«That all may be one» (Jn. 17,21)
We were born for these words, for unity, to give a contribution to its realization in the world. Chiara Lubich
|Publications and Media|
|Websites in the world|
|New City Press|
|On the Road to Budapest|
|Written by Midwest Youth for a United World|
|Sunday, April 15, 2012|
The Youth for a United World and Gen Movement of the Midwest are gearing up for Genfest 2012! This Labor Day weekend, about twenty teens and young adults from Chicago, St. Louis, Indianapolis, and Columbus will journey to Budapest, Hungary.
There, they will meet over 12,000 other young people from different countries, ethnic groups, cultures, and religions, all motivated by the same ideal—to live every day and every situation for universal brotherhood, to build a more caring and united world. They meet to share projects, experiences, and their daily impact in their own environments. By the way they live they witness to the possibility of positive change. They begin simply, striving to practice the Golden Rule, always putting their neighbor first.
Genfest 2012 begins Friday, August 31st and concludes September 1st. The jam-packed program features interactive workshops, music, dances, witness talks, and all those present sharing a lot of experiences. They will also stage a march for peace and brotherhood from the main arena in Budapest to the different bridges scattered throughout the city. The metaphor of building bridges will symbolize constructing genuine relationships. At the end of the program the youth, who have already collected thousands of signatures on a petition, will call for the establishment at the UN of a permanent observer for universal brotherhood.
The Genfest 2012 program will feature a representative from the Midwest! Ann, a young Catholic from Ohio, will demonstrate how she has drawn inspiration from the life of Blessed Chiara Luce Badano. Ann will perform an original song that captures this inspiration at as a call to all young people in the world to live for something more.
Genfest is unique in that it is put on by the youth for the youth. This worldwide expression of unity comes to fruition when a community comes together as one band, one sound, one family. Such an event requires much planning, execution, and funding. Many have already made their contribution, even those who cannot themselves make the trip to Budapest. Although their physical journey begins this summer, for the Midwest youth the spiritual journey is already in full swing. Fundraising projects and experiences that have transformed lives have provided many opportunities to share talents and ideas with their neighbors.
Here in the Midwest, the youth have experienced a wealth of concrete support in the form of a donated Apple IPad for a region-wide raffle, a generous wave of monetary pledges towards 'Sponsor-a-Gen'- a fund that supports youth-in-need wishing to participate in Genfest 2012, and prayers from the community at large. Most recently, the late Focolare Volunteer, Betty Bendiola, fought a brave battle against cancer. In her last months, she repeatedly expressed how she was also living for the youth, offering her suffering and discomfort for the many fruits that Genfest 2012 would bring. While she is now watching from above, the youth continue to live for her, finding a renewed strength, faith, and commitment to move forward so that the Genfest will create the positive change of which Betty was a catalyst in her own beautiful life.
Please support our future fundraiser events!
To learn more about Genfest, check out: