11 january, 2020
Shrine organises the International Meeting “Children, Death and Mourning”
The meeting will take place on 7-10 May as part of the celebrations that mark the centenary of Saint Francisco and Saint Jacinta Marto’s death
The Shrine of Fatima will hold on 7-10 May the “Children, Death and Mourning” International Meeting, and will gather in Fatima experts in different fields and areas of knowledge of civil society and Church, ranging from education to pastoral and health.
The meeting is being prepared by a national Working Group of experts in the aforementioned areas of knowledge. In the context of the centenary of the deaths of the little shepherds Saint Francisco and Saint Jacinta Marto, the event aims to propose the Portuguese Society a process of reflection on children’s death, children in mourning and mourning for children.
“In a historical context marked by the denial of death and of dying, the Shrine wants to gather those in the fields of education, health and the pastoral who face the difficulties of accompanying children who are dying or in mourning and adults mourning for children”, states a document produced by the working group following a Seminar on this theme that took place on November 23, which gathered experts and people responsible for about 40 organisations from civil society and Church, acting in the three fields involved in this process, in order to deepen together the diagnosis made by the working group and set out guidelines to continue the process.
The working group stated that the cultural and social uneasiness about death, and its consequent process of denial, is intensified when it comes to the death of a child, and the Shrine, which since its origin has been a place of convergence of suffering and a refuge for sufferers, starting with the protagonists of the Fatima event, cannot remain outside this debate.
The International Meeting which will be held in the Shrine’s premises will seek to promote a comprehensive look at this multifaceted reality which requires a multidisciplinary approach, and will also feature formative moments, with conferences in plenary sessions and round tables in parallel sessions, as well as thematic workshops on the good practices already existing in Portugal, and a few cultural activities which will project the themes through different artistic expressions, including performing arts.
Issues such as the sociocultural Status of death and dying, the social and individual incompetence to deal with the loss, the risky behaviours, the way media deal with the death of children, as well as the answer that each one gives to this experience of death, loss and mourning, will all be in debate during the International Meeting of May.