Focolare Movement » Arts & Entertainment Official International Website Wed, 02 Sep 2015 10:17:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 USA: Dialogue and the difficult questions Wed, 02 Sep 2015 06:00:27 +0000 20150901-02In 1998, Chiara Lubich established the Education for Dialogue Centre in Mariapolis Luminosa, the Focolare’s permanent Mariapolis in the State of New York. For that occasion she wrote: “May all those who take part in the activities of this centre also feel like builders of this new reality, collaborating with love, patience, mutual understanding and solidarity, in order to create an island of peace and a sign of unity for today’s world. . . may it especially be a school where one learns to live out this love, which is the only thing that can make the peoples of the earth a single family.”

“These words from Chiara also informed a recent meeting of August 15 and 16 at the North American Mariapolis, titled: Dialogue and the Difficult Questions. It was attended by a hundred people and it focused on how to dialogue and communicate with people who think differently.”

20180901-01There were also very valuable contributions by four experts in moral theology and political theories from Fordham University (New York), Providence College (Rhode Island) and Georgetown University (Washington D.C.). They write: “We began with some words from Chiara Lubich on the dialogue that emerges particuarly from the spirituality of unity which, if practiced, helps to transform people’s relationships with eah other.”

Charlie Camosy (Fordham) and Amy Uelman (Georgetown), examined the “reasons why USA society is so polorised by opposing positions and how the walls between people could be broken down by listening and being open to others.” Dana Dillon (Providence College) dealt with the delicate relationship between love and truth, based on one of the main points of the spirituality of unity: Jesus forsaken. The theologian presented Him as the true model of dialogue inasmuchh as “He entered into the disunity of that moment in which He felt abandoned by the Father, unifying the greatest division possible, the one between Heaven and earth.”

In the afternoon there was an interactive programme offered by Claude Blanc, a leadership coach and team work consultant, who guided the participants in several exrecises in “learning to listen deeply and without pretexts.” A reflection on “Different Ways of Communicating” (imposing, discussing, trying to convince the other, and focusing on the common good), given by Bill Gould (Fordham),brought the session to a perfect conclusion.

20180901-03The roundtable discussion on Sunday, evidenced the need for being prepared to confront some current burning issues as well as the challenges of daily life.

Two impressions: “The workshop on listening helped me to see how importnat and fruitful this can be in daily relationships;” “I leave quite enriched by this experience.”

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Gen Verde: On the Other Side Mon, 17 Aug 2015 06:00:05 +0000 Gen Verde On the Other Side

Eleven songs in five languages: English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Korean.

47 minutes of pop-rock and world music, full of passion, force, vitality in music and words branded Gen Verde.

According to the band’s manager, Sally McAllister, “This album is autobiographical and biographical at the same time.” It is an affirmation shared by all the members of the group. In fact, as they say, “It is biographical because the undisputed protagonist of this album is humanity that recounts its story: of people in the face of present-day challenges, the tragedies and conquests, history which marks the world’s pace, people moving along the roads of the planet in search of a land, dignity, and a place they can call their home.”

But it is also autobiographical, since it is “imbued with our own stories and the musical cultures we come from.”

“We wanted to try our hand,” the Gen Verde members say, “in recounting the moments and facts that marked a turning point in our lives. Different paths, with various departure points from physical sites and soul places that oftentimes are diametrically opposed but which all target that sole horizon of fraternity.”

In fact, “Every piece tells a story, such as Voz de la verdad, a homage to Oscar Romero,” says the Salvadorean, Xochitl Rodríguez. And also Chi piange per te? –  the cry of thousands of migrants on the banks of the Mediterranean, which continues to echo across Africa to Europe, and in every continent where people are forced to leave in order to survive. Another song You’re Part of Me is the interrupted story of the Korean people, who refuse to give in to the scandal of separation. The musical arrangement is K-pop, a genre that is very popular today with the young Koreans, and says the desire for unity is not an issue of 70 years ago, but is one of today, of this generation that will not give up.”

