Cardinal Ryłko visits Loppiano

Cardinal Ryłko visits Loppiano

He was welcomed at IUS by the whole academic community

8 May 2012


“Let us thank God for the Charisms, the great gifts that He continues to give to the Church”: with these words Cardinal Stanisław Ryłko, President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, greeted the large crowd of citizens from the little town of the Focolare Movement, who welcomed him and all his international staff to Loppiano. 



This time, in a totally unexpected manner, this Vatican department, under which falls all the movements and new communities in the Catholic Church, chose Loppiano for their traditional annual trip, as the place to spend a day together outside of their regular work commitments, and to better know the charism of the Focolare (or Work of Mary).


Cardinal Ryłko noted how at Loppiano there is a particular intensity and dimension of a city-as-laboratory: “How many different expressions and initiatives the charism of a movement is able to generate. A charism is a living reality that has not yet said its last word; so there is this enormous openness and creativity…”.  

The Cardinal had visited Loppiano at the end of the ’80s, when its latest expressions had not yet been completed, such as the Sanctuary dedicated to Mary Theotokos, the Industrial Park of the Economy of Communion, and the Sophia University Institute.



“It is not by chance that we chose Loppiano as a place for our re-creation – explained Cardinal Ryłko in his homily at the Mass celebrated for the small town – where the charism of the Work of Mary is lived in a particularly intense way. To questions such as: ‘What is the Work of Mary, what are ecclesial movements?’, Loppiano simply responds: ‘Come and see for yourself.’” 


Recalling how the Focolare Movement was born before the Second Vatican Council, he defined Chiara Lubich as “the forerunner of that new aggregative season of the lay people which Blessed John Paul II spoke about,” and he mentioned her strong collaboration, in most recent years, with the Pontifical Council, of which she was an esteemed consultant.

At lunch time, Cardinal Ryłko and his whole group were hosted at the cafeteria of the Sophia University by its President, Piero Coda, and the whole academic community.  There was also a tour of the classrooms and the library, in a cordial climate of spontaneous sharing. Some students were able to introduce themselves and underline the diverse backgrounds they come from and the ecclesial experiences that distinguish them, a diversity that the life of Sophia places in communion, giving value to and enlightening the different paths.
After the visit to the Bonfanti Industrial Park and an encounter with the project for an Economy of Communion and the owners of the businesses housed there, the group left for their return to Rome.



Those who remained conserve a sense of a day lived in deep communion, a visible experience of the Church of the Third Millennium, underscored once again by the Cardinal when he spoke about “ an immense work that the Holy Spirit is fulfilling in the Church of our time, a great sign of hope.” “How can we not thank the Lord for this new springtime of the Spirit generated by the Second Vatican Council, which in the ecclesial movements and the new communities is manifested with particularly persuasive strength!”  


text: Editorial team
photo: SIF Loppiano and Zé Luis

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