CRESCENDO WORLDWIDE NETWORK
For a more human and Christian ageing
N° 10, may 2005: SPECIAL ISSUE
SEMINAR IN GENEVA AND SIMPOSIUM IN VALENCIA (ESPAÑA)
Alberto Marxuach 1
Seminar of Crescendo in Geneva - Program 4
Ecumenical Institute at Bossey Castle 8
National Symposium Valencia (Spain) - Program 10
Worldwide Network Crescendo 12
Professor Indira Jai Prakash 16
Introduction to pastoral gerontologie
Jairo A. Morales Cruz 18
"A look at the beginning of a pontificate"
Symposium of the International Catholic Center of Geneva 19
GENEVA AND VALENCIA
A network in order to "work together":
Inspired by the doctrine of John Paul II concerning a necessary pastoral for older persons,
the "third age" work group, recognised by the Conference, (Quito, 1997), was constituted
to explore the possibilities of interdisciplinary collaboration in the field of aging.
Little by little this group realized how extremely difficult it is to work against trends towards
globalization; worthlessness of that which is economically non-productive, exaltation of
individualism, the nuclear family... Moreover, it was apparent that the ideas themselves
have little possibility of transforming anything, through failing to hand them on and by not
allowing them to produce creative concrete initiatives.
That is why, following Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran's recommendations made during the
Conference's meeting in Rome (1997), this work group became a "network". The spirit
remains the same: a multidisciplinary approach to aging, with an accent on "action" and on
high use of computerized methods of communication, which nearly without expense
ensure worldwide action (Crescendo uses 5 languages).
Traditional cultures respected older persons and considered old age a blessing, but today
there is a strongly negative stereotyped image of aging. While long life and the aging of
society constitute one of the main challenges of our time, other problems lie in the
The international seminar in Geneva:
Crescendo’s "founding act" foresaw the use of seminars and congresses, giving birth to
the project of the Geneva seminar, in collaboration with the International Catholic Center
of Geneva (ICCG). It consists in a meeting for a limited group of delegates from the ICO
and congregations with experts from various fields.
In light of their interventions and with their collaboration, the participants will be invited to
evaluate the Crescendo project, suggest orientations and indicate important areas of
action; the results of which will be compiled in a final document. Its purpose is to clarify the
network’s identity and hopes to renew the commitment of current members and also
obtain new members.
The composition of the inter-continental panel is not indicated in the program; it follows:
Prof. Indira Jay Prakash, psycologist,
Director of the Center for Coordination of Research (CCR) of the International
Federation of Catholic Universities (FIUC) and of the University of Bangalore, (India).
Egide Rwamatwara, sociologist, regional secretary of Pax Romana, International
Movement of Intellectual Catholics ICMICA-Africa
Christel Wasiek from Caritas Germany, counsellor of the Latin American Network of
Jairo Morales, Catholic University of Bogota, counsellor of CELAM and of Vie
Montante for the topics of Aging.
Also coming from Latin America is the executive secretary of the department "family,
life and culture" from the Council of the Latin American Episcopal Conferences
At the time of this bulletin’s publication, there are about forty participants, which permits a
good interactive character. Since registration is still open (simultaneous translation
assured in French, English and Spanish), those interested are requested to contact
For seminar participants an article of Simone Gebs is included describing the layout and
possibilities offered by the group welcoming guests in Geneva at the Bossey Castle
The national symposium in Valencia (Spain):
Right after the international seminar in Geneva, Crescendo is organising a national
symposium, in collaboration with the commission for older persons from the archdiocese
of Valencia (Spain), This is in preparation for the participation of grandparents in the 5 th
worldwide family encounter, which will take place in that city in July 2006. Representatives
of Catholic organizations concerned with the elderly and the family are invited to the
symposium as well as those on the diocesan level who are responsible for the pastoral to
The birth of Crescendo in Spain clearly indicates how the network’s spirit, perceived by a
few poeple of good will, can produce fruitful initiatives. The Grandparents Congress, held
during the 5th Worldwide Family Encounter, will allow the message of Crescendo "for a
more human and christian aging" to be made known on a large scale as well as its call for
This news letter includes the program of the seminar in Geneva and that of the
symposium in Valencia; and for those new to Crescendo, it includes also a text of
presentation explaining its origins its history and its work.