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PRESET Eco-sustainability Project in Argentina Tue, 28 Apr 2015 06:00:55 +0000

Diapositiva123Forty-two professionals of eight different countries in Europe and Latin America accepted the invitation. The event which was held in the Focolare’s Lia town at the outskirts of Buenos Aires, not only hosted the seminar (9-21 March) financed by the European Union, but was also subjected to the study for the creation of a sustainable management and development model of a sustainable place to live in. To coincide with these times when we feel the urgency of questioning ourselves on the environment and promoting the quest for new technologies – with the planet’s survival at stake – the initiative was joined by the group, “Dialogue in Architecture,” a network of scholars and experts of the sector, inspired by the spirituality of the Focolare, given the actuality of the theme.

By immersing themselves in the discovery of the territory and its structures, the youth started by studying the PRESET (“Participation, Resilience and Employability through Sustainability, Entrepreneurship and Training”), a study project promoted by the association Starkmacher – on the sustainability of the towns of the Focolare – and other partners such as the Fazenda da Esperança (Brazil), Fundación Unisol (Bolivia), New Humanity ((an NGO with Special Consultative Status within the Economic & Social Council of the United Nations) and Economy for tomorrow (Slovenia), and to work specifically on an integral eco-sustainable proposal for the town of Lia.

The youth participated in five thematic workshops guided by the value of fraternity as a lifestyle, and reached an integral eco-sustainable proposal (Ecocity Mariapolis) in which they involved all the inhabitants of the town, and also the youth of the district who attended for an afternoon to recount and speak of the environment.

Diapositiva097The EcoCity Mariapolis that will implement the proposal while respecting the history of the town and carrying out concrete dialogues with its inhabitants, created during the seminar, a biogas system for one of the houses of the town, and explained the procedure to make compost, a study for the installation of a photovoltaic system, for the insulation of the constructions in order to save energy and for the replacement of bulbs with Led lights and many more. This seemed to be a step by step growth in the education on the environment. A set of didactic handouts will be prepared for the inhabitants and the visitors of the Mariapolis, to be diffused also in schools through the Web.

Also art was utilised for the efficacy of the proposal through the creation of a line of products (hair, hats, etc.) decorated with ethnic motifs and produced with ecologic material, and with a theatre performance connected to the theme.

A pleasant coincidence in those days was that the Dean of Sophia University Institute of Loppiano, Prof. Piero Coda, happened to be visiting the town and said: «I think this is not just a coincidence. Perhaps it is God’s design that is leading to something new, and creating a network of communion, work for solidarity and justice.»

Francesco from Udine gave a significant testimonial: «I work as an architect and am doing a Master’s in almost zero energy buildings. What I found most interesting in this workshop is the fact that people with diverse potentials and specializations are working together, and not only architects like us. I think this is the most enriching part for everyone: starting off with different potentials to reach a common objective which is that of sustainability, not only from the environmental but also from the economic and social points of view.»

Likewise Riccardo, an Italian architect, is convinced of the importance of working together: «I firmly believe that what I can do is but a small part, while together we could reach the objectives that will allow the entire society to exploit the resources well, and create satisfactory wellbeing for everyone including professionals. »


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Mumbai: Young Performers in a Musical Tue, 17 Mar 2015 06:00:00 +0000


6 weeks of preparatory work, 34 actors and an audience of 250 people 36 thousand rupees gathered, equivalent to about €500 which is quite remarkable, considering that the sum will allow 10 adolescents of the city to participate in the 5-day programme to be held in Mumbai.

The Focolare has been in India from 1980. Today there are centres in Mumbai, Bangalore, Goa and New Delhi that promote various activities: Mariapolis, monthly meetings for adults, families and the youth. In various cities –Vasai, Pune, Panjim, Margao, Vasco, Trichy – there are active groups that have adhered to the spirit of the Focolare.

This year, the great goal ahead regards the United World Week (SMU), annual appointment of the Youth for a United World with the objective of diffusing the steps undertaken towards fraternity in various parts of the world.

The SMU 2015 transits through India. As occurred last year in Africa, the event that highlighted the Ubuntu concept, this time the event will focus on the subcontinent, cradle of an enormous variety of ethnic and religious groups that will host the main event of the week in Mumbai, from27 April to1st May, to conclude in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu (southern India), on 4 May.

