Focolare communities - June 2021

Over the past few months two Focolare communities have opened within the St Newman Cluster in the Archdiocese of Birmingham.

The Focolare Movement is similar to a large and varied family, of a 'new people born of the Gospel', as Chiara Lubich, its founder, defined it.

It is a movement of spiritual and social renewal, founded in Trent, Italy, in 1943, during the Second World War. The Focolare Movement, officially known as the Work of Mary, was approved by the Catholic Church in 1962 and is now present in 182 countries.

The Focolare aims to spread the message of unity, inspired by Jesus’ prayer to the Father, 'May they all be one' (Jn 17:21). Its goal is to promote relationships of mutual love and to foster a world in which people respect and value diversity. People of the Movement engage in dialogue and are committed to building bridges between cultural groups and in every area of society.

Here in Birmingham, as well as building local ecumenical relationships, the Focolare has links with a number of different faith communities including the Nishkam Sikh community in Handsworth and the KSIMC Shi’a Muslim community in Balsall Heath.

Members of the Movement include Christians from different Churches, members of the major world religions and people of non-religious convictions. Each one adheres to the Movement’s goal and spirit, while faithfully following the precepts of their own faith and conscience.

At the heart of the movement are small communities of men and women who consecrate their lives to God and live in separate households called 'Focolares', from the Italian word for 'hearth'.

There is now a men’s Focolare in St Mary’s parish, Willenhall and a women’s Focolare in St Joseph’s parish, Darlaston, although we would like to try to move closer to Birmingham.

Married people are also members of these communities, while remaining in their families and being faithful to their commitment to marriage.

Families and other young people also live the spirituality of Focolare, along with priests, members of religious orders and many others committed to living the Gospel in their places of work and in society.

For more information visit the Focolare Movement website