Is fraternity in the business world possible?

An online evening was proposed on December 1st, 2020 by the missionary axis "Responsible in society" on the theme of fraternity in the business world. The leaders met with François Prouteau, president of Fondacio, around Pope François' encyclical "Fratelli tutti".

"Fraternity in the business world, is it possible?" It is around this question that 62 managers, leaders and executives from 30 to 86 years old met for a web-meeting, on Tuesday evening, December 1st, 2020.

This evening was animated by the responsible axis in the company and was the occasion for a plenary time in videoconference around François Prouteau, president of Fondacio, for a teaching on the encyclical Tous Frères " Fratelli tutti " of Pope Francois.

The evening began with a time of prayer around the Gospel of Matthew (12 46-50): "Jesus answered him, 'Who is my mother and who are my brothers? ».

How, in the footsteps of Saint Francis, can one live as a brother?

Tuesday's meeting reminded us that the enterprise is a human adventure, made up of men and women gathered to serve and act with the same goal. We are invited by the Pope to be actors of fraternity in our companies which are open to the world.

Teaching by François Prouteau around the encyclical

François Prouteau also addressed the articulation between paternal and fraternal love. Fraternal love calls for human relations of equality and reciprocity, of dialogue from one person to another, and to the infinite. Paternal love helps to generate each human being: to become oneself in relation to the other and as another. As another, this means that identity is always in the process of becoming, that we are fundamentally altered by others who do what we are and become, and also as the Other who is the Son of the Father: "God became man so that man might be made god" (St. Irenaeus, hær. 3, 19, 1). There is a single love which is expressed in different types of expression and which the figures of 'father', 'son' and 'brother' highlight.

This dynamic of love brings us together and invites us to give the best of ourselves as two sides of the same reality, which is that of love to allow the other to become himself and to grow. As leaders, it is up to us to develop these spaces and times to live fraternity. Francis ended with a concrete example. Managing in truth is rooted in a singular experience: God is fraternal love, where love and truth embrace each other.

Being a "shoal of fish" type organisation

This is what Henri-Pierre de Rohan Chabot taught us during his 35 years of involvement in Fondacio. Brotherly love is the compass that transforms the whale companies into fish-bank schools where everyone is connected to each other in a current of love and truth. It is the very image of brotherhood. We are, each one of us, fish that move forward in the current of the Holy Spirit because brotherhood, through the trust it allows, promotes the spirit of love and Truth. The more we enter into the fraternal relationship, the more we will promote this spirit of love and truth because trust will be there and it will be possible to love and be true.

Henri-Pierre de Rohan Chabot promotes five levers to encourage this:
- To marvel at the person in a true way
- Trusting and allowing time for the relationship
- Serve
- Loving each other (as I have loved you)
- Leaving the person free of the relationship

Participatory work according to Fondacio's pedagogy

After a time of solitude, the participants met in small groups to reflect on how to live this fraternity in our companies and what we felt called to do next around the following questions:

1/ Do I personally feel that I embody an attitude of "brotherhood" in my company? Do I have the impression that I live the brotherhood in my company?

2/ In the company, are opportunities or places proposed and developed to allow exchanges in truth?

3/ What invitation do I perceive and what does it commit me to?

The word "company" should be understood in the broadest sense, i.e. all workplaces (companies, associations, administrations...).

The evening ended with the following words :

"God our Father, Creator of the Universe and of every human being working in our company, in your company, help us to spread your word wherever we go, both at work, which is our daily livelihood, and in our business relationships with our customers and suppliers who are, like us, your sons and daughters. "Excerpt from a Prayer by Jean -Robert OUIMET (Canadian businessman who died in 2018)