Lawyer Flavia Cerino lives in Sicily, Italy, and works in the field of immigration. She is a guardian of minors who travel alone without families.[more]
At the time that Chiara and her first companions began their adventure in Trent (Northern Italy) the town had a population of about ten thousand. The girls’ actions had a real effect on the people and also on the Church. Both the elderly and the young were left speechless seeing the unusual life lived by the girls living in the ‘little house’ in Piazza Cappuccini, the first ‘focolare’. In this humble apartment the poor were at home. In fact the social problems of the city, ruined by the War, were problems the girls made their own. They believed that they could solve the problems by simply believing the truth in the words of the Gospel. By loving each neighbour one after the other.
Chiara wrote: ‘Among all the Words in the gospel we noticed immediately all those for our charism concerned specifically with evangelical love towards each neighbour, not only the poor, as when we read in the Gospel that Jesus had said “Whenever you did this for one of the least important of these brothers of mine (and that means everyone), you did it for me.” (Mt 25,40). Our old way of understanding our neighbour and loving them crumbled. If Christ was in some way in everyone, discriminations couldn’t be made, nor could preferences. Our normal way of reasoning of classifying people was thrown into the air: fellow country man or foreigner, old or young, beautiful or ugly, likeable or not, rich or poor, Christ was behind each one, Christ was in each one. “Another Christ” really was each neighbour – if grace enriched his soul – or “another Christ”, a Christ proud – if he was still far from Him.
Living like this, we realised that our neighbour was our way to reach God. It seemed that our neighbour was an arch we had to pass under in order to meet God. We experienced this right from the start. In the evening, during prayers or in a moment of recollection, after we had loved God in our brothers all day we had such union with God. Who gave us that consolation, that interior balm which was so new, celestial if not Christ who, from His Gospel lived “give and you shall be given”? (Lk 6,38) We had loved Him all day in those brothers and now He loved us. This inner gift was such a benefit! They were the first experiences of the spiritual life, of the reality of a kingdom which is not of this earth. So, in the marvellous way that the Spirit showed us, love for our brother was a new cornerstone of our spirituality.’
Estelle, a social worker in the medical world, decided to place herself at the disposal of the Fraternity with Africa project. She had previously received a scholarship from the project and now donates time, dedication and professional experience.[more]
She was part of that first group of the growing Focolare Movement in Trent and she devoted her time to the expansion of the ideal of unity among different peoples and cultures embracing the poor and disadvantaged in humanity (March 21, 1925 – May 9, 2015)[more]
“The Outlook of the Economy of Communion: Innovation and Generative Power: Excerpts of a talk by Luigino Bruni at an international congress in Kenya, promoted by the Economy of Communion (May 27 – May 31, 2015)[more]
The preparatory phase of the 5th National Ecclesial Congress of Italy to be held in Florence, brought together some ecclesiastic realities that are particularly active in the frontlines of service to the marginalised and all-around dialogue. Also the Focolare’s President, Maria Voce, was invited to speak.[more]