“Meeting Spaces” to celebrate beauty and joy in diversity

Barbara Olejnik rscj (POL), seated and in gray suit, among participants at the Intercultural Carols Concert for Peace

Right after my first profession of religious vows in June 2015, I was sent to the Jesuits' Centre 'W Akcji' to work with migrants and refugees who arrive in Poland.

Our team tries different ways to provide a "meeting space" for both Poles and refugees to enrich one another.

At the beginning of January 2016, for example, we held an Intercultural Carols Concert dedicated to world peace. Together we practiced Christmas songs not only from Poland, but also from Jordan, Eritrea, Rwanda and Belarus.

At the same meeting, we had the chance to listen to the first-hand sharing of his life story by a refugee from Togo.  He shared about his struggle and his faith in God who is his strength.  It was an inspiring story for all of us gathered there.  It was not only an opportunity to highlight the hope of the refugees, but it also gave the Polish audience an insight into the problems that refugees face.

"Meeting spaces" like this have been a great chance for me to discover beauty in diversity.  They awaken joy in the realization that, even though we are different, we desire to coexist and to always look for what is common among all of us.

Barbara Olejnik rscj

Province |Poland

JPIC |Transforming Relationships