Already in 2009 Coimbatore had hosted the “Gen 3 Supercongress”, with adolescents from all over the world, and with the cooperation of the Gandhian movement Shanti Ashram.

As can be imagined there was an enormous load of work for the preparations of all the details- Due to this the entire Focolare Community of the city has decided to roll up their sleeves and support the youth in this initiative.

A first concrete job was to prepare their own musical “The brook in the woods,” staged last 22 February. A story that begins with the message of unity which the Gen4 (the children of the Focolare Movement) sing about. Rehearsals, performed with enthusiasm and commitment by the children, and even with some unexpected problems that came up: the day before musical two of them got sick with high fever and the authors had to change the lyrics!

“My children are so happy!” a mother explained, They made new friends and say that they miss the rehearsals., even more than their schoolmates, because they were so happy to be together.”

“Even if the children are talented in song or dance,” another mother said, “it’s so nice to see these talents used for a beautiful and valuable cause.”

भारत की ओर से आप सभी को बधाई (Bharat ki ora se aap sabhi ko badhai)

Greetings from India!

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From Mosul to Lyon: a painful exile Wed, 11 Mar 2015 06:00:56 +0000

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March 8, 2015: International Women’s Day Sun, 08 Mar 2015 06:00:29 +0000 MariaVoce_2014_aToday, each of us will certainly be remembering the countless women who have been a part of our life beginning with the one who gave us life. Then there were the wives, fiancées, sisters, grandmothers, aunts, baby-sitters, teachers, nuns, catechists, schoolmates, professors, nurses, cashiers, housekeepers, and now astronauts. Today we would like to celebrate women by presenting some thoughts by Focolare president, Maria Voce that were shared in interviews to the Brazilian television network TVNazaré, and Cidade Nova. The interviews are from 2014 when Voce visited Brazil.

The woman’s role in the Church began with Mary, in the first community of Jerusalem where she had a very particular role among the Apostles. Men’s predominant role is traceable throughout the history of the Church, above all in the roles of governance and in the ministerial priesthood which is exclusively for men. This meant that priests identified themselves with the Church hierarchy and women were represented as somehow less important in the Church.

Since then an evolution has taken place not only in the Church, but in human society where women have slowly gained important roles. Perhaps in some contexts and cultures they were already acknowledged, but in western culture women had to make their way on their own.”

When God created humankind in his own image and likeness he didn’t make only one creature, he made a man and a woman, two different creatures. He created them in this diversity so that they might compliment each another and bear witness, even in the diversity of their roles and functions, to humankind’s God-given filiation and therefore equality. I think this is gradually emerging in politics and society. Never before have we seen so many women among the world figures, taking on important roles as presidents of countries and states. The presence of women in the Church needs to grow, above all the witness of her specific charism; that is, to show that love is more important than governing; that you cannot govern without love.”

A greater positive feminine influence could have important effects not only for the Church but also for society. You immediately notice the presence of a woman in business, for example, in state government, because it creates a contrast and shows up that complimentarity between men and women. Pope Francis is someone who appreciates the contribution of women. The sweetness and tenderness of which he often speaks are important traits that are more feminine than masculine.”

“The ability to welcome, support and give are the typical qualities of a mother who brings children into the world and, when the time comes, let’s them go. The skills of attachment and detachment also influences positively on governing. Someone asked me: ‘How can you reconcile love and governance?” I answered that you cannot govern without love. You can’t. Whenever you exercise authority without love, it’s not governance, it’s oppression.”




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Gen Rosso: CAMPUS The Musical Wed, 25 Feb 2015 06:00:33 +0000 Campus_Musical“It’s 7:00 in the morning of 28 April at the central station. A day and place that the students of Campus will never forget. Something unexpected is about to happen and… they have to make their choice: this is the moment!” A scene of great emotive and theatrical impact opens CAMPUS, the new musical of Gen Rosso, in a preview on 14 and 15 March 2015 in Loppiano, at the International Centre’s Auditorium.

The first world Tour will start in Naples on 28 and 29 March 2015 at the Mediterraneo Mostra d’Oltremare Theatre.

