“Be the Bridge”

April 24  –  May 2,  2013

At Jerusalem in the name of universal brotherhood

120 young people from 20 different countries and representing tens of thousands of others from all over the world will be in Jerusalem from April 24 to May 2 to live together  the event that will conclude the Year of the Genfest.  They have  chosen theHoly Land,  a country of contrasts and divisions but an essential hub for a future of peace,  where they want to “be bridges” of  fraternity.

The programme includes academic and interreligious events.   Very significant ones are the “Forum on Universal Brotherhood”  to be held atBethlehemUniversity, the meeting with Vera Baboun,  and the interreligious symposium atJerusalem, where Rabbi Ron Kronish, director of ICCI  will  participate.

These young people will also have the  opportunity to  meet the local people and get to know about their everyday life;  amongst these locals there will be  members of the Focolare  Movement in this region.    Among the various activities taking place during these days, there are workshops for school children  that come from Jewish and Palestinian towns. These workshops are being organised by the musical groups  Gen Rosso and Gen Verde and the highlight of this activity will be the two concerts performed.

On May 1 there will be a flashmob and  a march for  peace inJerusalem. Thousands of youth  from all over the world will participate in the concluding programme through direct streaming. Direct link-ups with Loppiano (FI), Mumbai andBudapestare planned as part of this programme.

United World Week, the annual event organised  by the youth of the Focolare Movement since 1996 will start from here.  This is the tip of the iceberg of a commitment to promote unity and peace at all levels. So, “let us be ready” in line with the United World Project,   launched  precisely at Genfest 2012.

This broad commitment wants to be an answer to Pope Francis’ appeal to youth: “Do not let yourselves be robbed of hope” and it is a step towards World Youth Day 2013 at Rio di Janeiro.

Press Release  n°1


“Be the Bridge” website

Updated on April, 27th 2013


SIF – Focolare Information Service

Oreste Basso, focolarino very close to Chiara Lubich in the running of the Movement, passed away

April 17, 2013

Oreste Basso, a focolarino, one of the closest collaborators of Chiara Lubich since the 50’s, passed away peacefully at the age of 91  during the night of April 14.  He carried out  tasks of great responsability in the running of the Focolare Movement. Ordained priest in 1981, he considered his ministry as  a service and a calling to a greater love.

He was elected Co-president of the Movement in 1996, and he exerted a fundamental role at the time when the foundress passed away on March 14, 2008 and during the General Assembly which followed in July 2008, when a new president had to be elected. This assembly was the first of its kind for the Focolare Movement.

The heartfelt message sent by Pope Francis,  through the Secretariat of State, to Maria Voce, the president of the Movement,  recalls  «the generous ecclesial service of such a zealous priest, who knew  how to give himself completely to  the joyous proclamation of the Gospel and the diligent witness of charity».

Even the Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone and Cardinal Rylko, President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity sent messages to express their condolences.

Numerous messages, that pour in to the Focolare Centre from places all over the world, express deep gratitude  for  Oreste Basso’s tireless work to serve the Church,  in the Movement, and  for his limpid evangelical life.

The funeral was held on Monday April 15 at the international Centre of the Focolare Movement at Rocca di Papa,Rome.

Press Release

Updated on April, 18th 2013


SIF – Focolare Information Service

Maria Voce to the Focolare Community in Korea

April 13, 2013

Maria Voce, the president of the Focolare Movement is following with particular attention the present precarious situation in the Korean peninsula and the neighbouring countries. She sent a message to the Focolare Communities there assuring them of her spiritual closeness.  She told them, “I keep you and the Korean people in my prayers and in my heart. Together we renew our faith in God, the Father”.

The Movement, that has been present in Korea since the 60’s, with the first Focolare opening in 1969, embraces people of all ages and of different vocations.   Initiatives that sprung up during the last years in the fields of politics and economy are of particular importance.

While asking everyone to intensify the prayer of the Time-out  for peace in the world so that new conflicts will be avoided,  Maria Voce reminds  the members  of the Movement of their commitment to  build fraternal relationships  in all situations of everyday life.

Updated on April, 15th 2013


SIF – Focolare Information Service

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