We asked the President of the Focolare to tell us something about Eli Folonari and her specific contribution to the Movement, over the many years she spent alongside Chiara Lubich.
“I got to know Eli better when I was asked to join Chiara’s Secretariat, which she was responsible for. I was struck by her serious and balanced approach and, I would say, by the tenderness that I discovered beneath what sometimes seemed a rather severe exterior.
Eli did all that Chiara asked her to do with heroic faithfulness. Chiara had entrusted her with the aspect of fellowship and communion, which translates directly into communications. This meant ensuring that everyone could be informed of everything at any time. She did this to the utmost. I saw always near Chiara, supporting her, being her friend, her sister and an adviser too in the many things that needed to be done. At the same time, I never saw her taking over from Chiara. All she did was done so that Chiara and the charism she was conveying could reach everyone without any hindrance. This, I feel, was the full achievement of her ‘design’: she enabled all those who came to Chiara to become one heart and one soul”.