St. Andrew’s Convent in Collevecchio

Progetto Continenti was established after Giuseppe Florio’s solidarity trip to Guatemala and Nicaragua along with a small group of his friends. Giuseppe Florio is a biblical theologian and community animator. 

During their stay, they donated some money to local non-profit organizations and institutions as a sign of fraternal sharing. Progetto Continenti was founded thanks to this first hands-on experience, and in 1989, it became a legal non-profit. During the same year, the experience of the Convent of S. Andrea in Collevecchio was launched. This convent was purchased by the Roman Province of the Capuchin Order, with the intention to designate it as a place for spirituality, study, research meetings, and to cultivate the hope of a culture of peace, solidarity, acceptance, and dialogue between diversities.

We dream of a peaceful, united, and fraternal world; working for years with people located in the Southern hemisphere has given us the energy and the hope to continue our journey. We are, however, aware that working in a greater and fairer world means to constantly question ourselves. It is the only way we have to fully understand the reasons of our actions and to find new ways of interaction, based on dialogue, non-violence, and on the ability to offer hospitality and willingness to listen.

Therefore, we believe that whoever (religious or non-religious people) is willing to contribute to the creation of a world where the oppressed and the outcast have a voice, needs to undergo an interior journey that will help him/her and us to overlook the results that we achieve, and to cultivate the practice of peace with perseverance and dedication.

“The mild can be configured as the forerunner of a better world” (N. Bobbio, Elogio alla mitezza)

It is necessary to retain the critical ability and inner freedom also in regard to the results achieved, for which we have worked so hard. We can all learn that life always goes beyond the concrete, political, social, and religious realities that we have built. 

We are also convinced that it is not possible to find people without an inner discipline and a journey to spirituality among those that consider themselves religious and that spend a big part of their lives in volunteer work, service, politics, and social issues. If the world will be saved, it will be thanks to that inner faith that even those that define themselves non-religious have, yet they give their lives for the cause in which they believe.

We wanted St. Andrew’s convent because it is a place for believers and non-believers, where we gather and organize spirituality meetings, training activities in solidarity, days of study on international reality and the exploitation mechanisms of the impoverished. These events aim to create awareness of the planetary injustice, which condemns most of humanity to starvation, and to create an alternative development model to the existing one.

It is our intention to make the Convent always more welcoming, while still maintaining and respecting each other’s experiences and different cultures. This is important to ensure that the convent remains a place of gathering and of shared journeys, where it is possible to imagine and actively promote the characteristics of the “new man”  that will inhabit the “new feasible world”.

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