“Ecclesial Movements and the New Evangelization” was the title given to a four-day gathering of members of the Focolare Movement who are involved in the communion and collaboratioin at various levels with with the many charisms that enrich the Church.
The representives were mainly from Italy, but also included people from Europe: Spain, Switzerland (for the first time), Germany, and the Czech Republic. An international touch was given by the news from Brazil and Argentina of the growing activity that is spreading everywhere among the laity and the desire tobe active in the Church and the world. This reaffirmed the value of the charisms with their specific gifts, as signs of the times and answers to the needs of every age. Another example is what happened in Central America when directors of ecclesial movements met in Guatamala City.
Among the main topics was the upcoming appointment that has been placed on the Catholic Church’s agenda for October 2012, the General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the theme: “The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith” which will also be examined through the study of the Lineamenta, the working document that introduces the Synod.
Reviewing the points of the Lineamenta shows the involvement of the ecclesial movements as wide promoters of evangelization and so they are reproposed in some passages:
“. . . The springtime of the movements are the visible sign of a religious sense that has not been snuffed out” (n. 8). “(. . .) The freshness and the energy that the presence of groups and ecclesial movements have managed to instill in this task of transmitting the faith is to be recognized and taken as a gift from the Holy Spirit” (n. 15).
The Lineamenta also evidences the central importance of being a “people” that announces the Gospel: youths and families, the chorus of the faithful, personal and global witness, capable of spreading a communitarian style that reaches beyond its own confines, in order to open to dialogue with all the people in the world: believers and unbelievers; carriers of a life steeped in the Gospel, within all the scenarios of the world.
The scenarios could not exclude that of politics. And to conclude the first day a moment was given to taking a look at Europe, at an event in which Catholic Movements and Movements of other Christian Churches have been the main promoters: “Together for Europe” (www.together4europe.org). Then through slides and videos with Igino Giordani there was a reflection on: “Igino Giordani – Politics As Prophecy”, Giordani’s vision of Europe, who though he lived during the post-war years when Italy was all to be remade, saw the need for expanding Europe’s gaze beyond the Alps to seeing Europe in its unity, including, in those difficult times, even Russia.
More insights for reflection on the Ecclesial Movements: “Words” that Evangelize, were offered through a selection of Chiara Lubich’s writings that were chosen to help understand that each Movement in the Church is a word of the Gospel translated into life.
The result was a renewed understanding of Church as a beautiful “garden” and of the need for the many “Words”, the many charisms, to live in communion with each other, in order to then overflow and have a positive effect on the civic level, overflowing with the fascinating beauty of the Gospel as it becomes life.