Celebrated at Vallo Torinese, Italy, on October 8, 2017.
It was in July 1966, during an audience with Pope Paul VI, when some parish priests, who came into contact with the Focolare spirituality, were encouraged to spread its spirit of unity among their parish communities. The following year, Chiara Lubich invited these parish priests and their parishioners to a meeting at the Mariapoli Centre, at Rocca di Papa, Rome. The experience lived during this meeting filled the many who participated with great enthusiasm. Thus the Parish Movement was founded, and soon it spread to parishes all over the world.
The 50th anniversary of this foundation will be celebrated on October 8, 2017 at Vallo Torinese, one of the first parishes to welcome this spirit. Youths and adults will animate this open day event, entitled “50 years of history and passion for the Church”.
An Ecumenical Week promoted by the Focolare Movement will be held at CastelGandolfo, Rome from 9 to 13 May, 2017. Some 700 Christians from 70 Churches and Ecclesial Communities are expected to participate.
“Unity among Churches requires heroes, heroes in faith, heroes who face history, heroes who are humble in spirit”. Pope Tawadros II said these words in Alexandria, Egypt in 2015, when celebrating the first Day of Friendship between the Orthodox Coptic Church and the Catholic Church. During his recent visit to Cairo, Pope Francis repeated the same thought when he said, “In the light of God who wishes us to be ‘perfectly one’ it is no longer possible to take refuge behind the pretext of differing interpretations, much less of those centuries of history and traditions that estranged us one from the other”. The Pope also spoke about “an already effective communion that grows daily”, the mysterious and ever present fruits of “a genuine ecumenism of blood”, and the importance of progress in our ecumenical journey because “static ecumenism does not exist”.
Christians inspired by the Focolare spirituality of unity are convinced of this because of the experience lived in these last years.
The 59th Ecumenical Week, to be held at Castelgandolfo, Rome from the 9 to 13 May 2017, blends into the current ecumenial trend, which brings to the foreground gestures, words and statements of Church leaders and also initiatives of Christians in different parts of the world. 700 Christians hailing from 40 countries and belonging to 70 Churches and ecclesial Communities are expected to attend.
From April 30 to May 7, 2017 United World Week organized by the youth and teenagers of the Focolare Movement.
“The basic theme for United World Week is peace. We will be discussing interior peace, world peace, local peace. We would like to show that peace generates personal and social change; it produces an economy that focuses on the wellbeing of the human person and a politics of service to individuals and communities; it stimulates integration and renewal processes”.
United World Week came into being after Genfest 1995 and since then it has been contributing towards giving visibility to initiatives started by individuals and groups. From April 30 to May7, 2017, the youth of the Focolare Movement will animate initiatives wherever Focolare communities are present. These will be carried out in collaboration with groups, movements, associations and institutions, often through ecumenical and interreligious participation and the involvement of civil and religious authorities.
The world relay Run4Unity, animated mainly by children and teenagers, will be held on May 7 between 11.00 and 12.00 in each time zone.
The 2017 edition of United World Week will also be an occasion to launch the logo of the coming Genfest, the international youth meeting organized by the Focolare Movement to be held in Manila, the Philippines, in July 2018.
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