Live streaming: http://live.focolare.org/EdC2011/
It was here, fifty years ago, and fifty kilometres from San Paolo, in the auditorium of the Ginetta Calliari Mariapolis, that Chiara Lubich felt strongly urged by the Holy Spirit to share her intuition: the charism of unity had something to offer in contributing to the renewal of an apparently unbreakable international economic and production system.
Six-hundred-fifty people (many of them young people) came to Brazil from 37 countries. They represent 800 businesses involved in the EoC, from eight industiral parks around the world, scholars and students from the economic fields invovled in scientific research and cultural development.
There was already much joy and gratitude at the opening of the assembly – 25 to 28 May – for these two decades of moving ahead, but also much emotion when they returned to the words of the founder of the Focolare, which, when they were first spoken, had the “effect of a ‘bomb’ in the field of economics.” The president of the Focolare, Maria Voce, recalled these words in a video message that does not dwell however on the logs of the comemorations and celebrations.
“We must recognize that the EoC project still has to succeed,” she reminded everyone, congratulating the organizers for their choice of a detail, revealing however the underlying approach: “It seems very significant to me that in the festivity logs, you desired to make the date of 2031 appear indicating a future that we can only imagine and will be defined thanks to the contributions that you will continue to give. ”
The president, Maria Voce, stated the challenges of the EoC, which has the “potential to transform from within the economic experience not only of companies, but of families, financial institutions, and economic policies.” But we must bear in mind one basic condition: “The EoC will have momentum if it has the united world as its horizon and it will be capable of moving the hearts, the actions, and the enthusiasm of those who need to bet their lives on great ideals.” “I wish you a new season of creativity in which each one of you will be protagonists, and we will respond to our great appointment with history.”
Luigino Bruni, coordinator of the international commission of the EoC also spoke about history, as he opened the proceedings of the assembly, underscoring the prophetic task of Chiara in the economic field. He focused on four words in his speech: festivity, for the twenty years of the EoC; responsibility, for its task during this period of crisis; memory, so as not to forget the founding questions asked by Chiara in this very hall in 1991; hope, in the power of the project entrusted to them and in the new generations of entrepreneurs and researchers of the EoC.
Historical reference was made by entrepreneur Alberto Ferrucci, who has been in the EoC since day one. He recalled the organized way in which Chiara and her companions at the beginning in Trent, met the needs of the poor of that city, connecting to this the “secular vocation to holiness” of those who supported the EoC, those who sold small properties; offered their few savings to help buy land for the production sites; those who left good jobs and their cities to bring to life Chiara’s inspired intuition. This all involved heroism which later allowed Benedict XVI to mention the EoC in his first social encyclical.
Ferrucci delivered a challenge to the assembly: “We must develop theories based on the paradigm of this new economy, which able to show industrial and production plants and businesses that implement these principles, and schools and universities that offer training in them.”
By Paolo Lòriga