Experts from other continents
In one extract from the bulletin IDEM ALITER of the International Federation of Catholic
Universities (FIUC), information is given on the last publication of Prof. Indira Jai Prakash,
who will take an active part in the intercontinental panel.
Another participant in this panel is Jairo Morales, from Bogota, one of the main organizers
of the First Latino-American Congress of Pastoral Gerontology, which will take place next
year from April 27th to April 29th at Santa Marta (Colombia). In his article he describes the
reasons for this new discipline, very in accord with the orientations of Crescendo.
For those going to Geneva, this bulletin also includes information on the conference
organized by the ICCG in the afternoon of October 8th, just before the opening of the
seminar; schedules will coordinate.
An article on the Congregation of the Daughters of Wisdom, who have joined Crescendo
this year, will be published in the next issue, which will be published at mid-september
with the last informations on the seminar of Geneva.
Very cordially and at your service, ALBERTO
INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR OF CRESCENDO NETWORK
“For a fully human and christian ageing "
October 8th, 9th, and 10th 2005
Bossey Castle (near Geneva) - Switzerland
THIS SEMINAR WAS PREPARED IN COLLABORATION WITH THE INTERNATIONAL
CATHOLIC CENTER OF GENEVA. (ICCG)
The seminar is addressed first of all to the International Catholic Organizations (ICO) who
are members of the network or who are sensitive to the issues concerning aged persons
and ageing of the population. Nevertheless, the seminar remains no less open to all
organizations concerned by these problems.
Objectives of the seminar
It has for goal:
On the one hand, that the participants become better informed about the problem of
ageing and the vision of the United Nations and the Church concerning this
On the other hand, the stimulation of, through the proposition of Crescendo, a spirit
and the initiatives for collaboration among active International Catholic Organizations in
this area in order to lead to a redaction of a ―plan of action‖. This plan will concretize the
engagement of the participants during the coming 2 years, to work together in the fields of
activities chosen by themselves during the course of the seminar.
Finally, an elaboration of ―recommendations‖ which will be communicated at the
Conference of ICO during the course of its general assembly (Jerusalem, November
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 7
Arrival of participants
From 3 p.m. onwards: Distribution of documentation
6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Supper
8:30 p.m. – 10 p.m. Evening of Music
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8
Seminar Moderator: Gerald Sapey, former director of the Tribune of Geneva and of the
Swiss Romande Radio
9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Welcome
Marc Savary, President of CCIG of Geneva
Ernest König, President of the Conference of ICO
Alberto Marxuach, President of Crescendo Network
Anne Sturm, ―Outgoing president‖ of the AIC, responsible for
representations of AIC
Theme for this morning: “Objective examination of the phenomenon and situation
9:30 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. Prof. Philippe WANNER,
Laboratory of Demography, University of Geneva and Director
of the Swiss Migration Forum, University of Neuchâtel:
―Quantitative aspect of ageing with its possible repercussions
on society worldwide‖
10:15 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Discussion
10:45 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. Break
11:15 a.m. – 12 noon Dr. Astrid Stückelberger,
gerontologist, President of the Committee of NGO on
Ageing at United Nations in Geneva
― Human aspects and valors of ageing‖
Noon – 12:30 p.m. Discussion
12:30 – 1:30 p.m. Lunch
2:00 – 2:15 p.m. Meditation by Monsignor Viola, ecclesiastical advisor for
the Conference of ICO and for Crescendo
2:15 - 4:00 p.m. Intercontinental panel ―among those present‖ coming from
other continents concerning what was discussed during the
4:00 – 4:30 p.m. Break
4:30 – 6:30 p.m. Workshops on the themes of the general assemblies
(Language Groups with a reporter)
6:30 – 7:30 p.m.. Supper
8:00 – 8:30 p.m. Meeting of group reporters to formulate a synthesis of the
8:30 – 10:00 p.m. Video
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9TH
Theme of the morning: “Ethical and Political Evaluation of Ageing”
9:00 – 9:45 a.m. Nicolaï Botev, Responsible for the NGO near United Nations
“Ageing under the regard of United Nations. From the
general Assembly, Vienne 1982,until our days, the
objectives of the International Organisations and the
9:45 – 10:15 a.m. Discussion
10:15 – 10:45 a.m. Break
10:45 – 11:15 a.m. Mgr Tomasi,
Apostolic Nuncio near United Nations in Geneva
“Ageing and the vision of the Church”
11:15 – 11:45 a.m. Discussion
11:45 -12:30 p.m. Mass
12:30 – 1:30 p.m. Lunch
2:00 – 2:45 p.m. Father Louis Christiaens, s.j.
