The awareness that living the Gospel in the light of the collective spirituality proposed by Chiara Lubich can provide answers to the concrete social challenges of every time and place, has urged men and women of good will to face with foresight and competence the problems of modern society, to heal wounds and highlight the potential of individual communities. The spiritual dimension has never been disconnected from the social dimension in the life of the Focolare Movement. Ever since 1943 Chiara herself dreamed of “resolving Trent’s social problem” and with her first companions they went around the city to heal both the spiritual and material wounds of those who had survived the bomb attacks, to comfort the ones who had been left all alone, to distribute food and clothing to those who were in need of them. There are countless such experiences and extraordinary examples of the intervention of Providence.
The goal of the New Humanity Movement is to be a social expression of the Focolare Movement, to help people, in their daily lives, to live out that Gospel revolution that enters into the structures of society, bringing renewal and generating hope and trust and what is positive.
The New Humanity Movement was begun in 1968, animated and supported by the men and women Volunteers of God, to actualize the words of the Gospel in various social, cultural, economic, and political environments, and to offer concrete answers to the challenges of modern society.
New Humanity entered into public life, already quite developed and widespread, in 1983 with a large gathering at the Palaeur Sport Stadium in Rome, Italy, in which 15 thousand people from around the world had gathered. As she presented to John Paul II the fruits of the social action brought about through the spirituality of unity, Chiara described those gathered as persons who desire to “give witness with their lives to the world around them, and to show with clear facts, the formidable impact that the Gospel has also on the most earthly aspects of life, both for the individual and for society as a whole; that is, the contribution that the Word of God, put into practice, is able to give toward the construction of the earthly city.”
People of all faiths and social backgrounds belong to New Humanity. They would like to give a soul to modern society by contributing towards the renewal of people as well as social structures. Precisely because of this contribution that the Gospel gives “to the construction of civil society, renewing and transforming it with the spirit of unity in every environment,” as we read in Article 4 of the Regulations, the people who belong to New Humanity, recognize in all the wounds and divisions of society Jesus’ cry of abandonment and, trusting in his promise: ‘Where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” they strive to be united in their work in order to respond to his cry with love. They try to induce reciprocity which brings unity, offering their ideas and their activities for the renewal of relationships, environments, and structures, even influencing politicians and legislators. They take the song of the Magnificat as their “Magna Carta” and entrust all that they do to Mary Queen of All Peoples.”
Article 3 of the Regulations states that New Humanity is divided into “worlds” which represent the various environments of social life, with all of the people involved, and with the different categories that operate within them. For example, doctors, nurses, and patients belong to the world of health; teachers, students, and parents belong to the world of education. The same is true for the worlds of politics, economy, art, and law, etc.
A recent developments concerning urban society has been “City Project” in which an extensive dialogue has begun within civil society, in associations, in different forms of volunteering and in institutions, through various social, cultural and political initiatives.
It is a laboratory of fraternity, then, from within society in which one can rediscover the beauty of thinking and working together for a common project, with the courage to face humanity’s great questions regarding respect for the human person with everything this involves, respect for life, for the environment, and also for peace and justice in order to render the world community more beautiful and livable.