USA OFFICIAL USA WEBSITE Sat, 25 Oct 2014 03:24:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Lauro (Larry) V. Catipon Fri, 24 Oct 2014 21:07:33 +0000 Larry Catipon SrSunday morning, October 5, 2014, Larry Catipon Sr., our dear married focolarino from the Los Angeles region, after a brief illness, left for the Heavenly Mariapolis at the age of 84 years.

Born in the Philippines on August 18, 1930, Larry was the second of eight children.  He moved to Manila, earned his law degree and worked at the Civil Registrar of Manila to help pay for his siblings’ schooling.  On May 30, 1957, he married Bibiana and with her they raised 7 beautiful children, 5 boys and 2 girls.  A hectic period of activities and work followed.  In his diary, Larry wrote, “Despite having a nice family, a good profession and a stable income, I ultimately saw myself becoming empty.”  To fill this void, Larry joined various Catholic religious organizations.  But it was in June of 1964 that he met Fr. Tashner, S.V.D. who introduced Larry to the Ideal.  With this newfound life, Larry tried to instill in his children the values of self-giving and community-building at any age.  His personal encounter with God’s love propelled him to spread the Ideal to various cities of the Philippines, sharing experiences of living the Gospel in his daily workplace and family. Many vocations to the Church were born.  He placed his competence as a lawyer at the service of the poor who came to him for legal help, seeing Christ in each person regardless of his/her background.

It was this faith in God’s love that sustained him when he had to move his family to the U.S. in 1981 to find a more secure life for them, away from the persecution he experienced as a result of fighting the corruption he encountered in his workplace.  His commitment to his family was put to the test when he left behind his career to become a simple accounting clerk.  In time, Larry was also able to concretely serve countless citizens through his work as a local city commissioner.

The family immersed itself in the life of the movement in their new home.  Larry, struck by a talk Chiara gave on “the family”, while on her visit to Mariapolis Luminosa in 1986, shared with her the story of his family.  She responded with a “word of life” for their family, “Love one another intensely from a pure heart.” (1 Peter 1:22).  In this atmosphere of love, several of the children discovered their call to follow God as focolarini, married focolarini and volunteers, as well as many grandchildren who live the gen life.

Larry had a constant longing for wisdom and light.  In his focolare his concrete love was both paternal and fraternal and he contributed in a consistent way to maintaining the spiritual presence of Jesus.  He had the stability of a majestic old oak tree.  One popo described him, “When I think of Larry I think of his joyful nature.  He was a joyful person and he radiated that joy to everyone around him.”

Larry received a new name from Chiara, “Amato”, and a new word of life, “Jesus, looking on him, loved him.” (Mark 10:21)

During a school for married focolarinos in 1995, Larry re-consecrated himself to Jesus Forsaken and declared, “I want to give myself completely to God, in unity with Chiara, the Work of Mary and my Focolare.  I pray to God that I shall remain faithful to this promise for the rest of my life here on earth.”

Larry certainly lived this promise faithfully to the end and we give gratitude to God for his life and very fruitful legacy, assured that he is welcomed into paradise with, “Well done, my good and faithful servant. Come, share your master’s joy.”(Mt 25:23)

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Starting the new year right Fri, 24 Oct 2014 20:43:56 +0000 cube of loveIn Houston 35 teachers and administrators welcomed the Cube as they listened to how a particular family implemented it into their daily lives. In Dallas a smaller group of 12 teachers, encouraged by the principal, enthusiastically listened to the story of the Cube and ways it can be used in the classroom setting. Examples and actual stories were presented showing the impact it has had in schools around the world along with group sessions which gave the teachers the opportunity to perform an activity and discuss ways to implement the Cube of Love in their own classrooms. Everyone was grateful for the chance to learn about the Cube and they wanted to have a cube to use right away on Monday morning.