President of the Assembly of Churches and Christian
Communities of Geneva.
Professor at the Center of Orthodox Studies in Geneva.
" Ecumenical perspective concerning ageing."
2:45 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Crescendo Panel:
Anne Sturm, AIC
Sr. Anne Marie, Little Sisters of the Poor
Bernadette Cantenot, Vie Montante Internationale
José Maria De Scals, Crescendo – Spain
4 :30 – 5 :00 p.m. Break
5 :00 p.m. – 6 :30 p.m. Workshops
Synthesis of themes covered during the last two days
Setting of priorities: Plan of action and recommendations.
6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Supper
8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Meeting of Group Reporters
Project of Redaction of the ―Plan of action‖ and
8:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Friendly Evening
MONDAY, OCTOBER 11
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. General Assembly,
reading of the project of the two documents and discussion.
10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Open Forum
10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Break
11:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. Reading and adoption of the Plan of action and
11:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Closing Session
Alberto Marxuach, President of Crescendo
11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Mass
12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Final Lunch
The Bossey Castle, located in Switzerland, between Nyon and Geneva, is situated in
the middle of a big park and forest. It is an ecumenical institute affiliated with the
Faculty of Theology of the University of Geneva. As a result of this, it is a very
international and multicultural environment.
The Bossey castle is situated 15 kilometers from the International Airport of Geneva
Cointrin and about 30 kilometers from the Geneva-Cornavin Station. A shuttle service
will be available at both of these areas of arrival.
3. Method of Payment
The cost is 150 Euros, (boarding, documents, expenses of stay and local
transportation included; voyage not included) of which
50 Euros are to be sent with registration
100 Euros in cash upon arrival
4. Languages: French, English, Spanish
5. Boarding: Single rooms according to their availability
Double rooms: name of the person with whom you wish to share
Registration deadline: as soon as possible, as places are limited to 40. However, most
certainly before the 12th of July.
To be sent to: Crescendo E Mail : email@example.com
Plaza del Tilo 4
Pozuelo de Alarcon
28223 Madrid (Spain)
MESSAGE FROM THE LOGISTIC COMMISSION
We rejoice at the thought of welcoming you to Bossey Castle, on Friday
October 7th as we participate in the seminar "for a more human and Christian
On the provisional program which you have already received, perhaps you
have noticed the quality of the lecturers who have very kindly accepted to
help our Network in our studies and research.
A GLIMPSE OF HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY: the ecumenical institute of
the ECUMENICAL COUNCIL of CHURCHES (E.C.C.) is located at Bossey
Castle. It is not surrounded by a moat, nor has it towers so as to be seen
from afar. It is a large, welcoming house, situated in the middle of a park in
the forest, a very peaceful setting to work in.
In fair weather (which we hope for) there is a splendid view of the Leman and
the Alps from the terrace.
The property is located about twenty km from Geneva.
I returned recently to the castle, after almost ten years. At that time, the
director had asked me to give a conference on the role of the laity in the
Catholic Church; 18 confessions participated in this seminar (!) – I did not
recognise the interior: auditoriums and rooms, have all been renewed,
everything is luminous; a large glass walled room has been constructed near
On a historical note, you might be interested to learn that "Bossey" had been
a feudal property belonging to Humbert, bishop of Geneva in 1125; he gave it
to the nearby Cistercian Abbey of Bonmont. The property consisted of a
house and a piece of land: 60 "poses" of vinyard on the margin of the lake
and 40 "poses" of agricultural land and meadows, the pose at that time
equalled 4.500 m2, or 45 hectares.
