“Continual mutual love which makes unity possible and generates the presence of Jesus among those gathered in his name, is for the members of the Work of Mary, the basis of their life in all of its aspects; it is the norm of norms, the premise to every other rule.” Chiara Lubich.
This premise appears on the first page of the Statutes and of the Regulations which describe the life of the Movement as a whole and in each of its branches. The style and idea of government in the Focolare Movement lies, therefore, in living and nourishing “continual mutual love.” Spread throughout the world, the Movement is divided in a territory according to “zones”.
General Assembly gathers every six years for the election of the President, the Co-President and the counsellors of the Centre of the Work of Mary. Among its other duties, this organ deliberates on eventual modifications to the General Statutes, on modifications to the Regulations of the branches and on the approval of other Regulations when the need arises.
Centre of the Work of Mary includes the President, the Co-President, and the counsellors elected by the General Assembly. It has the responsibility of ensuring and increasing unity in the whole Work of Mary, keeping it directed towards the realization of its goals and coordinating its various components.
President: As written in the General Statutes, the president will always be a woman. This underscores the marian profile and its prevalently lay connotation, and also “preserve(s) the design of God in having entrusted the birth and development of the Movement to a woman.” As stated in the General Statutes: “Her presidency will above all be a presidency of love, because she will have to be the first to love, that is, to serve her brothers and sisters, recalling the words of Jesus: “. . . and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all” (Mk 10:44). The current president is Maria Voce, who was elected by the General Assembly in July 2008 and re-elected for a second term in September 2014.
Co-President: The General Statutes state that the Co-President is to be chosen from among the priests who are members of the men’s branch of the focolarini. It falls upon him to “ensure that the internal life and activities of the Work of Mary are in conformity with the faith, morals and discipline of the Church.” He follows with particular attention the branches of the diocesan priests and deacons, the youth who are preparing for priesthood, and the clergy of the institutes of consecrated life. The current Co-President is Jesús Morán Cepedano was was elected by the General Assembly on 13 September 2014.
General Council. Members of the General Council include the members of the Centre of the Work of Mary, those responsible for the secretariats of the specific goals, and those who have the central roles of responsibility for the branches and mass movements. The General Council has an advisory and deliberating function governed by the General Statutes, but its main task is aimed at keeping and increasing the spirit of unity in and among all the components of the Movement. Each “zone” has two delegates – one focolarina (woman) and one focolarino (man) – who are nominated by the President. They are responsible, with a zone council, for the life and activities within that territory. Each zone is comprised of men’s and women’s focolares who, with their local councils, promote the spreading of the Movement at a local level, with all its structures and activities. Conncected to these focolares and spread throughout each territory, there is also a network of local communities composed of people of all ages who live and work in various social environments to give a local witness of unity and Gospel values.