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Teens Word of Life | October 2014 Mon, 06 Oct 2014 14:38:41 +0000 2014-10-wol-teens-featured« I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE. WHOEVER COMES TO ME WILL NEVER BE HUNGRY, AND WHOEVER BELIEVES IN ME WILL NEVER BE THIRSTY. »

(Jn 6:35)

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Children’s Word of Life | October 2014 Mon, 06 Oct 2014 14:33:45 +0000 2014-10-wol-children-featured


(Jn 6:35)

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YFUW Mon, 06 Oct 2014 03:34:35 +0000 Youth for a United World. Recent article: “Mutual love can encourage people to reach out””]]> Youth for a United World. Recent article: “Mutual love can encourage people to reach out””]]> 0 New City Press Mon, 06 Oct 2014 03:26:21 +0000 New Releases: Gospel Joy, 5 Steps to Great Parenting, Now”]]> New Releases: Gospel Joy, 5 Steps to Great Parenting, Now”]]> 0 Gen Verde Mon, 06 Oct 2014 03:22:43 +0000 International Performing Arts Group. Their new show: “MUSIC MADE TO BE PLAYED”]]> International Performing Arts Group. Their new show: “MUSIC MADE TO BE PLAYED”]]> 0 Gen Rosso Mon, 06 Oct 2014 03:19:13 +0000 International Performing Arts Group – “featuring Strong Without Violence”]]> International Performing Arts Group – “featuring Strong Without Violence”]]> 0 7 ways to live a full life at 93 Mon, 06 Oct 2014 03:10:52 +0000 Agatha O'DonnellThe world is moving faster and I’m moving slower. Every time I figure out how a thing works someone comes up with something better and, of course, faster.

The eyes are failing and the hearing’s shot. The joints are creaking and the digestive system isn’t doing much better, but I’ve discovered lots of chances to be creative in problem solving. Let me share with you seven ways that I have learned to keep living a full life at 93.

1. Giving

The space one occupies as we grow older shrinks, and I’m constantly eliminating things once thought to be indispensable. It’s easier to do this, when one is in the habit of keeping only what one needs. Recently, I gave something away that afterward I realized I needed. Then I thought that the person would make good use of it, and God would take care of me. In fact, a few days later I received from someone else exactly the thing I had given away. So I’ve just decided that giving as a lifestyle never ages, and the hundredfold is always new.

2. New friendship

Everyone is concerned about children when they start school and have to make all new friends, but no one even thinks about a 90-year-old moving into an assisted-living facility and having to start from scratch. She too has to make new friends, because the ones she knew have all died, and she can’t even go home at the end of the day! I’ve had to learn to listen to people who may think very differently and figure out just how each one wants to be loved. I make many mistakes and want to give up at times, but I always try to remember to start again.

3. Prayer

Something that actually gets easier as one gets older is spending more time praying. I used to be very active, so now I try to be just as active praying for everyone. I try to find out everything that is going on, so my list of intentions is up to date. I pray one rosary for my family, another for the Church and the Focolare family here and around the globe, and finally one for all of the problems in the world. I miss going to Mass and feel blessed whenever someone comes to take me, or the priest is able to come where I live. You might think that by 93 I would have worked out the kinks in my life, but I find myself doing the same things I’ve been trying to correct my entire life. Thank God I have learned how to start again in the next moment. Maybe that’s what keeps me young.

4. Health

I’ve found new ways to live the aspect of my life that deals with health and illness. Since it’s pretty clear that my holy journey is nearing its completion, it is still wonderful to be able to go to exercise class, to eat properly, to put in my eye drops and take all my medications as prescribed. I admit that I sometimes get a little downhearted when I see the cost of medications, but then I try to remember to trust in God. I have a pretty active relationship with those who have left for heaven. I entrust different things to different people and ask for strength when the going gets a little tough. I have also been helped by John Paul II’s Letter to the Elderly and by the example of his life. It takes a real act of faith to believe in the value of your life when many around you see things differently.

5. Harmony

I don’t need many clothes or much furniture, but I try to keep what I have in order. With my eyesight so poor, I’m not sure if the colors match, and I might be tempted to think, “Who cares anyway?” But then I remember that even at 93 I have to try to be an expression of the beauty of God in the way I dress and the harmony of my apartment. This gives so much meaning to the little things I’m still able to do.

6. Learning

I’ve always loved learning new things, so I study the documents of the Holy Father (when I can get them in big print) and watch DVDs on the catechism or other topics. I know I’ll never practice nursing again, but it’s part of my vocation to stay on top of the latest advances in my profession. So I keep up to date, and maybe something I read or hear might be useful for someone else. I love wisdom and pray often to the Holy Spirit to help me not say useless words.