Prompted by an original idea of Chiara Lubich, the work in fact is drawn from real events and staged after 10 years of thematic and artistic research.

The campus is like the cities we live in

Valerio Ciprì says: «It immediately appeared to me that the campus environment is really a metaphor of the daily life co-existence of our globalised cities. Today cities are the settings of dramatic contradictions that range from decline to delinquency, drug addiction to corruption, and places of redemption in which citizens repossess their space for solidarity and humanity. This is precisely the message Campus conveys: we cannot build a united society by annulling our differences, but by facing the challenges and rolling up our sleeves to create authentic relationships. Against the background of an era, our present time, marked by the drama of fear and terrorism, the stories of a group of students unravel on stage, each with his dreams and projects for the future, and a present heavily burdened with wounds, anguish and queries.»

A daring show, amid engaging sounds and pressing issues

The musical is composed of 23 pieces, choreographic transitions interacting with film sequences, theatre actions and movement. «The artistic project is the result of the team work of international professionals» – Beni Enderle explains. «The sounds are forceful and rich in style contaminations and harmonic inter-wefts, with melodies that range from the buoyancy of Latin atmospheres to the pathos of Afro rhythms, in a synthesis of forceful and captivating sounds.»

«As we delve deeper into the story and the atmosphere of the show – Josè Manuel Garcia continues – one feels the onset of a global reality that emerges from a narrative layout that goes straight into the heart of contemporary challenges, within an original and strictly live sound track that covers the rhythms and sounds of Rock, Pop, Reggae, Samba-axe, Contemporary electronic, Hip-hop and up to Dubstep…».

The stage scenery is avant garde. Jean Paul Carradori says: «I have worked in many international productions. Campus for me was an unexpected challenge due to its strong drama and theatrical layout. We had to create a setting that highlights the contents and at the same time leads the spectator to immerse into the story. »

Produced by the Gen Rosso International Performing Arts Group (16 artists from 9 nations) in an innovative, artistic, technical, directive and managerial work methodology, the Musical is the fruit of the convergence and synergy of an international team.

Pre-sales tickets: CLICK HERE  (tel.055 9051102 – mail

On-line: tickets can be bought on the Internet at: concerto 14/03concerto 15/03

Download the poster


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Gen Rosso: #CampusTheMusical Wed, 04 Feb 2015 06:00:57 +0000

Preview the music at the international band’s website focussed on the issue of integration

Love is able to understand

And sweetly lift your burdens,

It feels your destiny to be its own.

It offers mind and heart to you.

(From “L’arte universale” / Campus: The Musical)

For tickets and other information see

See also


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Chiara Lubich and the Family Mon, 02 Feb 2015 08:45:49 +0000 20150202-01Chiara Lubich’s spirituality invites us to be open to communion first of all in our own families and, once there’s unity in our own families, to open ourselves to other families. No family is an island. We all feel the need to share our spiritual and material possessions, our time and our abilities, so that a network is built that is doing something that helps the world that is waiting for a love won’t give up, and always begin again.”

Anna and Alberto Friso sounded quite delighted as they remarked on the opening of the Cause of Beatification of Chiara Lubich last January 27, 2015 in Frascati, Italy. They knew the foundress of the Focolare Movement personally and for twelve years were in charge of the New Families Movement, one of the Movement’s first family associations. They took on that role just after marrying and travelling from Padua to Rocca di Papa to take part in a family conference with their first newborn son.

“We were very struck that a consecrated woman could have the family so much at heart and that her ideal could also be applied to our vocation as a married couple,” they recalled. Not only: “Chiara was a modern woman, pretty but not flashy, elegant but not affected, with an appealing and harmonious way of expressing herself,” the Frisos noted. “We were coming from the province, two simple working people, clumsy. With great simplicity and firm conviction she told us that Jesus was also counting on us, as individuals, but also as a family.” Lubich was indeed convinced that her spirituality was especially suited for families, because in its original design, it was a small community of people united by love.”

