Esteemed Father Ioan Sauca
Dear alumni and alumnae of Bossey
Dear sisters and brothers
It gives me great joy and I feel much honored to greet you in the name of the Protestant Church in Switzerland and president Rev. Rita Famos, who is also present.
Since I started my ministry as a pastor, ecumenical work on a local, regional, and national level has been an enriching and sometimes challenging part of my work. I remember well my first time at Bossey. It was some 25 years ago, that our local ecumenical group of pastors took a journey to visit Bossey and meet some of the students. It was an initiative of our Roman Catholic priest, who was – and probably still is – a member of the Focolare movement.
Since then, I have visited Bossey a few times. But unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to study at Bossey.
Since its foundation Bossey has had a strong relationship to Switzerland and vice versa – not only because of its location at beautiful Lake Geneva – but also because of one of its initiators, Adolf Keller, and many after him who stood for the ecumenical movement and supported it in word and deed.
And still today the relationship remains strong. For example: With much joy, each year local churches in Switzerland receive in their midst Bossey students during Advent season. This is an enriching experience for both sides.
The Protestant Church in Switzerland will strongly support this institute also in the years to come.
Why? Because we have for some time known and realized even more pressing this year, 2022, that the unique possibilities Bossey gives to students from around the world and from many churches to study, to share, to discuss, to experience deep friendship and spiritual community across all borders is one of the very practical ways we as churches can work for peace and reconciliation in our world.
You as alumni and alumnae of Bossey carry what you experienced and learnt into your church and world context. You have discovered that unity is possible in Jesus Christ and on the basis of friendship even if we do not always agree with each other.
I therefore stand in awe before all of you who engage in this ongoing pilgrimage – on a personal, spiritual and church level and even internationally.
THANK YOU - and thank you to Bossey for carrying on this important work!
May the Spirit of the living God lead and carry you on.
Claudia Haslebacher, 2022-09-05