DIASPORA IS NOT A SPECTRE
During a fact-finding tour of the aid organisation for the faith and the Catholic Press Association (Gesellschaft Katholischer Publizisten – GKP), twelve journalists from all over Germany experienced the challenges that the Diaspora of Iceland brings with it, but also the encouragement the comes from the faithful there and how the Bonifatiuswerk is supporting this with its various grants.
For example, they got to know the church café in the Icelandic capital, which is also known as the 8th Sacrament among connoisseurs. Young and old, Icelanders, Germans, Filipinos, Lithuanians and Poles meet here. The congregation is open, warm and international – a symbol of the Catholic Church in Iceland, where none of the 16 pastors are Icelanders.
The tour group repeatedly met strong personalities, who follow their mission full of conviction; Sister Sabiduria, for example, who now accompanies only a handful of children after working with many children in Tanzania. The group also visited the pilgrimage site of Marilund, a retreat, guest house and education centre as well as other religious sisters in Reykjavik and Hafnafördour.
In addition, the travellers gained an insight into the political perception of the Church during a meeting with the former President of Iceland, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, and into an ongoing project in Selfoss, where a new church is being built.