Waldensian Review No. 122 Summer 2013 - Page 9

in various communities here in Rome, knowledge of other churches, church groups and secular organizations, I can confirm what I have just said and add that now I know with more certainty that the Lord that I follow has the face of Jesus Christ, who is the life, the only truth and the only way to salvation. And this Way I want to proclaim to the men and women I meet on my way. And I think that this proclamation should be accomplished by the creation of community spaces that, in a society dominated by individualism, operate to prepare the hearts of men and women for listening to the Word of God. I’m very glad to have this new experience at the Wesley House. I’m sure that spending a year in Cambridge will be good to open my mind and to strengthen my faith in view of the pastoral ministry. I’m also grateful to the Committee of the Waldensian Church Mission that offers me this opportunity. 15 August in the Waldensian Valleys In Italy 15 August is a national (Catholic) holiday remembering the assumption of the Virgin Mary. In the Valleys the day is an occasion for the Waldensians of the Valleys to get together. The location alternates between the two major valleys, Val Pellice and Val Chisone/Germanasca and each year a different Church ‘hosts’ the event – providing food for those who’ve not brought a picnic and endless supplies of coffee and soft drinks. This year we were in San Germano – Parco Widemann – a great location, but due to the weather forecasts not as many people came as normally do, which was a shame, because the weather was great and the park an ideal place for a picnic. The day starts with a short service, which is followed by brief interviews with the Moderator and greeting from any synod visitors from outside the valleys who are present. The service this year was led by Giuseppe Ficara – an old friend of the Waldensian Church Mission – who has very recently arrived to work in Luserna San Giovanni having served in Sicily for 20 years. His sermon, based on Romans 12: 17–21, was a challenge to work for the common good – a significant message from someone with daily experience of the corrupting influence on society of the Mafia. Then there is a break for lunch, sometimes accompanied by groups of musicians. The afternoon begins with a presentation or debate. Last year Claudio Pasquet and Franco Giampiccoli spoke about Beckwith as it was the 150th anniversary of his death. This year the speakers were Renato Salvaggio and Libero Giuffrida, one a member of the Waldensian Church in Palermo, Sicily, the other a doctor and a member of the Waldensian Church in Chivasso near Turin who both spoke about their difference experiences of the Mafia. Salvaggio remembered when he was a young member of the Waldensian church in Palermo and Pastor Pietro Valdo Panascia spoke openly against the Mafia killing of seven policemen in 1963; since then the Church has always stood out against the Mafia. Chivasso is in the North but the Calabrian Mafia (N’drangheta) is very active there and the 7