Focolare Movement

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Focolare Movement
FocolareMovement.png
Motto May they all be one.
Established 1943; 74 years ago (1943)
Type Catholic movement
Purpose Universal brother/sisterhood
Headquarters Via Frascati, 306 – 00040
Rocca di Papa, Rome, Italy
Region served
Worldwide, 182 nations[1]
Founder
Chiara Lubich
Main organ
Citta Nuova, 37 editions worldwide[2]
Website Focolare
Chiara Lubich, founder of the Focolare Movement

The Focolare Movement is an international organization that promotes the ideals of unity and universal brotherhood. Founded in Trent, northern Italy, in 1943 by Chiara Lubich as a Catholic movement,[3] it remains largely Roman Catholic but has strong links to the major Christian denominations and other religions, or in some cases with the non-religious.

The Focolare Movement operates in 180 nations and has over 140,440 members. The word "Focolare" is Italian for "hearth" or "family fireside".[4] While Focolare is the common sobriquet given to this organisation, its official name when approved in 1990 as an International Associations of the Faithful of Pontifical Right, was "Work of Mary".[5]

Beginnings[edit]

In the Northern Italian city of Trent in 1943, in the climate of violence and hatred of the Second World War, the young elementary school teacher Chiara Lubich saw God's love as the only antidote when civil life was crumbling around her. With Bible in hand in the shelters during air raids, she felt deeply Jesus' desire "that they all may be one." A group sharing her vision joined in helping those in the shelters and in the poorest parts of town. Numbers grew. In 1948, the journalist Igino Giordani, a member of Parliament and pioneer of ecumenism. joined the group, bringing his spirituality of social unity. Another cofounder was Fr. Pasquale Foresi with his theological background, and founder of New City Press in 1964.[5]

Foculare initially spread in Italy and Europe, then worldwide: South America (1958), North America (1961), Africa (1963), Asia (1966), and Australia (1967).[1]

Focolare towns[edit]

Communal electrical shop, Loppiano, 1989
Focolare town church at Loppiano

After 1949, summer vacations together in Fiera di Primiero in the Dolomite Mountains led to the desire to share – materially, culturally, and spiritually. Numbers increased for these retreats, including priests and religious with a variety of spiritualities, and by 1955 this gathering took on the name "Mariapolis", a model of peace for the world under Mother Mary's patronage. In 1962 Chiara's visit to the Benedictine Einsiedeln Abbey in Switzerland made her dream of permanent towns of brother/sisterhood, "simple houses, work places, schools – just like an ordinary town." In 1964 Loppiano, the first permanent Mariapolis, was built on land donated by Vincenzo Folonari, near Florence. It has grown to include 900 people of worldwide origins and diverse occupations, married and single, priests and religious, who work and study together and strive to live in exemplary Christian charity. Each year an average of 40 thousand visitors pass through Loppiano.

Twenty other such towns have sprung up worldwide. Some have specific emphases: ecumenism (Ottmaring, Germany;[6] Welwyn Garden City, Great Britain); ecology (Rotselaar, Belgium), interreligious dialogue (Tagaytay, Philippines); multi-ethnic harmony (Luminosa, New York; Križevci, Croatia), inculturation (Fontem, Cameroon; Kenya; Ivory Coast[7]). In these towns religious and cultural differences are respected, to exemplify Jesus' dream: "Father, may they all be one, as you and I are one." [8]

Development[edit]

The president of the Focolare movement, who is always a lay woman,[5] was Maria Voce in 2014, first elected in 2008.[9][10][11] The chief goals of the movement are: to cooperate in the consolidation of unity in the Christian world, with individuals and groups, movements, and associations; to contribute to full communion with Christians of different churches; and to work towards universal brother/sisterhood of all peoples, regardless of religious beliefs.

The movement has branched out to address a variety of groups like families, youth, and different religions. Special projects have sprung up within the movement, such as: the "Abba" school,[12] Young People for a United World, Teens4unity,[13] Economy of Communion (involving 800 companies), evangelism within small cities, social work, the Igino Giordani Center,[14] and 27 publishing houses.[15] Pope Francis in praising Economy of Communion called on it to change “the rules of the game of the socio-economic system.”[16] John L. Allen Jr. observes that It's hard to "pick a fight with a focolarino. ...They tend to be open, ego-free, and just relentlessly nice."[17]

Focolare has 140,440 members in more than 180 countries. People more broadly involved in the movement are estimated by the Vatican as 4.5 million.[5]

Renewal[edit]

Some who have left Focolare are critical of the formation they received. One such critique is directed toward such movements in general (including Communion and Liberation, Neocatecumenate, and Opus Dei) and based on the 2005 report of an initiate who spent six years in Focolare.[18] Likely in response to a recognized need, at a reorganizational meeting in 2014 newly elected council members had an average age 16 years younger than that of the previous council, and the 30 council members come from 20 different countries. In Pope Francis' address to the reorganizational meeting he said:

The Work of Mary, that everyone knows as the Focolare movement, was a little seed in the Catholic Church’s womb, that in the course of the years has brought to life a tree which now extends its branches in all the expressions of the Christian family and also among members of different religions and among many who cultivate justice and solidarity together with the search for truth.

