On Saturday, March 4, 2023, in the Generalate in Rome, in an atmosphere of celebration and gratitude, the award ceremony of the International Photo and Drawing Competition held for the 10-year anniversary of the Thouret Foundation was held.

The special occasion also received the Blessing of Pope Francis.

Sister Maria Rosa Muscarella, Superior General of the Sisters of Charity and President of the Thouret Foundation opened the event:

“These ten years stand for the dedication of the congregation and of so many people near and far who want to give an answer to the voice and cry of the poor. St. Jeanne Antide taught us that the poor are our brothers and sisters, wherever they are on earth they must be dear to us. Today, ten years later, we can say that the Foundation has remained faithful to its goal, walking on that road called charity.”

There were the jury president, Paolo Ruffini, prefect of the Holy See’s Dicastery for Communication; Lia Giovanazzi Beltrami, Italian filmmaker and documentary filmmaker. The jury had also included Biagio Tamarazzo, official photographer of the Vatican’s Technical Services; Glorianda Cipolla, president of the Art Mont Blanc association in Courmayeur; Mónica Rosana Porto, sculptor and ceramicist

Paolo Ruffini , addressing the participants, stressed that:

“Your work shows us that you can represent love, you can show it and you can also share it through art, which is the highest form of communication, because it is the one that speaks to people’s hearts and not to the intellect.”

Fr. Paolo Salvini, deputy director of Caritas Rome, was also there. He wanted to tell some stories of men, women, young people, who in the midst of a thousand difficulties and hardships, ask for “another city of Rome, which is possible, starting with what I, you, we can do, with those we already know. In this situation Christian communities have the responsibility to be like a leaven in the dough“.

Fr. Paul then addressed the students and teachers who participated in the Competition:

“It is good to see the images with which these children and youth have expressed charity. The educational work that you sisters and teachers do with them is valuable in cultivating their responsibility. This pedagogical work is in line with the mandate with which Pope Paul VI entrusted Caritas in the Church more than 50 years ago: to support poor people, at the same time maturing the solidarity of the whole Christian community. And you [Sisters of Charity] start from the earliest age”.

The lawyer Marco Petrini, vice-president of the Thouret Foundation and president of the India Group, gave a brief review of the past 10 years, in which the Foundation has been faithful to the spirit of serving the institute, of carrying out the congregation’s initiatives around the world to the best of its ability, obeying 3 key words: formation, in order to better serve and be equipped to face the challenges of modern times; planning, as a way to best intercept all economic resources to be made available to the world’s many needs; and, finally, sustainability, as a questioning of where we are going and with what tools. “I look back on these 10 years,” concluded Adv. Petrini – with a very positive balance: the Foundation I believe has put down good roots. With the hope, in the next 10, 100 years, to bear even more and better fruit.”

Presenters for the award were Anna Moccia, journalist and Editor-in-Chief of Earth and Mission, and Sister Daniela Billo, collaborator of the Thouret Foundation.

Representing all the children, teens and adolescents who sent photos and drawings from different parts of the world were a group of students from the Istituto Comprensivo Regina Coeli in Naples, who participated with great emotion and spontaneity.

La premiazione è stata animata da canti e balli. Tra i gruppi artistici i “Bhangra Brother”, giovani ballerini originari del Punjab. A descrivere la carità attraverso la stessa forma d’arte anche un gruppo di suore vietnamite della congregazione. Presente per animare la celebrazione anche il coro femminile “With Us”.

Ha chiuso in maniera solenne la proclamazione della Benedizione del papa:

The award ceremony was enlivened by singing and dancing. Among the art groups were the “Bhangra Brothers” young dancers originally from Punjab. Also depicting charity through the same art form was a group of Vietnamese nuns from the congregation. Also present to enliven the celebration was the female choir “With Us

The ceremony was solemnly closed with the proclamation of the Pope’s Blessing:

“His Holiness, Francis, wholeheartedly imparted the apostolic blessing to Sister Maria Rosa Muscarella, the collaborators and benefactors of the Thouret Foundation on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the institution, and invokes on all a renewed outpouring of divine enlightenment and favor, so that the significant anniversary may strengthen and increase in each of them the commitment to concretely live true love, in an ever more intense and effective exercise of the Gospel of Charity, thus contributing to let God’s light enter the world.”

For the winners and to learn about the competition works visit the Foundation’s official page by clicking here.

Link to the Youtube video by clicking here.