After having been the property of several well known local families, the castle
as well as the nearby land was bought in 1946 by the ECUMENICAL
COUNCIL OF CHURCHES, becoming thus the permanent center of the
ECUMENICAL INSTITUTE of Bossey, contributing to the formation of future
Ecumenical leaders. Studies and community life, lived in an inter-cultural,
inter-confessional and inter-religious environment have the goal of helping
the efforts towards mediation and reconciliation between Churches and
LET US RETURN TO THE PRACTICAL LEVEL WHICH INTERESTS YOU:
you were asked to register before July 12th and we thank you for having done
As there are more double rooms than single rooms, you were also asked to
indicate the person with whom you prefer to share a room.
After receiving your messages, with the hope of satisfying you, 5 categories
of rooms have been placed at our disposition.
1/ simple single rooms, with just a sink inside the room, shower and WC on
the same floor – some of you, to have a single room, asked for that design, if
it was possible
2/ 4 double-rooms of the same type. They have not been chosen since they
are less ageable.
3/ 4 single rooms with shower and WC.
4/ 7 double rooms with shower and WC:
5/ 8 double rooms with bath and WC, reserved for our guests – they are the
only ones situated on the 1st floor.
The 7 double rooms (n° 4) are nice: the beds can be arranged according to
your taste; the shower and WC are in a small private area. Each persone will
receive two towels.
Access to the 1st floor by lift, then by stairs.
To arrive at Bossey Castle, according to the indications that you will
give us, with your place and time of arrival, two minibus will be there for
you, one from Cointrin airport, the other one from Geneva station, called
In each of these places, you will find someone holding a sign marked CRESCENDO who
will welcome you and direct you to the minibus.
- at the airport, you will find someone at the "Meeting point" in the
- at the railway station, someone will be in the principal hall, in front
of the desks, under the clock.
From Bossey, you will have the possibility of phone, fax or E-mail communication,
at your expense.
We will do our best to make your short stay as agreable as possible; we are
at your disposition for further information.
Simone Gebs, from the logistic commission.
NATIONAL SYMPOSIUM VALENCIA (SPAIN)
PREPARATION FOR THE PARTICIPATION OF GRANDPARENTS
AT THE V WORLD ENCOUNTER FOR THE FAMILY. Valence, 2006
Older persons, family and transmission of faith
(for a christian understanding of older persons in the family)
Valencia, 18 - 20 November 2005
The symposium is addressed first of all to the members of CRESCENDO and to their
collaborators, to the various movements and to the organizations interested in the problem
of human and christian ageing, especially to their leaders and to every person, whatever
her age, interested in activities with older persons.
Friday, November 18th
3:30 p.m. documentation given
Welcome and prayer. Rev. Ramón Crespo, President of the
Diocesan Commission for Older Persons in Valencia.
Guidelines for the symposium.
Opening. His Excellency Msr Agustín Garcia-Gasco, Archbishop
4:30 p.m. (to 5:00 p.m) Presentation of the symposium: Seeking answers to the older
persons’ problems in today’s society, in the Church and in the family.
Rev.Manuel Guillén Marco, diocesan Chaplain of Vida Ascendente,
Valencia, Coordinator General of the Symposium.
5:00 p.m. (to 5:30 p.m.) Introduction:
Our symposium, a preparation for the older persons’ participation in
the 5th Worldwide Encounter for Families ( organised by the
Worldwide Network Crescendo).
Mr.Alberto Marxuach. Former International President of Vie Montante and
actual International President of Crescendo.
6:00 p.m. (to 7:00 p.m.) 1st Conference:
The family in which we believe. For a human and Christian development
of older persons in the family. M.I.D. Miguel Payá, Professor of Ecclesiology
and Pastoral Theology at the Faculty of Theology “San Vicente Ferrer” of
Valencia, former director of the Pastoral Secretary of the Spanish Bishops’
7:00 p.m. (to 8:00 p.m.)
Presentation of the results of the national survey. M. Santiago Serrano,
President of Vida Ascendente, Spain.
8:00 p.m. Showing of the film: “Solas” (5 Goya Prizes, among other prizes. Approx.
