The charism of unity is by its very nature and definition ‘collective’, communitarian. Those who live it are driven by a spirituality that leads them to go towards God together with others, rather than alone.
“This spirit of the Movement needs the means of communication. This is because this spirituality is not an individual life, but collective, communitarian.”
Chiara Lubich made this statement on 5th January 1997 when she received an Honorary Doctorate in Social Communication at the University of Bangkok. There she affirmed the importance of using the Mass Media for God, as the members of the Movement, responding to their call to unity, feel a deep need to be strongly united.
Since its beginning, as in a family any news received is shared with everyone so it has been within the Movement. Chiara Lubich wrote: “News from all the family is a real way of bonding. If the news stopped circulating, our spiritual life would diminish. Exchange of news is mutually edifying and a driving force.”
Right from the very first days Chiara wrote numerous letters to people and groups of the Movement, sharing with those who welcomed the new spirituality each development in the search for unity as it happened.
Another way of living together and communicating which started in the early days of the Movement was a simple leaflet called the Word of Life. It offered a phrase from the Bible with a simple spiritual and theological commentary. This leaflet is still produced today and is translated into 86 languages and dialects reaching millions of people across the globe. The Word of Life is also broadcast on radio and television in a number of countries, as well as being available through the internet.
In 1952 tape recorders were a novelty but the Movement immediately made good use of them as they were driven by the desire to take fraternity through the Ideal of Unity to the furthest corners of the earth. Four years later during the Focolare summer event, the Mariapolis, an idea developed to produce a periodical to keep all those who knew the Movement linked and as a consequence be the public face of the new spirituality. The first humble duplicated edition was a run of 70 copies. The second was 160 copies. Today the magazine Citta Nuova (the original name for the newsletter) exits in 32 editions, 22 languages and is printed all over the world. Titles of the magazine vary according to the language of the country where it is published.
In 1959, with the release of the first volume of Meditations by Chiara Lubich, a publishing house was opened. There followed many other publications dedicated to all the aspects of the Movement as well as the setting up of an audio-visual centre and the web-site.
In 1980 there was another novelty – occasional conference calls. These calls continue today via the internet. Every 2 months many capital cities in all the continents are linked. As well as being deep moments of unity in which the family spread across the world shares joys and sorrows and renews commitment to the common Ideal the calls update all the communities about the latest activities and developments .
Any major events of the Movement such as Genfest or Familyfest are transmitted by satellite reaching thousands of people worldwide.