15 March 2017
The Pope to “New Families”: “Go on like this!”
In his final greetings at the Wednesday General Audience on March 15th, in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis addressed words of encouragement the Focolare Movement “New Families,” which in the past days, after the ninth anniversary of the death the foundress Chiara Lubich (March 14th), gathered in Loppiano for the 50th anniversary of the creation of the movement of movements. “I am happy to welcome the participants of the Conference organized by the Focolare Movement on the fiftieth anniversary of its foundation—the Holy Father said, greeting them—and urge them to bear witness to the beauty of new families, guided by the peace and love of Christ. Go on like this!”
On March 11th and 12th, the families of the movement gathered in the citadel in the province of Florence for a meeting on the theme “The Family: a creative resource for the social fabric of every people.” This was an occasion to remember Chiara Lubich and to share with a thousand people of all generations—not only Christians but also Muslims, Buddhists, and Hindus—the family’s contribution to the good of humanity.
In an article published in today’s issue of L’Osservatore Romano, Maria Voce, president of the Focolare Movement, writes that “only families renewed from within in this way, despite being weak and imperfect, as we all are, can give the world the healing light and love it needs, so that society can find genuine models to follow.”
The initiatives taken by the family to help and serve others “will prevent families being closed in on themselves and fruit in a responsible and constructive society,” says Maria Voce. “Values like fellowship, solidarity, self-sacrifice and reciprocity, which are ‘normal’—so to speak—in family life, can bring new approaches that break through inflexible institutional structures and thus become reference points for a new social order.”