Currently, Alberto and Anna take care of the non-profit “Action for new families” group, which provides adoption at a distance in the world’s southern hemishpere. When they were in charge of the New Families they would meet with the foundress regularly: “She listened to the problems and the projects, but mostly she gave us the courage without which it would have proven difficult for two poor creatures like us to carry ahead a movement made of so many families, and on the global level. She offered guidelines, affirmed and dreamt with us. But most often she expressed her trust and confidence in us married people.”

Members of the Pontifical Council for the Family the Friso’s had also been invited by Chiara to give attention to separated couples, divorced and remarried people, which she described as “the face of Jesus crucified and forsaken.” Chiara’s charism continues to announce God’s divine love for each and everyone,“a conviction not only found in Scripture, but in the proofs of personal experience, from our own lives. It’s an announcement that turns out to be efficacious also for those who have perhaps lost hope or faith, or think that separation is already inevitable. If God loves me, if he gave his life for me, then I should – I can! – respond to that love by loving the person next to me. And who are more next to one another than a married couple, their children and other family members?”Alberto and Anna argued: “If we sincerely place ourselves on a ray of love that draws on the Absolute, then everything becomes possible: acceptance, service, listening, disinterested love, free-giving and forgiveness. . .”


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A Mexican family: reciprocal welcome Sun, 01 Feb 2015 06:00:49 +0000 20150131-01Two voices intertwine in a crescendo of suffering and of hope, of deep emotion and of wonder. They lead us to discover the secret which has brought them to recompose that unity which seemed to be irreparably broken. It is Fili who begins their story: “Nacho and I have been married for 24 years and we have two children. I am the sixth of eleven siblings. There were many sufferings in my family, like that of discovering that my father had another wife and other children and this made me suffer a lot.”

“Me, too, as a child,” Nacho continued, “I suffered due to the absence of my father and the lack of attention from my mother. It was my maternal grandmother who took care of me. With Fili we were in love when we got married, but there was a great existential emptiness wherein each one of us identified with the other. We united our solitude, but we didn’t know each other deeply and soon enough we realized that we didn’t know how to love and even what love means.”

“Our problems started from the very beginning of our marriage – Fili continued. I was very jealous and possessive, up to the point that Nacho had to continuously change jobs».  «Her attitude – Nacho followed – caused feelings of resentment, anger and frustration in me and the discussions between us were never-ending. Our children were born and grew up in this kind of unhospitable atmosphere. Both Fili and I loved them very much, but since there was no love between the two of us, we thought that we could fill this up by showering them with material goods, when instead we should have given them a listening ear, tenderness and affection. Thus 15 years passed. Disappointed by this situation, I left our home. I had already done this before, but every attept to come back and rebuild our relationship failed. What could I do, I asked myself, when a relationships is completely broken?”

Fili continued: “In fact for me it was impossible to rebuild it, so much so that I allowed him to return only because I saw how the children suffered because they needed him. One Saturday evening,” Nacho said, “I was watching a boxing match on TV. It didn’t seem to be interesting so I changed the channel. I happened to see a religious program and out of curiosity I continued to watch it. There was a woman (later on I learned that it was Chiara Lubich) who was speaking about Love. Her word had such a strong impact on me. At the end of her talk, they showed some images of the little town of the Focolare Movement in Mexico, that is situated near our town, but which I didn’t know about».

“So, the next day,” Fili continued, “we went to Mass at the El Diamante (this is the name of the little town) with the whole family. There I was struck by the way they welcomed us, it was as if they had known us from the beginning. The Mariapolis, a gathering which was going to be held precisely there, was just a week away but we decided to go. The proposal on the first day was the phrase from the Gospel: “Forgive seventy times seven times”. I asked myself: is it possible to forgive always? I found the answer when they spoke to us of Jesus Forsaken: He didn’t only forgive us but he gave his life for us. I realized that in front of such a love, my sufferings were very small. It was not easy to start again, but the Word “Forgive seventy times seven times” has always helped me to do it.”

“For me too,” Nacho confided, “‘that Mariapolis turned my life upside down. I learned how to have faith in God for whom everything is possible. With Fili we have learned how to love each other in our diversity. Slowly we have fallen in love once again with one another. We discovered a fullness of love that we have never experienced before, not even when we were engaged, because now we love each other in freedom, in God.”


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