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UPF-Italy Family Series Welcomed by Mayor

Almè, Italy—UPF and its affiliated organizations sponsored two meetings on "The Individual and Social Value of the Family" at the Civic Hall of Almè, a town in northern Italy.

The meetings were held under the patronage of the municipality of Almè on January 13 and February 17, 2023.

UPF collaborated with Women's Federation for World Peace (WFWP) and Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) to organize the events.

Friday, January 13:

"The Family as a School of Love and Harmony: Utopia or Concrete Opportunity?"

Almè Mayor Dr. Massimo Bandera gave the introductory remarks, expressing the administration's desire to promote harmonious cooperation in overcoming emotional and relational difficulties in the family. He thanked the organizers for these opportunities to meet.

Giannina Figus, the president of WFWP for the city of Bergamo, described the pleasure of meeting together in search of ideas and insights for the realization of healthy, harmonious and happy families. Family peacebuilding is the key to broader peace on the societal level, she said.

Carlo Zonato, the president of UPF-Italy, thanked those attending and the mayor for the opportunity to hold this series of meetings. Family solidity and love are among the founding values in the vision of peace that UPF promotes, he said.

Giuseppe Russo from FFWPU addressed the theme of the evening. He expressed his concern about the difficulties that families are going through, both on the material level and in their awareness of being an essential nucleus of affection and relationships.

Using statistical data, he pointed out how family disintegration brings with it concrete problems on the societal level.

A central point that Mr. Russo emphasized was the deepening of the experience of love through four successive levels: filial love, brotherly love, conjugal love and parental love.

An essential requirement is to be able to place at the center of family relationships what he defined as "true love"—the desire to live for the good and joy of the other members. If the family unites in focusing on this perspective as a school of love and harmony, it will no longer be a utopia but will become a concrete opportunity for self-education, emotional maturity and personal fulfillment.

Friday, February 17:

"Family Relationships for Maturity of Heart and Character in the Present Time"

The main speaker was Patrizia Olivero, the national director of FFWPU’s department of marriage and families. Grateful for the occasion, she proposed to the audience an initial "game" to bring out, through an acrostic, what characteristics come to mind from each of the letters of the word “family.” Many value terms emerged from this activity.

She developed the evocative value of family as a "promise of love" by quoting verses from the marriage vows of different cultures and faiths. This was followed by an in-depth discussion of the key ingredients for family stability, such as teamwork; having clear expectations and values; gratitude and respect for personal differences; strong bonds based on trust, and devoting time to be together.

Mrs. Olivero presented a rich set of quotes referring to the values and best attitudes for building one's family, each in his or her own role. Finally, she recommended useful texts as material to read and consult as well as a proposal for formation and renewal of one's bond as a couple.

Both evenings stimulated many questions and considerations from the attentive audience.

By Carlo Zonato, President, UPF-Italy
Friday, February 17, 2023


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