Focolare is an ecclesial movement for spiritual and social renewal that includes people with no religious affiliation, faithful of the world’s religions, Christians of various denominations, and Catholics. Each shares the movement’s goal and spirit, while at the same time following their own faith and conscience. Inspired by Jesus’ prayer, “May they all be one” (Jn 17:21), Focolare features a spirituality of unity, which has become a lifestyle for people of all ages and backgrounds. It transforms their lives and relationships, and by extension positively influences the social and ecclesial contexts where they live and work. Together with many other groups moving in this direction, Focolare is committed to building fraternal relationships among individuals, peoples, religions and cultures. It does this by engaging in various forms of dialogue in many areas of society.
Focolare is a communitarian spirituality. We go to God together, which means we aim to give of ourselves to the point that the person we love begins to reciprocate. In the spirituality of unity, love of neighbor is not only a consequence of loving God, but the indispensable path to loving God. Love for God inevitably leads to love of neighbor and loving one’s neighbor in turn leads to union with God.
Focolare in the Archdiocese of Washington:
Focolare has participated in the AEMNC since its beginning in the Archdiocese of Washington. Since the great majority of our members are lay people, we participate in the parish, but also live our Gospel-based lifestyle in our families, our jobs, and in our communities. We are people of dialogue. The Focolare Word of Life is a phrase chosen each month and shared around the world that we’re all invited to live by. There are special versions for children and teens as well.
We have gatherings for children, teens, young adults, and families. There also are national gatherings for priests, religious and even bishops.
In the Archdiocese, our community is multicultural, we have people coming from all the continents. We have annual meetings in various local colleges or retreat centers. We also have virtual meetings that help in the formation of our people through various Webinars, recently emphasizing racial justice, political dialogue, climate change and other topics. We actively commit to helping the marginalized, immigrants, and the poor.