|Memorial Mass for One Year Anniversary of Chira|
|Written by Midwest Administrator|
|Wednesday, April 22, 2009|
On Saturday, March 28, hundreds crowded the chapel of the Sisters of St. Mary of Providence in Chicago to commemorate the first anniversary of Chiara Lubich’s departure for paradise.
Cardinal George presided, together with a dozen other priests and Bishop Thad Jakubowski. The entire Focolare family gathered, including representatives from other ecclesial movements, other Christian churches, and many Muslims, Jews, Hindus from the Swadhyaya Movement, and Buddhists from the Rissho Kosei-Kai.
In his personal, heartfelt tribute, Cardinal George summed up the life of the Focolare Movement in terms of its dialogues: “In a very divided world, our task at this time is to preach unity, to reach out and love all those whom God loves: to reach out in ecumenical dialogue, to reach out in interfaith dialogue, to reach out in projects that create justice and peace because they are founded in love, to reach out in such a way that the Church, as the Second Vatican Council says, can be truly the sacrament, the living sign, of the unity of the human race.” He thanked the Movement “with all my heart,” and pledged to “continue to honor this vocation and to try to learn from you how to be one in love.”
Following the Mass, more than 400 crowded a reception hall decorated with posters depicting the various steps Chiara had taken in her life. There, with Cardinal George, they watched a brief program honoring her. The Cardinal, who remained to greet everyone one by one, said this as he prepared to leave: “There was certainly an atmosphere of family here.”