Rev. Michael Doody
62 Headingley Lane
Tel: 01274 677992
Members of the Focolare Movement met members of the new diocesan Samuel Group last month and spoke about their foundress, Chiara Lubich and about their lives in community. They explained how the Movement was founded in 1944 in Trent in northern Italy whilst the city was being heavily bombarded. Chiara Lubich and several other young women realised that although earthly life is fragile and temporary, God's love is constant and eternal. They determined to put the gospel into action by fostering unity in all circumstances. The movement is well known for its ecumenical and interfaith work.
Celia, Anne and Sandra (who is Swiss), pictured with participants Trish and Lauren, live in Headingley in Leeds. The Focolare Movement has single and married members and a vibrant section for young people; it also has members among the clergy and the religious orders. (Further information: http://focolare.org.uk).
The Samuel Group is one of several which have been set up around the country in recent times. These groups were the idea of Cardinal Carlo Martini who set one up in the 1980s in Milan where he was archbishop. Based on the words of the boy Samuel "Here I am Lord; you called me" (1 Samuel 3:4), the groups aim to help young men and women (aged 18 to 35) to discern their vocations in the church. Through lectio divina, listening to personal testimonies, prayer, Mass, fellowship over a meal, and regular spiritual direction, participants gain clarity concerning smaller decisions, such as changing jobs, and larger decisions, such as opting for marriage (if the opportunity arises), priesthood or religious life.
The meetings take place at Leeds Trinity University College, beginning at 4pm and concluding, after 6pm evening Mass, with a meal. The next meeting will be on 8th January and will focus on a prayerful reading of the above quoted passage from 1 Samuel.