Interview with Katarína Hulmanová, Forum of Christian institutions, Slovakia
The "Second Catholic Social Days for Europe” will take place very soon in Madrid. What are your expectations?
Katarína Hulmanová: From the Catholic Social Days for Europe I expect the encouragement for our small and large participating efforts in building up the Kingdom of God. I expect a sharing and enriching experience of the universal dimension of the Church. The current political situation in several post-communist countries is not very optimistic. We, the lay people, are often avoiding our own responsibility to be engaged in the public life. But as the Pope reminds us: „Even if many are now involved in the lay ministries, this involvement is not reflected in a greater penetration of Christian values in the social, political and economic sectors.“ (Evangelii gaudium 102.)
I am lucky to be part of a family where several generations live together. Life brings different situations: both joys and sorrows. I consider the gift of a broad family community very valuable. A functioning family is a viable unit and there is no other institution that could face life with all its challenges so effectively. Families have huge potential in our society. Therefore I am glad that the Second Catholic Social Days pay attention to topics, such as family, marriage and intergenerational relations.
More and more I realise that the issue of poverty does not only have a materialistic side. To choose the right means of helping poor people is not an easy task. The real help means getting closer to them, taking sufficient time to listen to their concerns, showing them love and respecting their dignity. It is inevitable to change our perception concerning poor people. One should understand that the main problem with poverty is not only money, food or housing. We should rather help each other in carrying our sorrows and problems and open up our households and lives which are very often too much planned and secured. Especially now, when due to the many conflicts people remained without basic living standards, it would be unacceptable if we did not show solidarity by the good example of our lives and attitudes.