Emmaus International

The community of Treviso, from Emmaus Italy, was responsible for much of the organization and logistical planning for this event. The World Assembly provided the 450 participants who attended with a unique opportunity to share, and to come together.  

Massimo Colla, a community leader within the Treviso Community (started in 2009) flashed a knowing grin as he told us that he was “happy that Emmaus International had the opportunity to explore the Treviso Community and to share – and that the companions from Treviso felt important because they were able to contribute something to Emmaus International.”

 MG 4106 bdWhen Massimo told the companions that they would be responsible for logistics during the next World Assembly, they didn’t immediately understand the significance of the Assembly: “It dawned on them slowly, as they planned tours of the community, and put chairs in the main conference room – you can see how important they felt it was in their work. The community worked together and made compromises; they hosted four extra companions so that they could better deal with the challenge of preparing for the assembly.”

The community showed its strength as it guided participants around the Assembly. In the space of two days, almost 100 people dined within the Treviso Community, sharing a meal and an everyday experience. For Massimo, this made the Assembly even more moving: “Beyond all of the preparations, we were mainly worried about making everyone feel welcome. We knew that if we achieved this, everything would be fine. I wanted them to discover the community and the people who live here; Emmaus Italy is a small community, and Treviso is even smaller. We were so excited that people from all over the world were going to come and visit our community; it was something incredible, important, and we were determined to make it a success.”

The Community, and the World Assembly of Jesolo, will also remember the main conference room, which was designed by an architect friend of the community and built by the Companions. The wood pallets used for chairs and a table were powerful symbols that referenced the first house that Abbé Pierre renovated in 1949, and the coverings on the chairs alluded to those that the Abbé Pierre distributed to homeless people during the winter of 1954. With emotion, Massimo explained that “The companions were very invested in building the chairs…they made them very carefully, and they were very proud; the chairs were inspired by sobriety, simplicity, and generosity.”

 MG 4125 bd