In Ascoli Piceno, a city in Central Italy, the Focolare is present in numerous parishes of the city, in many ecclesial bodies, aside from the many environments of professional and civic life. In fact, many of our co-citizens have come to know the Ideal of unity, through the meetings proposed by the Diocesan Movement of the Focolare.
We dream that our city can become a city of fraternity, we look first of all at the relationships that animate it, at the good that circulates, at the abundant commitments of many in the different sectors and we are amazed. We try to weave a network of relationships among people, lay and religious institutions, associations, movements, highlighting their specific characteristic with the aim of realizing the common good. The city thus becomes a laboratory of fraternity.
With this goal in mind we have constituted an association whose title already expresses our objective “Amolamiacitta’ (Ilovemycity)” onlus. A “transversal” consensus is built around it among associations and movements of civil society who start to work for fraternity together with us. The public institutions also have started to collaborate with us through this new instrument that we are equipped with.
There are numerous initiatives that have started, involving the different ecclesial realities present in the city, together with the members of the Movement and many citizens. Some examples are the “United World Week” of the youth, the “Spring Bazaars” of the teens, the “Feast of fantasy”, held during the period of the Carnival, the “Family Week”, “City onstage”, with the involvement of the schools of various arts in the city, the vacations in the snow “On skis together is better”, the “Room of marvels”, wherein beauty is profoundly shared, and which has become the “venue” of knowledge of the marvels of the world. Then there is also the project “And the city… as a school”, the campaigns against gambling, “Everyone’s New Year Celebration”, maybe a true icon of the entire project “I-love-my-city”. During the New Year in fact, we can see how our city becomes a city of fraternity the way we dream it should be, characterized by a sense of family that shortens distances, drives away all fears and makes diversity beautiful.
A fruit of all this life that floods the city was lived by us in 2009 when the “Chiara Lubich Award for fraternity” was given to Ascoli Piceno for the project “I-love-my-city”. The Municipal Council, in the speeches expressed the desire that the granting of the award would mark a new way of working for the city, a “compromising” of personal positions and of one’s political party in view of the common good.
The city of Ascoli is also well-known for the precious bobbin lace, that are made by the weaving together of many fine threads by expert hands that at times are truly masterpieces. We feel that linked by reciprocal love we can weave many bonds of fraternity with everyone and contribute towards opening our city to a united world.
(R.C. Ascoli Piceno)