The Church

The Focolare Movement is committed to spreading the spirit of communion in many areas of the Church.


The Priests’ Movement is a branch of the Focolare Movement. It is made up of Catholic diocesan priests, permanent deacons and seminarians and ministers of other Christian Churches and ecclesial communities in line with their own Churches.  Its aim is to spread the spirit of communion among diocesan priests, in seminaries and in various ecclesial areas and to contribute to their renewal in the light of the Testament of Jesus: “That all may be one” (Jn 17:21). 

The Parish Movement and the Diocesan Movement are expressions of the Focolare Movement in the local Church. The former works to build unity, at every level and values the contribution made by other movements and associations according to their own specific charism used at the service of and for the good of all.

The Diocesan Movement promotes an always deeper unity of the faithful around the Bishop and collaborates in the different pastoral areas of the diocese. 

The Movement for Consecrated Men & Women and lay members of Charismatic Families brings together members of religious communities, consecrated men and women of secular institutes, nuns and monks, young people in early stages of formation and lay people who share the charisms which have a  spiritual link with the Focolare Movement. They deepen their understanding of the spirituality of communion and live it first of all within their communities and institutes but also between old and new charisms: they weave a network of relationships of unity among all the people of God. 


We cannot deny that in our digital and rapidly changing world, in many places the role of a parish is far less central than in the past. Yet in recent years a new awareness of its value has begun to develop: ” … the Church herself living in the midst of the homes of her sons and daughters”. Yes, because “it is not primarily a structure, a territory, a building; rather it is the ‘family of God'”. (John Paul II, Christifideles Laici, 26).

This is also the challenge for the Parish Movement, an expression of the Focolare Movement in the local Church.

In the 60’s, many parish priests who came into contact with the Focolare Movement realised that its characteristic community spirituality made an impact on their lives, on their pastoral activities and in their parish communities. Many of them participated in the papal audience of 13 July 1966 during which Paul VI encouraged them to bring the spirit of unity to their local church. In response to this desire of the Pope, Chiara Lubich launched the Parish Movement.

The members of the Focolare who work in the service of the parish animate this movement: they work together with the other groups present, ” …. it will prove beneficial for them not to lose contact with the rich reality of the local parish and to participate readily in the overall pastoral activity of the particular Church” (Evangelii Gaudium 29)

Working together for the good of all makes it possible to appreciate the charism at the heart of every association and movement. There is a growing openness to dialogue: this fosters relationships of fraternal communion among all and supports initiatives aimed at dialogue with members of other Churches or ecclesial communities, with the faithful of other religions and with people of non-religious convictions who are living in the area.

The parish movement is more developed in Europe and Latin America but it is also present in North America and in parts of Asia and Africa.

Contacts | Central Secretariat of the Parish Movement

  • Via XXIV Maggio, 106/3 – 00046 Grottaferrata – Rome
  • Tel: +39-06-94541970
  • E-mail:
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The Diocesan Movement is a branch of the Focolare Movement that works at the service of the local Church.

A life based on intense communion among its followers enables this movement to bring the charism of unity to the parishes that it serves. It collaborates with other ecclesial bodies to “Church as communion” to which St. John Paul II referred in Novo Millennio Ineunte.

In order to do this, it promotes and fosters an ever deeper unity of the faithful around the Bishop. It also collaborates in the different pastoral areas of the diocese and offers a new communitarian style evangelization in parishes through the formation of men and women of all ages.

The Diocesan Movement began in Ascoli Piceno, Italy in 1973, when a group of young were attracted by the witness of unity given by the members of the newly formed priests’ focolare.

Chiara Lubich followed its development from the very beginning and formed a strong relationship with its initiator and chief protagonist, Father Pino Petrocchi, now Archbishop in L’Aquila. Bishop Morgante, then bishop of Ascoli, supported the movement as it gradually developed and received official approval.

The movement then spread to the diocese of Teramo and in April 1976 received the approval of the local bishop, Abele Conigli..
In the following years it spread to four other Italian dioceses. Currently it is present in five Italian dioceses: Ascoli Piceno, Teramo, Fermo, Macerata and Pesaro.

Contacts | Central Secretariat of the Diocesan Movement

  • Via XXIV Maggio, 106/3 – 00046 Grottaferrata – Rome
  • Tel. 0039/06/94541970
  • Email:
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The Priestly Movement is one of the expressions of outreach of the Focolare Movement whose nature, spirit and aims it shares. Its purpose is to spread the spirit of communion among diocesan priests, in seminaries and in various ecclesial environments, contributing to their renewal in the light of the testament of Jesus: “That all may be one” (Jn 17:21). Not only diocesan priests, permanent deacons and Catholic seminarians but also ministers of other Christian Churches and ecclesial communities are part of the priestly movement.
The spirituality of unity helps priests rediscover the importance of being authentic Christians before all else. As a priority, before any priestly function, they try to witness to Jesus’ words: “By this they will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (Jn 13:35).
The evangelical way of life that has arisen has been confirmed in the Vatican II decree, Presbyterorum Ordinis, and by the teachings of the post-conciliar Magisterium.
In fact, by placing mutual charity at the basis of life, it becomes spontaneous to share material goods and spiritual gifts; to bear witness to unity and pastoral charity; to live the evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty and obedience with joy; to take as much care of oneself as confreres; to ensure the presbytery and parish buildings are harmonious and facilitate communion with everyone; to be committed to ongoing formation in order to be men of dialogue; to live as members of one body by keeping up contact with confreres and with the whole people of God.
Being alert to the most urgent needs of the Church in the various pastoral fields or “ecclesial worlds”, the Priests’ Movement organizes international and regional meetings and courses based on the charism and experience of the Focolare Movement in the various areas of pastoral ministry, such as evangelization, catechesis, formation, etc. These conferences are a real school of life and provide opportunities to learn about significant experiences in the lay sectors of the Movement with young people, families, economy, health, etc.

