An Echo of Sophia in Austria

The experience of Ulrike Zachhuber


We take from the  Austrian website of the Focolare Movement a  brief presentation of the IUS published in the month of May 2013. Ulrike Zachhuber is a psychiatrist with a practice in Graz. Not only young people under 30, then; among those enrolled in the IUS, there are also professionals who decide to update their career formation with a specialization in "Foundations and prospectives for a culture of unity".


«This does happen at the University Institute Sophia. Ulrike Zachhuber, a psychiatrist from Graz, has asked for a leave of absence from his work to go to Loppiano and experience in person what is defined as a "school of life," but also as a school of " integrated thought ," as is said.  Ulrike underlines what in his view represents an ulterior specificity of the IUS: the internationality of those present and the interdisciplinarian approach.



What were your first impresssions?
I have been here a month already. This is something really new for me: to make of studying an experience of life! Here I reflect and question myself with all of my being, and I am beginning to ‘think’ with more than my cerebral cells...


Is there a central aspect in this experience?

There is the possibility to seek together those truths that are present in every discipline (politics, sociology, history, philosophy, psychology, communication, theology...). Here, together, we can give life to a ‘space’ in which to search for the Truth that is Jesus. And this ‘space’ is generated by mutual listening, because everyone tries to make himself ‘empty’ to welcome the other.


What does it mean in concrete terms?

Integrity: it is a search that involves not only may head and my soul, but my personal history as well, my roots, my experiences, my talents and my limits. It is easier to understand what we experience if you take into consideration that at this very moment, there are students and professors who come from 30 different countries, and each of them contributes by doing what he is meant to do. And this, in the splendid natural environment that is Loppiano.


(Translation in English by editing office)

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