These days each one of us is asked to love, have unity, share, give solidarity. And the churches are asked to repair the centuries old splits …. This is the needed step towards universal brotherhood. With all men and women of the world”. (Chiara Lubich)
On Saturday 12th March there will be an Ecumenical Day held in Trent (Northern Italy) : Chiara Lubich; Charism and a Life for the unity of Christians”. The day is one event is of the many to be held in a number of Italian cities in remembrance of the founder of the Focolare Movement on the third anniversary of her death – 14th March 2008.
Trent, the “hinge” between the great Latin and Germanic civilisations, the birthplace of Chiara Lubich, will host the event. The participants will be formally welcomed by the local civil and religious authorities: Mayor Alessandro Andreatta and t Archbishop Luigi Bressan. Participants are coming from 36 countries and about 20 Churches. Simultaneous translations will be provided in 17 languages. The ‘show’ – broadcast on Telepace live and via the internet (9.50 – 12.30 and 15.00 – 17.40 Italian time) – will be held in the Teatro Sociale, and have a live link with a marquee erected in the ancient Piazza C. Battisti.
It is expected that messages will be read from: Patriarch Bartholomew II of Istanbul, as well as Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council Promoting Unity of Christians and Rev. Olaf Tveit, secretary general of the Ecumenical Council of Churches. Maria Voce, President of the Focolare Movement will offer a reflection.
The day will enable greater understanding of the specific contribution the charism of Chiara Lubich has made to the unity of Christians, which is the needed step towards universal brotherhood. The programme will unfold through sharing of experiences, reflections and music offered by Christians from many churches places such as China, South Africa, Egypt, Lebanon, Cuba as well as East and Western Europe.
Through the talks to be given by Marco Tecilla and Gabriella Fallacara we will hear the story of the 50 years of ecumenical dialogue which has been brought ahead by “Centro Uno”, the Focolare Movement’s office for the unity of Christians which Chiara Lubich founded and was supported from the beginning by Igino Giordani.
The day is also part of an international Ecumenical week being held at the “Chiara Lubich” Mariapolis Centre in Cadine (Trent) from 11th to 16th March. The 400 people taking part in this event have the opportunity to visit places in the city which are historically linked with the development of the Movement.
Last year, again on the anniversary of Chiara Lubich’s death, the founder of the Focolare movement was remembered in an event with an interreligious profile in Rome at the Campidoglio (Italian government). It is noteworthy that this year’s ecumenical event is hosted in Trent, not only because it is the birthplace of the Movement but also because the Council of Trent took place there (from 1545 – 1563) an indicator of its vocation to become a “bridge city” and a “city of dialogue”.