THE most recent European Holy Childhood Conference (CEME) was held in Geneva in Switzerland and saw a special role being given to one of the Missio Scotland attendees as Gerard Gough, Missio Scotland’s, Communications Officer was appointed to the board (above).
The event, which takes place every two years, brings together all those who work within the Missionary Children (Holy Childhood) sector of the Pontifical Mission Societies—the Pope’s official charity for overseas mission—throughout Europe, to share their knowledge, experience, ideas and materials.
As is normal, at the opening Mass of the conference in the Bossey Ecumenical Institute, the attendees were invited to bring a personal object to the altar which represented an event or an experience linked to their work with Missionary Children.
Throughout the four-day meeting—which took as its theme ‘Be holy, for I am holy’ (1 Peter 1:16)—the participants had the opportunity not only to share their Missionary Children materials with their European colleagues, but they were also treated to insightful lectures from CEME President Kaare Nielsen, Professor Barbara Hallensleben and Flavio Moresino on the theme of Holiness and a workshop from Martine Bulliard and Florence Auvergne Abric and a lecture from Professor Lawrence Iwuamendi on the topic of Ecumenism. Sr Roberta Tremarelli, the General Secretary of the Holy Childhood in Rome, concluded the lectures by speaking of the challenges that Holy Childhood faced as well as some important anniversaries coming up.
On the final evening, the group were given a guided tour of Geneva, including many sites of religious and historical significance, before enjoying a final meal in the city itself.
As proceedings were brought to a close on the final day, outgoing CEME President, Kaare Nielsen, the National Director of Missio Scandinavia, was presented with a gift for his service to CEME, as were the outgoing board members and translators.
The conference saw Nancy Camilleri of Missio Malta elected as the new CEME President and Romania chosen as the location for the 2024 gathering. Gerard Gough was elected onto the board along with Fr Eugene Blaj, the National Director of Missio Romania and Fr Vincent Goulmy, the National Director of Missio Netherlands.