On the occasion of the convention for Italian Religious of the Focolare, the story of Sr. Francesca Vitulano of the Franciscans of the Poor, now assigned to the Philippines after her stint in the international town of Loppiano (Florence).[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.
Johnstone is 22 years old and yet he’s respected and listened to by the village elders. This is due to his incessant work for reconciliation through education and sport which helped him succeed in resolving age-old tribal conflicts.[more]
At the age of ten little Andrew Cicarè was struck by an aggressive disease. In these three years he never stopped smiling, supported by the community of Appignano (Macerata, Italy).[more]
Christmas 1966: While in Loppiano, Chiara Lubich gave the young people two sets of drums as a gift, a green-coloured one to the girls and a red-coloured one to the boys. The international musical bands, Gen Verde and Gen Rosso, were thus born and for 50 years they have been singing the Gospel. To mark the event, a new video clip has been released by Gen Verde.[more]
Many people around the world pause along crowded city streets, drawn by small group of smiling children who are giving away small statues of the Baby Jesus.[more]
A month after her passing, we commemorate one of the first young women who joined Chiara Lubich in the adventure of the first focolare house. Gifted with an inborn serenity, and a builder of peace, she has left us her simplicity as our heritage, and the testimony of giving without measure.[more]