Exploring the deeper meanings of life: Life Worth Living retreats in Sicily

May 7, 2024News

In the quiet and green landscapes of San Giuseppe Jato, Sicily, a consortium of twelve selected educators and principals have just gathered for the second retreat of the Life Worth Living project on April 13th and 14th. Anchored in the European Union’s commitment to fostering personal development and social cohesion, this retreat focused again, and sanctioned the foundation of the whole project on collaboration and shared learning.

Following the inaugural retreat held in February on the 17th and 18th , which centered on the foundational questions of responsibility and action in life (“To whom are we responsible?” and  “How do I act?” the two leading questions), and a meeting in Palermo that dealt with the topic of hope, the subsequent gathering aimed to delve deeper into existential inquiries. Facilitated under the thematic umbrella led by the questions “What is the role of suffering in a good life?” and “What should I do when I fail?”, the retreat provided a forum for critical reflection and dialogue among educators and principals.

Life Worth Living underscores the importance of holistic education in nurturing resilient and empathetic individuals. By engaging educators in profound discussions on life’s fundamental questions, the project seeks to empower them to foster resilience, empathy, active listening and critical thinking skills.

Participants engaged in a series of structured activities and interactive workshops designed to deepen their understanding of existential themes. From group dialogues through different non-formal methods to storytelling sessions, walk in nature and small games, each activity encouraged participants to explore their beliefs, values, and attitudes towards the main essential feelings and experience of life.

The retreat’s success was not merely measured by the richness of the discussions but also by the bonds strengthened among participants. Through shared experiences and empathetic listening, educators discovered common ground and mutual support, laying the groundwork for ongoing collaboration and personal and professional development.

In alignment with the European Union’s vision of an inclusive and sustainable future, the Life Worth Living project exemplifies the Union’s commitment to promoting personal growth and well-being. Through collaborative initiatives such as these retreats in San Giuseppe Jato, Sicily and in all the other countries of the partnership, educators across Europe are empowered to nurture the next generation of global citizens who embody resilience, empathy, and a deep sense of purpose in life.

The next steps of the project will see the same group of people already involved grapple with two more questions, “How does a good life feel?” and “What is a life worth living?” each other at a meeting in Palermo and a final two-day meeting in Belgium that will bring together all the European groups simultaneously with Italy pursuing the path.

More updates will follow soon, but for more information visit the project platform LIFE: it contains units of learning and their materials for both the retreats and online learning modules and allows participants to stay connected during the learning path: https://platform.lifeworthliving.is/dashboard

If you would like to learn more, write to lisa.avarello@danilodolci.org, see the project sheet or visit the international Life Worth Living approach page, from the Yale Center for Faith & Culture department.

Life Worth Living: Caring for Our Educators and Principals is a project funded by the Erasmus+ program – KA2 – Cooperative Partnerships – School.