acts.
Upon returning from Poland, Gen Verde wrote: «We worked with 140 marvelous young people, who were the expression of an open, profound and sensitive people, forged by a faith that has been harshly tested by great suffering. They said that they experienced unity and trust that transformed them and made them fly.»
«The show was held in the NOSPR, the new auditorium built over the old mines and for the first time in history, this temple of symphonic music, opened out to our rock music. Every corner of the auditorium was filled to the brim with the public that vibrated with us right from the start, in a crescendo. On hearing the first Polish words we sang (the refrain of two songs) they burst into a moving applause, and at the end of the concert, immense joy pervaded.»
A little show within the show unfolded when the mayor, a representative of the Catholic community, a representative of the Jewish community and an Imam, appeared on stage in a spiritual and ideal embrace to testify to a true fraternity that was nurtured through the years. A priest remarked: “We are testimonials to something short of a miracle. If we have these young people among us as we saw today, the world will not die. With this method of dialogue you can save the world. ” The Rabbi then added; “We do not fear the future because… we are together.”