In recent years, there have been some particularly significant developments and events:
– collaboration with other Movements and communities and with the diocesan representatives for a renewal of the life of priestly life and pastoral care;

– holding courses of spiritual exercises for priests, deacons and seminarians, inspired by the spirituality of communion;

– International congresses:
– 2006: “Church Today” with the presence of a thousand priests and seminarians;
– 2009: “There is a way” with 500 seminarians;
– 2010: “Priests today”, at the conclusion of the Year for Priests, in the Paul VI Hall in the Vatican with 4,000 priests participating. This took place under the patronage of the Congregation for the Clergy and was organized together with the Schoenstatt Movement, in collaboration with the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal and other ecclesial realities.

– Annual courses for educators in seminaries, which inspires participants towards a communitarian style of formation.

– Publications, such as 365 Thoughts for the Life of Priests (edited by Hubertus Blaumeiser and Tonino Gandolfo, Città Nuova, Rome 2009), Priests in a Changing World, a book published during the Year for Priests, translated into 17 languages; (edited by Fr. Coda and B. Leahy, Città Nuova, Rome 2010), the result of an international study seminar.

– The many initiatives during the Year for Priests 2010 led to the following developments:

– during the Year of Faith (which began on 11 October 2012), involvement in activities promoted by our respective dioceses or Episcopal Conferences;

– we were fully involved in the process of “reform” initiated by Pope Francis (cf. Evangelii gaudium: 24 November 2013) which is continuing not without complexity due, in part, to strong polarizations;

– in this context, the steps leading to the production of the Ekklesia magazine matured. The magazines Gens and Unity and Charisms were unified and so contribute to an ecclesiological vision in which charisms and institutions are increasingly co-essential for life as for the mission of the Church in the world.

– on 11 November 2016 the “Evangelii Gaudium” Centre (CEG) was opened as one of the expressions of the Sophia University Institute of Loppiano, Italy. Sophia continues to promote various initiatives to foster an increasingly synodal vision of the people of God.



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“Every now and then,” wrote Chiara Lubich, “through a person or a book of theirs, God makes us meet a saint. As we go on, it seems that the saints have drawn close to our Movement to encourage it, to enlighten it, to help it.”

And again:”If on the one hand we are aware that the charism of our Movement is useful to the whole Church, on the other we are also convinced that all the charisms of the Church are useful to us, children of the Church. It is proper to our spirituality to learn from the saints, to become their children, to participate in their charism.“

It is clear from the quotation above that there is a relationship of reciprocity between the Focolare Movement and the old and new charisms: the experience of communion is increasing. This is encouraged by the Pontifical Instruction on Consecrated Life in the document: „Starting Afresh from Christ“ which expresses itself this way, “From the encounter and communion with the charisms of the ecclesial movements, a mutual enrichment can flow. Movements can often offer an example of evangelical and charismatic freshness, such as generous and creative initiatives in evangelization. On the other hand, movements can learn a great deal from the witness of the consecrated life which holds many treasures of wisdom and experience.” (n. 30).

The Movement for Consecrated Men and Women and Lay Members of Charismatic Families is an integral part of the Focolare Movement, sharing its aims and spirit and contributing to the realization of Jesus’ prayer: “That all may be one”.

This movement includes men and women religious, consecrated members of secular institutes, nuns, monks, young people in formation and lay people who live the charisms given by the Spirit to the Church. These members who in various ways are sensitive to and willing to share the spirit and the purpose of the Focolare Movement, participate in some of its activities or even just show their esteem, love and help. Their bond with the Movement is essentially spiritual in nature.

Those who participate:

– deepen the spirituality of communion and live it in the Church today,
– live communion within their own community or institute first of all,
– promote communion between old and new charisms,
– create relationships of unity with all God’s people.

These members of religious orders, consecrated men and women and lay people strive to to implement the recommendation that John Paul II made in 1996 to a large group of religious, members of the Focolare Movement, gathered from all continents: “The spirituality of communion which the Focolare promotes and cultivates constitutes an essential dimension of Christian life. I encourage you to grow in it, to live it in your communities and in the different environments in which you work.”

The men and women religious and the laity of this Movement promote every initiative to increase the spirit and culture of communion through days of study, discussion and witness; they organize conferences, spirituality courses and refresher courses inspired by the spirituality of unity and the ecclesiology of communion. They are open to ecumenical, interreligious dialogue, with people of different convictions and with contemporary culture.

Casa Emmaus and Claritas – residential centres of spirituality situated in the Focolare little town of Loppiano, Florence – offer consecrated women and men the opportunity to experience communion and unity in daily life.

One of the most recent events was the conference “Charisms in communion: Chiara Lubich’s prophecy” held in February 2020 at Castel Gandolfo, Rome with 400 participants from 100 charismatic families and 33 countries.

Charisms for Unity |

Religious International Secretariat

  • Via della Selvotta, 25 – 00041 Albano L. (Rome)
  • tel. +39-06-9323298
  • email:

Consecrated Members International Secretariat

  • Via Piave, 15 – App. 3 – 00046 Grottaferrata (Rome)
  • tel. +39-055-9051651 – +39 328 092 5392
  • email:
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