7. Connections

I used to keep in touch with people by sending cards or by phone. Instead, times have changed, and, just as I needed to learn to drive at 50, I now have had to learn how to use email so I can get the news and stay in touch with everyone. It is slow going, since I only know how to move that mouse in one particular way. I almost gave up recently, but my family and friends helped me to keep up my courage. It almost seems like a miracle, but, notwithstanding my eyesight, I read every issue of Living City from cover to cover. I also watch the news every day to keep myself informed of what’s going on in the world. Reading about a world that tends toward unity helps me to be hopeful in the midst of so much tragedy. I really believe in a united world.

My conclusion? Yes, it is a little challenging to be 93, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a full and rewarding time.

Agatha O’Donnell

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Focolare Word of Life – October 2014 Thu, 02 Oct 2014 02:02:21 +0000

Focolare Word of Life Logo

In his Gospel John narrates that Jesus went to Capernaum after the multiplication of the loaves, and there, in his discourse on the bread of life, he said: “Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you” (Jn 6:27).
For those who were listening to him it was evident that he was speaking of manna and the expectations of a “second” manna that would come down from heaven during the Messianic times.
Shortly afterwards, in that same discourse, Jesus presents himself to the crowd, which has not yet understood, as the true “bread that comes down from heaven”
(Jn 6:51), which must be accepted through faith:

“I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry,
and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

Jesus already sees himself as bread. This, then, is the ultimate purpose of his life on earth: to become bread in order to be eaten. To become bread in order to communicate his life to us, to transform us into himself.
Up to this point the spiritual significance of these words, with their references to the Old Testament, is clear. But the discourse becomes mysterious and difficult when further ahead Jesus says of himself: “the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh”’ (Jn 6:51), and “unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you” (Jn 6:53),
It’s the announcement of the Eucharist that scandalizes and distances many disciples. Yet this is Jesus’ greatest gift to humanity: this intimate union with him present in the sacrament of the Eucharist, which satisfies body and soul and gives the fullness of joy.
When we are nourished by this bread, we no longer hunger, in the sense that our every desire for love and truth is satisfied by the one who is love itself, truth itself.

“I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry,
and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

It is true, this bread nourishes us with him even here on earth, and it is given to us in order that we in turn satisfy the spiritual and material hunger of the people around us.
Christ is proclaimed to the world not so much through the Eucharist, but through the lives of Christians nourished by the Eucharist and by the Word. They preach the Gospel with their lives and words, thereby bringing the presence of Christ in the midst of other men and women.
The life of the Christian community, thanks to the Eucharist, becomes the life of Jesus — a life capable of giving love, the life of God, to others.

“I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry,
and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

By using the image of bread, Jesus teaches us the most authentic and most Christian way to love our neighbor.
What does loving really mean?
Loving means “making ourselves one” with everyone, making ourselves one in what others want, in the smallest and most insignificant things, in things that might not be very important to us but that others are interested in.
Jesus gave us a stupendous example of this way of loving by making himself “bread” for us. He makes himself “bread” in order to enter within everyone, to make himself edible, to make himself one with everyone, to serve, to love everyone.
So we too should make ourselves one to the point of allowing ourselves to be “eaten.”
This is love: making ourselves one in a way that makes others feel nourished by our love, comforted, uplifted, understood.

Chiara Lubich

Each month a Scripture passage is offered as a guide and inspiration for daily living. This commentary, translated into 96 different languages and dialects, reaches several million people worldwide through print, radio, television and the Internet. Ever since the Focolare’s beginnings, founder Chiara Lubich (1920–2008) wrote her commentaries each month. This one was originally published in August 2000.

Read more on this topic:

  1. Leahy, Brendan. His Mass and Ours: Meditations on Living Eucharistically. New City Press, Hyde Park, New York, 2012.
  2. Lubich, Chiara. “Jesus in the Eucharist,” Essential Writings. New City Press, Hyde Park, New York, 2007, p.129.
  3. Lubich, Chiara. “Making ourselves one,” The Art of Loving. New City Press, Hyde Park, New York, 2010, p.67.

Next month:

November 2014:
“For with you is the fountain of life” (Ps 36:9).

The commentary to the Word of Life is translated into 96 different languages and dialects and reaches more than 14 million people worldwide through print, radio, and TV media. Click here to view our Word of Life archives…

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