Pandocheion: the house of life in common

A week spent in the spirit of sharing and fraternity. This is how we could sum up in simple words the experience of life in common that took place from the 9th to the 15th December at the Oratory house of Ospiate. After whole weeks of preparation spent in setting up, taking measures, furnishing, mounting beds and tables, the house was finally ready to welcome us and to start the proposal addressed to the group of the Oratory youths.

The day used to begin at 7 a.m. with a moment of prayer together, followed by breakfast. Each one then went off to his/her business: some went to work, others to the university while others remained in the house to study. But the most pleasant was undoubtedly at the end of the day, when the most skilled cooks used to get down to work to prepare dinner in a very creative manner. We spent the evening together with other friends, chatting and playing games, while drinking the inevitable herbal tea. We ended our day with the prayer of Compline.

Briefly, it’s an opportunity to live one’ own daily life in simplicity, while focusing on our being together. This is how the week of life in common turned out to be an occasion to grow, to break our personal patters, to learn from the example of those around us and especially to take care of each other though simple gestures and being more attentive.

But the week of life in common was also an opportunity to practice hospitality. In fact we had numerous guests who very often stayed for lunch, dinner or simply to spend the evening together. This is where the name chosen for the house came from: “Pandocheion” (from Greek, “inn”), taking up the image taken from the parable of the Good Samaritan. And this is what the house aims to be, a welcoming and hospitable place where fraternity can be experienced in an open manner, without withdrawing within itself but going out to meet others.

Therefore, it’s a precious occasion, not only to experience the beauty of being together and live a quality of laughter and joy, but also to share, daily activities and prayer, just like in a family, living the experience of brotherly life.