In a recent interview with Colm Flynn for EWTN News In Depth, the much loved Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli and his wife Veronica shared their thoughts on their charitable foundation, the COVID-19 pandemic, education, and faith.
While the interview, which can be seen in the video below, is in itself revealing, there are some very useful takeaways that we could all consider in our daily lives.
Ten years ago the Bocellis started a foundation. Andrea explained that it wasn’t something that they had necessarily planned — they were inspired to do it after the horrific earthquake in Haiti in 2011.
It wasn’t a question of the couple actively looking “for that little island far away, but the people calling us heart to heart,” Andrea explained.
From there the couple haven’t looked back. Through their efforts they’ve realized that caring for health and education is primary, and then other works of charity can follow.
Andrea revealed one of the many benefits of the charity work he’s done. By going to Haiti with their foundation, he felt God’s presence. As he explains, when people come together to help others physically and spiritually, they see God’s hand at work: “Whenever there is one or more [people] praying together — pray in this case means just to be together to do something good for somebody else — then God’s there.”
Bocelli has been very open about his strong faith, and he beautifully explains in the interview.
First, the tenor shared the importance of faith in his life: “Let’s say it is a reason for life, because life, even when it lasts 100 years, is an insignificant segment in relationship (comparing) to eternity.”
Perhaps this analogy explains the logic behind his strong convictions:
On personal responsibilities
The Italian maestro acknowledges “to whom much is given much is asked” and he takes his role seriously. “I’ve had a life rich of possibilities, of experiences, so much received is so much I should try to give.”
Yet he appreciates that his success was simply “meant to be,” explaining “things happen because there is a precise design upstream.”
However, he also has a pragmatic approach to life, encouraged by his father. Although his singing abilities were recognized early on, he still studied law as an alternative career choice, just in case.
But Andrea was able to follow his love and talent for music and his success means he is now able to give back a lot, especially through his foundation.
On the pandemic and the future
While the Bocellis experienced COVID-19 in their own household, they got through it relatively unscathed. However, they do appreciate that this has not been the case for millions of others, and as a result we cannot act selfishly: “You cannot just be okay if the rest of the world is not.”
Andrea also points out the many other natural catastrophes experienced centuries beforehand, without all the science and technology we benefit from today. And we survived. “So, one must look with great optimism forward because this time too will pass.”
This is where Bocelli leans heavily on his faith:
With strong faith and hope in their hearts, Andrea and his wife are continuing along their path and working with their foundation. “I wanna believe that whatever we have been able to achieve in the past years is just a kickoff for what we can do in the future.”