“I hope that many ideas will emerge from Loppiano-Lab with strong a spiritual impetus that will set in motion those qualities that have made great Italians: creativity, industriousness, openness and solidarity, culture and art”. These words were spoken by Maria Voce, President of the Focolare, at the opening of the event which has just ended in the Focolare town of Loppiano, near Florence..
Her invitation was welcomed by a packed auditorium of over 1500 people and by many others who were connected via Internet. They were attracted and drawn to this event which was organized according to topics that dealt with many different types of issues. In her message, President Voce anticipates that “the novelty emerges from the very promoters of the event: the networking of ideas and of experiences in different fields such as economics, culture, education, who, as allies, wish to promote in the country a cultural project that is respectful of the dignity and greatness of the human being, the communion between various entities that carry out their actions in these fields, such as Lionello Bonfanti Industrial Park from the Economy of Communion, Sophia University Institute, Citta Nuova Press Group, and the town of Loppiano itself which want to help in exploring and walking new avenues together. ““
Those who attended the many events that have taken place during the intense four days of this enriching “experimental laboratory of fraternity,” can agree with Maria Voice that it was an “original and qualified contribution to Italy’s common good – 150 years after the unification of the country – in line with Chiara Lubich’s charism “which has precisely unity at its heart.”
“And perhaps it was precisely this interaction between people who were so different from one another, the power of unity put into action, which created a living seed that – we dare to hope – will be able to “make history”.
Maria Voce stated, “is in need of a boost of idealism and of concreteness to revitalize its social body.” And it was enough to visit the various stands at Lionello Bonfanti Industrial Park to come across entrepreneurs who had so much idealism that they could be giving it away! In fact, this permanent Expo site featured in addition to the twenty companies in Lionello Bonfanti Park itself, another 72 companies representing more than 200 businesses that belong to the Economy of Communion throughout the country. But wandering through the streets of the little town surrounded by green, chatting with some of its 900 residents who come from all over the world, or listening to the new graduates of the Sophia Institute (already in its third year of existence), a conviction made its way into people’s minds, a certainty that Maria Emmaus Voce expressed in her concluding remarks: “Sustained by the love of God among us and by the love between us, this event can be a demonstration that when the Gospel of Jesus is read in the light of unity, it is capable of ‘making history’ still today. “