Saturday, November 19th
8:00 a.m. Eucharistic Celebration, at the Catholic University Chapel (Saint
9:30 a.m. (to 10:30 a.m.) 2nd Conference:
The family, christian community which lives and transmits her
faith. Mrs Mercedes Vilá. Bachelor of arts in Philosophy and Psychology,
Doctor in Philosophy and Literature, diplomated in Religious Sciences and
Education, Professor and Vice-Director of the Diocesan Institute of Religious
11:00 a.m. (to 12:00 a.m.) 3rd Conference:
Older persons, witnesses of faith. Their charisms, their involvments.
M. Ángel Garcia Ortiz, President of Vie Montante, Autonomous Cantabria
12:00 a.m. (to 1:30 p.m.) Panel and discussion :
Older persons and the transmission of faith. Moderator: Mr José Maria
de Scals, Professor, former Diocesan Director of Caritas.
4:30 p.m. (to 6:00 p.m.) Workshops:
Older persons and the transmission of faith: the place of the older
person in the family.
6:30 p.m. (to 8:00 p.m.) Workshops:
suggestions for the participation of older persons in the 5th Worldwide
Encounter for Families.
Sunday, November 13
9:30 a.m. (to 10:30) 4th Conference:
The family, older persons, permanent values and new values. The
family, school of citizens and of Christians. Given by M.I.D. Juan José
Garrido, Professor of Philosophy at the Faculty of Theology “San Vincente
Ferrer” of Valencia. Rector of the Royal College Seminary “Corpus Christi”.
10:30 a.m. (to 11:30 a.m.)
Panel and discussion on older persons in the family.
Moderator: M.Álvaro Gomez-Ferrer, architect, former International President
Participants: Mrs Mercedes Lozano, de Gómez-Ferrer, Professor, former
International President of ENS; M. José and Mrs Virtudes Torres,
Professors, from the Diocesan Commission of HOAC.
12:00 a.m. (to 12:30 a.m.) Reading of the Conclusions
12.45 a.m. ó 1:00 p.m. Eucharistic Celebration
DIOCESAN COMMISSION FOR OLDER PERSONS, VALENCIA.
NETWORK CRESCENDO VALENCIA,
General Catholic Action for Adults
Associations of Charities of St Vincent of Paul
Equipes Notre Dame
Worldwide Union of Catholic Women Organisations (UMOFC)
Catholic University "Saint Vincent Martyr"
Associations Members of the Executive Committee
International Associations of Charities
Federations of the Residences ―Lares‖
Little Sisters of the Poor
Vida Ascendente Spain
WORLDWIDE NETWORK CRESCENDO
ORIGINS OF CRESCENDO
The Network of Crescendo is the fruit of an idea conceived 10 years ago by Sr. Marie
Antoinette de la Trinité, at that time Superior General of the Little Sisters of the Poor. Its
purpose was to bring together catholic organizations and congregations of diverse
disciplines for creation of joint initiatives which could not otherwise be realized without this
Soon after the launching of the idea, about 12 International Catholic Organizations (ICO)
adhered to it. After several years of reflection, the group took the form of a network in
2001, now known as the Worldwide Network Crescendo, in order to "do together what
we cannot accomplish alone".
The constitution of the Network Crescendo was announced on September 16 th, 2000
during the congress of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, which preceded the Jubilee for
Aged Persons and is considered as an initiative inspired by The Great Jubilee Year.
On the other hand, Crescendo responds to the orientations expressed by Cardinal J.L.
Tauran, at that time Secretary for relations of the Holy See with the States, during the
meeting of the Conference of ICO, held in Rome in 1997, "International Catholic
Organizations in international life": "It is necessary to develop networks of non-
governmental organizations (NGO) that facilitate the elaboration of models under
the form of codes of conduct and action; these networks can become the structures
of support and of common reference for the different NGO"...
The network is an organ of the Conference of ICO, but "it is open to all organizations
who share the same principle and the same goal": ("According to God's design, every
human being is a life in development, from the first moment of its existence until its last
breath." Christifideles Laici n. 48 - Apostolic Exhortation 1988).
The network maintains a permanent link with the instances of the Holy See, in particular
those more concerned with the problem of ageing. The network has established 3 major
points of action: advocacy, awareness of public opinion and fieldwork.
For that which concerns advocacy, the first realization thereof occurred in the occasion of
the second assembly of the United Nations on Ageing, which took place in Madrid in 2002.
