The newly appointed Publishing Manager, Rosalia Bigliardi Parlapiano is the latest addition to the IUS team. She spoke with us explaining her motivation, her commitment to the new role and her expectations regarding the work at IUS.
Lia, first of all a warm welcome from the IUS team: How was the idea of collaborating with IUS born?
It was a surprise for me when the President of Sophia, Piero Coda, offered me the position. I first met him a few years ago when I was the Director of the Library and Historical Archives in Jesi, which is the centre of the city’s cultural life and closely linked to other organizations and institutions of Marche. My deep involvement with the Focolare Movement upheld not only my personal and family life but also sustained my professional commitments. I keenly followed every step of Chiara Lubich as she expertly weaved the cultural fabric that became the foundation of Sophia. It gave me the opportunity to understand deeply the cultural perspectives that this charism of unity offers. I was so fascinated that upon my retirement I voluntarily offered my expertise, as a token of thanks and as a little contribution to the new cultural paradigm.
What is your previous experience and training?
I come from Emilia in Marche. I am grateful to my husband, Carlo, with whom I had two children, for his continuous encouragement. I worked for thirty years in public libraries: The most significant of which were the years spent in the Planettiana Library of Jesi and in the Library Complex in the Province of Ancona, both of which are rich in antique collections. As a manager I was able to widen the scope of my work from administrative tasks to cultural promotion, from conservation to evaluation, and finally from projection of exhibitions to publications. I attained a graduate degree in Arts and a specialization in Library Science and Bibliography. Moreover, having studied Paleography, Archives, and Diplomacy at the State Archives of Parma certainly helped me a lot at my work. However, my real asset is the true and profound relations that I have built over time with various associations, organizations, and institutions. Together we were able to create a new culture, with the city and for the city, attracting cultural vigor and unexpected financial resources. I also got the opportunity to transmit the rich cultural experience that I had lived, to young people, thanks to the brief period when I was teaching Library Science, Bibliography, and History of Libraries at the University of Urbino.
What do you expect from this experience ... and what do you think the IUS expects from you?
Honestly, I feel honored to have been welcomed to this sacred place where I have witnessed “living books” that bring tiny fragments of their culture to complete this mosaic of unity. I feel grateful to God and to those who have built together this small city of Loppiano, which is called to translate a prophetic and charismatic idea into a social and collective reality. God surprises me every day in ways that go beyond our expectations. I believe that an engagement with IUS reflects the need to live in a coherent way. Only through living together in unity are we able to discern the ways of Wisdom.
What are the initial stages of your work and what are its future prospects?
Currently I am taking care of the publications of the President’s office and the Academic Council which includes Sophia’s relationship with Citta Nuova and others. I also help with the editing of the Sophia journal, which is in the process of revamping its graphics and also undergoing an accreditation process. Regarding the archives, I am working on two tracks at the same time. One concerns the current and historic archive of IUS and the other, the General Archive of the Focolare Movement.