The testimony of Bede Baumgartner, Swiss priest in Ivory Coast. The discovery of a vibrant culture and the effort to be close to people through acceptance and deep listening[more]
The Focolare Movement has existed for many years and so has its own history and organisation involving many people.How is this mass of people who make up the Focolare Movement organised? Just as in the human body there is a heart which supports the whole being, the same holds true of the Focolare Movement.
The heart of the Focolare Movement is the people who brought it to birth: the men and women focolarini. Chiara herself defined them, more than once as, “the guardians of the flame of the love of God and their neighbours.” The focolarini live in small single sex communities known as focolares. They have lived out that sentence from the gospel to ‘leave father, mother, children and fields’ in order to follow God, leaving them completely available for the Movement throughout the world. There are also some married people who are part of the focolare communities who are called to a total giving of themselves to God as married people within that community whilst maintaining their commitments and duties as married people.
The Movement is a lay organisation – even the focolarini, although they are consecrated remain immersed in the world and are lay people – there are other people of the Movement who are committed to animate and renew evangelically the structure of society through their witness in family, work, politics. These are known as the men and women volunteers.
Chiara Lubich always held the children and young people of the Movement in the highest regard never hesitating to fully include them in the Ideal of Unity. They responded in a radical way. We call the young people gen.
Since the very start in Trent, Northern Italy, there have been men and women religious from a variety of orders who have made the spirituality of unity their own. The religious who know the Movement belong to both contemplative and active orders. Looking at their orders in the light of Unity has helped them rediscover the beauty of their own founder and as a result of living to bring all to unity have often see a renewal within their own community.
Priests, deacons and seminarians have also made their own the spirituality of the Focolare Movement and in a range of ways have also promoted it to others. Chiara called them ‘men at the service of all’ – as a reference to the Gospel story of the washing of the feet as a model for their ministry.
Since 1977 bishops who have been touched by the spirituality have found ways to build the ‘affective and effective collegiality’ as described in the Second Vatican Council and hoped for by the popes.
In August 1994, the then archbishop Miloslav Vlk, who passed last month, told his story to the residents of Montet, Switzerland.[more]
In Central America, Jaime and his friends propose paths of peace in the face of inner-city violence, while Vietnamese teacher, Tuong, teaches children the Gospel art of loving. Small signs of social change.[more]
The countdown to the launch of the International United World Week continues. They want an open society without walls, and are already building it in very concrete ways.[more]
On Sunday, April 23rd a group from the “Fazenda” from 14 countries visits the Focolare’s International Centre. A story of friendship connected to the spirituality of unity.[more]
While United World Week 2017 is at the countdown stage, here is a proposal for peace launched by Chiara Lubich to thousands of young people, from 92 nations, representatives of various faiths and cultures, who gathered at the Coliseum in Rome on 26 May 2002.[more]