(from Poznan) – “Volunteering shapes modern Europe and is a practical form of solidarity”. This is according to the survey on “Catholic volunteering in Europe” which was presented this morning to the presidents of the European Bishops’ Conferences (CCEE) who are gathered in Poznan, Poland, for their annual plenary assembly. Volunteering – the members of the Institute for Catholic Church Statistics in Poland who carried out the research explained – “is not only about doing or behaving. Volunteering is also about meaning and implies a spirituality. This is why volunteering and religion are strictly intertwined”. The investigation shows that “faith and religious organizations are key components of volunteering and contribute to the spirit of solidarity in Europe”. It also shows that “there is none other institution in Europe which so widely contributes to volunteering and promotes such diverse forms of volunteering than the Catholic Church”. The experts also noted that “engagement in voluntary work goes hand in hand with commitment to the religious community” and contributes to the “Catholic moral” teaching. Indeed, the concept of volunteering implies a Christian vision of man as a “free person”, called to a “disinterested gift of self”. For this reason, “Catholic” volunteering also has formative effects besides being an opportunity for evangelization and youth pastoral ministry. Some non-Catholics who volunteer in Catholic organizations, especially young people, come to Catholic organizations for they are “in search of spirituality”.