After a detailed study of the preparatory working document for the assembly, Crescendo
sent its conclusions in a message to the United Nations. The network participated with
most of its members at the forum of NGO, parallel to the general assembly, where it also
likewise made a stand.
The second realization concerns the theme of euthanasia. As this theme was the primary
subject of a session of the Council of Europe on January 29, 2004, Crescendo sent a
message stating its position to the International Catholic Organizations (ICO) concerned
by it, in order to draw awareness to their representatives and assure lobbying. On
January 28, 2004, the eve of a plenary session at the Council of Europe, the exam of
Rapport Marty favorable to euthanasia, was reported sine die.
On this occasion, Crescendo likewise edited a special electronic bulletin on Euthanasia
(Number 3) containing a text of theologian Fausto Gomez O.P, the declaration of the
International Federation of Catholic Pharmacists and of the European Federation of
Catholic Medical Associations, as well as a historical letter of Sr. Marie Antoinette de la
Trinité to the members of the European Parliament, written the 9th of May 1991, entitled
"The dignity of man".
Consulted recently by the Secretary of State concerning a resolution of the United Nations
relative to modes of application of the plan of Madrid, the contribution of Crescendo was
judged by this instance of the Holy See as "being without any doubt in harmony with
the orientations of the Holy See".
The promotion of awareness of all the dimensions of the problem of ageing is a
permanent activity of Crescendo, in the Church and in the world. For this, Crescendo has
created two outlets: a web site, http://www.rcrescendo.net/ essentially in French, English
and Spanish, and an electronic bulletin which is sent to member organizations for its
diffusion. This bulletin is edited in extenso in four languages: French, English, Spanish
and Italian, and for the moment is edited in abridged form in German.
After a long reflection, it was decided to hold in Geneva in October of 2005 an
international seminar, to which will be invited in first place the ICO concerned in one
manner or another by ageing.
This seminar proposes to make better known the identity of Crescendo in the heart of the
Conference of ICO, and the facilitation of participants to define together the priorities of
action for the coming years. At this moment, two of these areas appear to draw particular
attention: volunteerism and the family.
In his message of the 5th of December 2001, upon the occasion of the International Year
of Volunteerism, the Holy Father affirmed: that "charity represents the most eloquent
form of evangelization…"
In Crescendo's message to the United Nations in the occasion of the general assembly on
ageing in Madrid (2002), it is said: "Crescendo supports the work of associations of older
people which encourage voluntary work in caring centers, training centers and services
centers, and request help for these associations, as also for the associations that create
micro-enterprises, cooperatives and communities of mutual help, specially in developing
In its message it is made clear that Crescendo supports the vision of the United Nations
concerning ageing as a richness to be exploited, "but in giving the concept of productivity
a meaning which goes beyond the economic dimension. Social productivity, which is a
fruit of free services, should be recognized, especially that of women."
The disposition to volunteerism, which manifests itself in young and old people, is certainly
one of the most positive signs of our times. However, this disposition, in order to be really
effective and fully satisfying for the volunteers themselves, necessitates on the one hand
their formation, and on the other hand the orientation of their activities by competent
While activities of advocacy on the level of international instances such as United Nations
and the European Parliament (position taken on euthanasia) require the practical
adhesion of all its members, actions of raising awareness are able to be taken equally on
the national and local level.
On the contrary, it seems that actions in the field, properly understood, are born from
local initiatives. It is thus that the first diocesan branch of Crescendo in formation at
Valence (Spain), wherein the future World Days of the Family will take place in 2006, has
for primary objective to include in their general theme the topic of the aged person in the
family. Such a project has already been presented to the archbishop, who thus in turn
made a proposal concerning this event to the organizational committee in Rome. It is
evident that if this proposition is accepted, it will receive the full support of the Worldwide
Crescendo has already dedicated two of its bulletins to the theme of the family: number 4
entitled "Family and Aged Persons" and number 5, "Solidarity between the generations".
CRESCENDO, A SPIRIT OF COOPERATION
It is good to specify that the vocation of the international network concerning the field
action is limited to stimulating among its members a spirit of cooperation and the proposal
of principles and general orientations.
