|Election of the president and other heads of the Movement|
|Miércoles 02 de Julio de 2008|
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Opening of the general Assembly of the Focolare Movement for the Election of the new president. The Pope's message
After just over three months from the loss of Chiara Lubich, who founded and guided the Focolare Movement for more than 60 years, "we are called to live a historic moment, a new and unexplored era." These are the words with which this morning Oreste Basso, co-president of the Focolare Movement, gave start to the general Assembly which will elect the new president, the co-president and the general council members.
A telegram from the Pope expressing his encouragement and his wishes, signed by Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, was received with great joy. Benedict XVI assured his prayers so that the Movement continues to give "fruitful evangelical witness according to the charisma of the never forgotten and deeply mourned Chiara Lubich."
He hoped that "this important event will give rise to generous resolutions to a renewed adherence to Christ and ever increasing generous apostolic impetus in response to today’s challenges," and imparted his apostolic blessing on the delegates present at the Mariapolis Centre in Castelgandolfo and on the entire Movement.
There are 516 participants to the Assembly composed of the outgoing directing board, including the central heads of the various branches, and the delegates of the Movement from the 5 continents.
The works will continue until the 31st of July. The election procedures will follow a few days of preparation, after which the Assembly will proceed to tackle matters which are fundamental to the life of the entire Movement.