Monthly Archives: July 2012

Walk between Brösarp and Kivik on Saturday (4/08)

Dear all,

I am planning to walk between Brösarp and Kivik on Saturday (4/08). If you want to come along, we can meet at 09:00, läge H at the station to take the Skåne Expressen 5 (it leaves at 09:10) and then change at Simrishamn to take the Skåne Expressen 3 to Kivik. Back to Lund around 19:30. Take a picnic, good shoes and outdoor clothes!

Please let me know by SMS (073 664 38 89) if you want to join!


Istanbul stories 2

Resan till Istanbul var en enastående upplevelse för mig. För en vecka dök jag in i en helt annan värld och glömde allt där hemma. Det var nya intryck hela tiden. För det första var det staden med sina väldigt trånga gator, vattnet vid Golden Horn och Bosporen, de imposanta moskéerna, många människor överallt och värmen – över 30 grader även på natten!
Vi fick bo i hjärtat av Istanbul, i det gamla Dominikanklostret i Galata. Genom bröderna fick vi höra vilka svårigheter kristna och andra minoriteter möter i Turkiet.
Bredvid alla historiska monument är det nog ändå människorna som vi mötte på vår resa, som har gjort mest intryck på mig. Vi träffade patriarken från Konstantinopel och den ekomeniska metropolitan som visade en sådan öppenhet mot oss katoliker. För mig var det första gången i en ortodox kyrka. Det var även första gången att jag satte fot i en moské. Jag pratade med några muslimer vid deras pilgrimsplats i Istanbul. De var mycket intresserade och gästvänliga trots att vi knappt kunde förstå varandra på grund av språket. Stort intryck gjorde även några volontärer, som jobbar för hjälporganisationer, t ex Caritas, som hjälper invandrare och flyktingar.
Jag har upptäckt gemensamheter med de andra kyrkorna och islam, men även olikheter, som har gjort mig starkare i min egen tro.  

And so when I signed up to go to Istanbul, I am not sure what I expected. Perhaps to see the Hagia Sophia, to explore the mosques, and to lose myself in the belly of the monster city. A recent convert, I did not expect my first experience of Church’s catholicity. It happened a few days before we left, at an English mass at St. Anthony of Padua, the largest Catholic Church in the city, tucked in among the tourist shops and embassies on the famous Istiklal Avenue. The congregation was diverse—Levantine, Philippine, and Turkish. But the largest group was comprised of African young men. Earlier in the week we had listened to refugee workers talk about the difficulty African immigrants face when coming to Istanbul. Many of them have come illegally and are unable to get papers. Some are tricked into paying lots of money to be smuggled into Istanbul on the promise of a soccer contract, only to find upon arrival that there is no contract, no team. Yet in spite of the difficulties of being ethnic and religious minorities in an often hostile land, these men were joyfully worshipping. And then there was a smattering of tourists, Westerners such as myself, who do not have to worry about religious persecution or debilitating economic uncertainty. The homily was terrible and the music was worse, but it didn’t matter. The Eucharist was the same as it always is. I felt blessed to take the Host among the faithful, gathered there from around the world, united perhaps only by their location and their love of Christ. It was enough.

The meetings is the main word describing Istanbul trip for me. Joining the group quite late in their preparations for this trip I started to live in the mood of meetings and preparations for different kinds of meetings. First of all meetings with members of ecumenical group in preparations for this trip: meeting various points of views, various expectations, and various goals.

However, our stay in Istanbul was the greatest variety of meetings. Meeting the reality of mixed religious and cultures left the strongest impression for me. Visits of mosques, churches and other places of meeting and prayer showed incredible ways of history of this imperial city.  It was great to have ten days in it having time to meet local people, pray together with them and next to them and to discuss both historical paths which changed city and its life ( or even lives) and issues of current Istanbul. It was great to feel welcomed by Dominican brothers who took care of us and made us feel that these is home just next to Galata tower. Finally it was interesting and sometimes sad to meet the truth that we are just visitors trying to learn more and to meet more than regular tourists. Every day spent there brought us opportunities to do it and the greatest one for me was to learn from variety in this city, in this trip, in our group.