«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|
|Focolare Christmas Parties|
|Written by Midwest Focolare|
|Wednesday, December 16, 2009|
Each year the local Focolare communities from Woodstock, IL, Wheaton, IL, Appleton, WI, Columbus OH, IIndianapolis, IN and places in between have a Christmas “party.” This year the parties even reached to the other side of the world.
Over the past several months a small community of Burmese refugees has settled near St. Pius X Parish on the north side of Indianapolis and have begun attending Mass there. The parishioners have sought to fulfill the needs of these families through religious education classes, English lessons, and other help.
On car ride to church, a Burmese family was invited to the Focolare Christmas party. They spread the invitation through parish contacts and through the Catholic Charities representative of the Burmese community in Indianapolis. Soon planning for the party took on a different tone.
Through the generosity of the Archdiocese and Bishop Chatard High School, translators were provided and 3 vans were made available for the Burmese families.
The “party” included a spiritual reflection, adult and children's skits, games, singing and refreshments. The theme, "To God through Other People,” was taken from a reflection by Chiara Lubich, founder of the Focolare Movement. The Focolare community celebrating together with 120 guests from the Burmese community, some Catholic and some from other faith traditions--175 in all--truly gave witness to the universal character of the Focolare Movement.
The reflection reminded us that our neighbor leads us to God. That day, neighbors from different parts of the world came together as God’s family to celebrate His love by singing together, eating together and spending time with one another. At the end of the event, the Burmese families shared the gift of Christmas songs in their native language. It turned out that language was not a barrier. The real language of Love spoken that day overcame all things!
These people, who have faced such hardship in their own land, are striving to maintain their identity as they form a new life in the United States. It was a blessing to celebrate Christmas together .