Francis went on to describe elements of the movement as contemplation, going out to engage in dialogue, and formation of youth. Of contemplation he said: “We need to contemplate God and the beauty of his love,” keeping in mind that “to contemplate means to live together with brothers and sisters, breaking with them the bread of communion and fraternity,” since “contemplation that leaves people outside is a lie, it is narcissism.”[11]

Publications[edit]

New City Press, established in 1964, is the official publishing house for the Focolare movement, publishing books, periodicals, and e-books.[19] Among its publications are the Spirituality of Unity series, featuring the works of founder Chiara Lubich, and Understanding the Scriptures, Bible commentaries by scholars such as Daniel J. Harrington, Dianne Bergant,[20] Robert Karris,[21] and Ronald Witherup.[22] NCP publications include: the academic journal Sophia twice a year; three quarterlies – Gen's on ecclesial commitment[23] as well as New Humanity,[24][25] and Unity and Charisms;[26] the bimonthly Teens for children; and the monthly periodicals New Town with opinion and dialogue,[27] Big Smart Kids including inserts for educators, and Gospel of the Day.[28]

Focolare also runs Words of Life evangelical Christian television network[29] and produces Economy of Communion quarterly and website.[30]

Members proposed for Sainthood[edit]

Saints[edit]

Blesseds[edit]

  • Chiara Badano [Luce] - (1971-1990), Young Layperson of the Diocese of Aqui Terme; Member (Italy)[31]
    • Declared "Venerable": 03 July 2008
    • Beatified: 25 September 2010

Venerables[edit]

  • Jerzy Ciesielski - (1929-1970), Married Layperson of Archdiocese of Kraków; Member (Poland-Egypt)
    • Declared "Venerable": 17 December 2013
  • Maria Orsola Bussone - (1954-1970), Young Layperson of Archdiocese of Turin; Member (Italy)
    • Declared "Venerable": 18 March 2015
  • Daniela Zanetta - (1962-1986), Young Layperson of the Diocese of Novara; Member (Italy)
    • Declared "Venerable": 23 March 2017

Servants of God[edit]

  • Albertina Violi Zirondoli - (1901-1972), Married Layperson of the Diocese of Fiesole; Consecrated Member (Italy)
  • Igino Giordani [Foco] - (1894-1980), Married Layperson of the Diocese of Frascati; Cofounder (Italy)
  • Alberto Michelotti - (1958-1980), Young Layperson of the Archdiocese of Genoa; Member (Italy)
  • Carlo Grisolia [Vir] - (1960-1980), Young Layperson of the Archdiocese of Genoa; Member (Italy)
  • Maria Cecilia Perrin de Buide - (1957-1985), Married Layperson of the Archdiocese of Bahia Blanca; Member (Argentina)
  • Margarita Bavosi [Luminosa] - (1941-1985), Layperson of the Archdiocese of Madrid; Consecrated Member (Argentina-Italy)
  • Renata Borlone - (1930-1990), Layperson of the Diocese of Fiesole; Consecrated Member (Italy)
  • Santa Scorese - (1968-1991), Young Layperson of the Diocese of Bari-Bitonto; Associate; Martyr (Italy)
  • Dario Porta - (1930-1996), Priest of the Diocese of Parma; Member (Italy)
  • Manuel Pascual Perrin - (1925-2000), Married Layperson of the Archdiocese of Bahia Blanca; Member (Argentina)
  • Luigia [Ginetta] Calliari - (1918-2001), Layperson of the Diocese of Osasco; Consecrated Member (Italy-Brazil)
  • Domenico Antonio Mangano - (1938-2001), Married Layperson of the Diocese of Albano; Member of the Volunteers of God - Focolare Movement (Italy)
  • Phanxico Xavie Nguyễn Văn Thuận - (1928-2002), Bishop of Nha Trang; Cardinal; Associate (Vietnam-Italy)
  • Chiara Lubich [Silvia] - (1920-2008), Lay founder of Focolare in Diocese of Frascati, (Italy);[32][33] beatification cause opened in 2015[34]

Other Candidates[edit]

  • Stefano Bovo - (1975-1984), Child of the Vicariate of Rome; Member (Italy)
  • Lucia De Gasperi - (d. 2003), Layperson of the Diocese of Bolzano-Bressanone; Consecrated Member (Italy)[35]
  • Araceli Inocencio - (1922 - 2012), Married Layperson of the Diocese of Imus; Member (Philippines)
  • Pasquale Foresi - (1929 - 2015), Priest of the Diocese of Frascati; Cofounder (Italy)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "History | Focolare Movement". [:it]Movimento dei Focolari[:en]Focolare Movement[:fr]Mouvement des Focolari[:es]Movimiento de los Focolares[:de]Fokolar-Bewegung[:pt]Movimento dos Focolares[:zh]普世博愛運動. 2010-06-11. Retrieved 2017-07-12. 
  2. ^ Citta Nuova. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  3. ^ Roy, Olivier. "Breakthroughs in Faith". World Policy Journal (Winter 2011/2012). Retrieved 31 May 2012. 
  4. ^ "focolare - Dizionario italiano-inglese WordReference". wordreference.com. 
  5. ^ a b c d "International Associations of the Faithful, Directory - Pontifical Councils for the Laity". www.vatican.va. Retrieved 2017-07-12. 
  6. ^ "ottmaring.org: Startseite". www.ottmaring.org (in German). Retrieved 2017-07-12. 
  7. ^ ":: Gli amici di MAN ::". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2017-07-12. 
  8. ^ "Focolare Towns | Focolare Movement". [:it]Movimento dei Focolari[:en]Focolare Movement[:fr]Mouvement des Focolari[:es]Movimiento de los Focolares[:de]Fokolar-Bewegung[:pt]Movimento dos Focolares[:zh]普世博愛運動. 2010-06-11. Retrieved 2017-07-12. 
  9. ^ "Church’s most powerful woman focuses on unity". Crux. February 13, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Maria Voce". Focolare Movement. 
  11. ^ a b "Francis gives Focolare three words, as the movement is renewed". Catholic News Agency. Retrieved 2017-07-12. 
  12. ^ "Scuola Abbà | Focolare Movement". [:it]Movimento dei Focolari[:en]Focolare Movement[:fr]Mouvement des Focolari[:es]Movimiento de los Focolares[:de]Fokolar-Bewegung[:pt]Movimento dos Focolares[:zh]普世博愛運動. 2010-07-27. Retrieved 2017-07-13. 
  13. ^ "Teens4Unity". www.teens4unity.org (in Italian). Retrieved 2017-07-12. 
  14. ^ "Igino Giordani - Foco". www.iginogiordani.info. Retrieved 2017-07-12. 
  15. ^ "The Focolare Movement | МСІ-Milites Christi Imperatoris". christusimperat.org. Retrieved 2017-07-12. 
  16. ^ "Pope Francis: Try to change the rules of the socio-economic system". Retrieved 2017-07-12. 
  17. ^ "Memo to a divided church: Meet the Focolare". National Catholic Reporter. 2011-03-10. Retrieved 2017-07-12. 
  18. ^ Benelli, Sílvio José; Costa-Rosa, Abílio da (December 2006). "Catholic's totalitarian movements: effects in terms of subjectivity production". Estudos de Psicologia (Campinas). 23 (4): 339–358. ISSN 0103-166X. doi:10.1590/S0103-166X2006000400003. 
  19. ^ "About New City Press". New City Press. Retrieved September 26, 2011. 
  20. ^ "Dianne Bergant, CSA | Catholic Theological Union". www.ctu.edu. Retrieved 2017-07-14. 
  21. ^ "Faculty Profiles | St. Bonaventure University". www.sbu.edu. Retrieved 2017-07-14. 
  22. ^ "Ronald D. Witherup". Crossroad. Retrieved 2017-07-14. 
  23. ^ "Gen | Focolare Movement". [:it]Movimento dei Focolari[:en]Focolare Movement[:fr]Mouvement des Focolari[:es]Movimiento de los Focolares[:de]Fokolar-Bewegung[:pt]Movimento dos Focolares[:zh]普世博愛運動. 2010-07-27. Retrieved 2017-07-13. 
  24. ^ "New Humanity Movement". www.umanitanuova.org. Retrieved 2017-07-13. 
  25. ^ "Umanità Nuova | Movimento dei Focolari". [:it]Movimento dei Focolari[:en]Focolare Movement[:fr]Mouvement des Focolari[:es]Movimiento de los Focolares[:de]Fokolar-Bewegung[:pt]Movimento dos Focolares[:zh]普世博愛運動 (in Italian). 2010-07-27. Retrieved 2017-07-13. 
  26. ^ "Unità e Carismi". www.relipress.org. Retrieved 2017-07-13. 
  27. ^ "Homepage - Città Nuova". Città Nuova (in Italian). Retrieved 2017-07-13. 
  28. ^ "New City Press PH". www.newcityph.com. Retrieved 2017-07-13. 
  29. ^ "Parole di Vita - Home". paroledivita.org (in Italian). Retrieved 2017-07-13. 
  30. ^ "Benvenuto sul sito ufficiale dell'EdC!". www.edc-online.org (in Italian). Retrieved 2017-07-13. 
  31. ^ "Italian teen one step closer to sainthood". Catholic News Agency. 
  32. ^ Fang, Tony; Liang, Alice (February 14, 2001), "ROC PRESIDENT AWARDS FOUNDER OF FOCOLARE MOVEMENT", Central News Agency - Taiwan, retrieved February 19, 2010 
  33. ^ "UNESCO peace prize for founder of Focolare movement", Deutsche Presse-Agentur, August 12, 1996, retrieved February 19, 2010 
  34. ^ "Beatification cause opened for founder of Focolare movement". Catholic News Agency. Retrieved 2017-07-12. 
  35. ^ "La figlia suora che "dirigeva" De Gasperi". Avvenire (in Italian). 

External links[edit]