However, Crescendo does not constitute an authority, even under the form of a nucleus
of coordination. The organization members, who act with the greatest independence,
take the initiatives.
In this same spirit of cooperation, bonds of partnership will be established among the local
or national networks Crescendo and with the international network. All the while
preserving their independence, Crescendo International will offer them support and
The message of John Paul II at the last general assembly of Vie Montante Internationale
in 2002 concludes in the following manner: "I hope that your deliberations will lead you
to cooperate in the future with other organizations throughout the world, which
permit the aged persons to live fully their Christian vocation, and in a particular
manner with the promising initiatives undertaken by the Worldwide Network of
catholic organizations Crescendo". May this appeal be heard as well by the
organizations and congregations "which permit aged persons to live fully their christian
The message of cardinal Stafford, then president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity,
also mentions in a positive manner the support offered by Vie Montante Internationale to
"assure the foundation of an international association network, Crescendo".
The Crescendo network, as it is a locus for meeting and exchange with other
organizations of diverse vocations and disciplines, permits each one to expand its vision
of a phenomenon more and more complex and multi-dimensional, and also to enlarge its
field of action in initiatives and cooperation with others. Thus, innovative initiatives depass
the specific possibilities of each one. The mystic of Crescendo is the working together of
the great and small, of the witness and the scientist.
On the civil level, Crescendo is an international, non-profit association (AISBL), having
headquarters in Brussels.
Complete information on Crescendo can be found on the Web site http://www.
rcrescendo.net/ which contains the founding statement, a presentational text, the statutes,
the report of activity of November 2003 at the conference of ICO, etc.
PROFESSOR INDIRA JAI PRAKASH’S
PARTICIPATION IN THE SEMINAR
Professor Indira Jai Prakash is the director of the joint project "Aging and Development" of
the Centre for the Coordination of Research (CCR) of the International Federation of
Catholic Universities (IFCU) and of Bangalore University. We express our gratitude to
Mons. Thivierge for having put us in contact with her, and to Professor Indira Jai Prakash
for having accepted to participate in the seminar, even though it was too late to propose to
her one of the main conferences, corresponding to her competence.
The similarity between Crescendo’s viewpoints on aging and those of the Centre of
Research at Bangalore University of is clearing expressed by this affirmation of Professor
Vasantha Kumari. N, in the document “Aging: The Diverses Experiences”: “This day
and age is marked by a need for people of various disciplines of science, workers of
various social organizations, etc., who are interested in the elderly, to unite and make joint
efforts to improve the quality of life and the welfare of the elderly.”
It is also interesting to note that the philosophy of this centre at Bangalore University is
that “the diffusion of knowledge is just as important as its development.”
All this reminds us that, in its message to the UN on the occasion of the General
Assembly on Ageing, Crescendo expressed that it “maintains a proposal to create
investigation programs which it considers indispensable for establishing the
legitimacy of any social strategy, to establish it efficiently, to evaluate its progress
and detect any new problems."
A developing relationship with this Centre at Bangalore University is a decisive step in this
Aging in India: Retrospect and Prospect. Ed. Indira Jay Prakash, CCR-IFCU / Bangalore
"Considering the phenomenon of aging in the world, a number of studies have been made
on its social consequences. This type of study on aging involves numerous disciplines,
given the fact that not one of them can embrace of the complexity of this phenomenon by
itself. The project ―Aging and Development‖ was carried out in India by the Psychology
Department of Bangalore University. It was coordinated by the Centre of Coordination and
of Research. One of the objectives of this project was to produce and to develop
knowledge in the field of gerontology. In the context of this same project, numerous
activities were undertaken, such as the National Conference ―Aging in India: Retrospect
and Prospect,‖ in August 2004. The present work, which completes a series of five
publications, is composed for the most part of the communications presented during the
symposium. These latter are divided into three themes: geriatrics in India and its
problematics; psychiatry and gerontological psychiatry, and lastly, management.‖
EXCERPT FROM "IDEM ALITER", FIUC, Special Edition, June/July 2005
INTRODUCTION TO PASTORAL GERONTOLOGY
The challenges of humanity should take into account the various aspects of a complex
reality, where values targeting the common good, justice, the dignity of persons and of
societies are not precisely satisfied, but where unbelievable situations continue to exist in
the 21st century.
