Celebrating Unity: The Centennial of Chiara Lubich’s birth, the founder of the Focolare Movement (1920-2020)
There are many different events happening all around the world to celebrate the Centennial of Chiara Lubich’s birth, the founder of the Focolare Movement. As Maria Voce, the president of the Focolare Movement mentioned in her greeting for the opening of the exhibition “Chiara Lubich City World” in Trent, Italy; “ … these are extraordinary occasions not so much to remember Chiara Lubich with nostalgia, but to meet her in the present day: in the thousands of people who spend themselves for a more united and peaceful world …”
Our celebration for Chiara’s centennial began with the visit of Jesùs Moran and Francisco Canzani, who were visiting from the Focolare headquarters in Rome to Mariapolis Luminosa on January 22, 2020. In a mass celebrated at Our Lady of the Light chapel, Jesùs encouraged those present with a provocative question “do we have faith in Chiara’s Charism? How is our faith in Chiara’s charism?”
Another event in the celebration was on March 7, where many gathered in Luminosa “meet” the person of Chiara. After the introductions, a video help paint a picture of the impact Chiara’s life has had in the world. Then five speakers shared how they met Chiara Lubich and how her charism impacted their lives: Julie and Mike James, who, in 2000, attended a meeting with faith communities in Washington and continue to build bridges with people around them; Paul Catipon, a Focolarino and entrepreneur who proves with his experiences that the Art of Loving works miracles also in a tough business world; Emilie Christy’s experience of how meeting the Focolare Movement gave meaning to the suffering she encountered in her job as a social worker; and Charlotte Uwimana, a young woman from Rwanda who is studying Finance in the U.S., who learned how everyone is created as a gift for others.
The evening concluded with a recitation of a text by Chiara from 1999 in Amman, where she expressed her dream for the new millennium.