It is common to hear speeches proclaiming the need for action to give concrete
expression to solutions in favor of the poor and of those who suffer. But in general, this
rhetoric does not generate commitments for the required transformation by a level of
coherence between what one thinks, what one says and what one finally does.
We know that the human wealth of the elderly is one of the most precious values on which
humanity can count; its true heritage that never retires. On the contrary, it is generously
offered to other generations so that they may acquire it, in the context of families, the city
or the neighborhood, parish communities and civil society, the state, international and
multilateral society. In every milieu, the elderly are ready to contribute by their wisdom of
experience of their life of success and failure.
Recovering historical memory is a condition for development and peace, because it entails
a contribution which has been well-proven in the paths of an inestimable value for society.
This memory is transmitted, learned and is enriched with gratitude for what has been lived
and in the celebration of life itself—of what is going on at present—and with the hope and
responsibility of transmitting to future generations a world better than the one we knew.
This personal, communal, social, international and global responsibility cannot be
delegated. It is amplified by the fact that we live in a day of information and knowledge,
where borders are disappearing more and more. This is good in the sense of a functional
integration to development, but it sometimes becomes the route towards a loss of
identities and, more extensively, biodiversity, by generating degrees of increased
exclusion of most people, who do not have real possibilities of leading a full and happy
It is a responsibility that requires well-considered action; a vision open to reality, as well as
paying true attention to the underprivileged. Each one can perform individual good actions
towards others; however, if he collaborates with others and does teamwork, bonds are
created and strengthened. This bonds form a network of a great service potential.
Indeed, care is a basic human necessity. The ethics of care favors bi-multidirectional,
reciprocal, attentive, warm, respectful, trusting and open relationships. According to Boff,
―When we love, we give care. When we give care, we love (…). Care constitutes the
central category of the new paradigm of civilization that is trying to emerge in the whole
Aging gracefully depends on personal care, living the beauty of each age and
strengthening the whole human development, in every domains, physical, intellectual,
moral and ethical, spiritual.
In the family, the accompaniment of the youngest by the eldest places them in contact
with their wisdom. Thanks to solicitude towards the eldest, their care, their spiritual
accompaniment, love given and received, we have a more just and more human world. It
is a question of a realistic and optimistic spirituality, tranquil contemplation, dialogue with
God and with others, productive work in as far as possible, and a continual learning of
what goes on in a material and spiritual world.
In the accompaniment of the elderly and by the elderly, pastoral gerontology uses the
disciplines that study aging and endeavor to associate the ethics of care and compassion,
which is a radial and selfless form of providing care.
Jairo A. Morales Cruz *
* Jairo A. Morales Cruz belongs to the organizing team of I Latin-American Congress of
Pastoral Gerontology, which will be held in Santa Marta, Colombia, on April 27-29, 2006,
with the academic support of the Institute on Aging of the Xaverian University, Bogota,
and the Department of Family and Culture of CELAM and the Vida Ascendente of
Colombia and Latin America.
1 BOFF, Leonardo, Columna Semanal, 26 of julio of 2003, in www.servicioskoinonia,org/boff,
―A LOOK AT THE BEGINNING OF A PONTIFICATE‖
SYMPOSIUM OF THE INTERNATIONAL CATHOLIC CENTER OF GENEVA
We publish the following information, thinking that its theme and lecturers will be of
interest to the participants in the seminar, who will arrive on time to attend it. Hélène
Durand Ballivet informs us that the actual conferences will end around 5:30 p.m. This will
be followed by exchanges with the speakers, and a reception. A car service will begin at
5:30 p.m. to drive the seminar participants to the Bossey Castle, enabling them to arrive
on time for supper at 6:30 p.m. May those who are interested please register at the
“Friday, October 7 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.
- Father Joseph Joblin, Jesuit, professor at the Gregorian Pontifical University of Rome
- Jean-Claude Petit, president of the National Catholic Press Center (France) and author
of ―L’Église après Jean-Paul KK – les dossiers urgents du prochain pape‖
Calmann Levy 2005‖
To register: firstname.lastname@example.org
(Excerpt from the bulletin of the CCIG of June 2005)