Monthly Archives: November 2013

20131104 Success through failure 失敗乃成功之母

Catherine de Hueck Doherty was born in Russia on Aug. 15, 1896. At the age of 15, Catherine married Boris de Hueck. During the Russian Revolution, many of her family members were killed. After narrowly escaping death, Catherine and Boris became refugees and came to Canada in 1921. Their son George was born the same year in Toronto.
Catherine worked hard to support her ailing husband and child, but after years of painful struggle, her marriage to Boris fell apart. Eventually Catherine’s marriage with Boris was annulled by the Church in 1943.
Very talented in public speaking, Catherine soon became a successful lecturer. However the words of Christ pursued her relentlessly: “Sell all you possess, and come, follow Me.”
On Oct. 15, 1930, Catherine made the decision to give her life to Jesus. She marked this as the day of the beginning of her apostolate. Catherine sold all her possessions and provided for her son. She started to live in the slums of Toronto, and began her lay apostolate among the poor.

Friendship House
Young men and women came to join Catherine. She established Friendship House, and lived the spirituality of St. Francis of Assisi. It was the time of the Great Depression. Members of Friendship House offered hospitality and provided material assistants to the poor.
They also combatted the tide of communism through lectures, discussions, and the distribution of “The Social Forum” newspaper, based on the social encyclicals of the Church.
False but persistent rumours about her and the Friendship House forced its closure by churchmen in 1936. During the Christmas season in 1936, Catherine was tempted to suicide. However, she heard the voice of Christ beckoning her to share His suffering.
Catherine left Toronto, and was invited by a priest to open a Friendship House in Harlem. Catherine accepted the invitation in 1938. In 1943, after obtaining the annulment of her first marriage, Catherine married a widower, Eddie Doherty, a journalist who had fallen in love with her while writing a story about her apostolate.
The Friendship House in Harlem also ended in failure. Divisions developed among the staff, and in January 1947 they out-voted Catherine on points she considered essential to the apostolate. Seeing this as a rejection of her vision of Friendship House, she stepped down as Director General.

Madonna House
Shattered by the ordeal of Friendship House, Catherine came to Combermere, Ont., with Eddie on May 17, 1947, intending to retire. However, as Catherine was recovering from the trauma, she began to serve those in need in the Combermere area.
She and Eddie established a newspaper, “Restoration,” and a training centre for the lay apostolate. Again young men and women asked to join her.
On April 7, 1954, those living in Combermere voted to embrace a permanent vocation with promises of poverty, chastity and obedience, and the community of Madonna House was established.
The next year, Catherine and Eddie made a promise of chastity and lived celibate lives thereafter. On Aug. 15, 1969, Eddie was ordained a Catholic priest in the Melkite rite at the age of 78.
The spirit of the Madonna House is that of a family, modelled on the Holy Family of Nazareth, which was a community of perfect charity and love. Members of Madonna House are involved in theology, philosophy, special programs, publication, science, fine arts, drama, farming, carpentry, cooking, and laundry.
Catherine said, “Nothing is foreign to the apostolate, except sin…. The primary work of the apostolate is to love one another.”
Catherine died on Dec. 14, 1985, after a long illness. She left behind a spiritual family of more than 200 members, and foundations around the world.




























20131028 “That they may all be one” 「願他們合而為一」

Last week we looked at the life of Blessed Chiara Luce Badano, who was active in the Focolare Movement. This week we are focusing on another Chiara, Chiara Lubich (1920-2008), the foundress of the Focolare Movement.
She was born in Trent, in northern Italy, on Jan. 22, 1920, and was baptized with the name Silvia.

Focolare Movement
In 1939 Chiara visited the Marian Sanctuary of Loreto and there discovered her special calling. She would found something new in the Church, a “focolare,” a community of people consecrated and married, all totally committed to God.
On Dec. 7, 1943, Chiara committed her whole life to God with a vow of chastity. In May 1944 Chiara started to live with four of her first companions at a small apartment offered to her, which she would call “la casetta” (the little house) in memory of Loreto, and the “Focolare” was born.
In 1948 the first men’s focolare was opened in Trent. Chiara also met Igino Giorgani, a father of four, who would become the first married focolarino.
Starting in 1949 Chiara had a yearly retreat with her companions. This annual gathering of the Focolare Movement is known as a “Mariapolis” (City of Mary). Members and newcomers come together to discuss the movement and its spirituality, forming a temporary town with only one law, evangelical charity.
In 1953 Chiara launched the branch of the “married focolarini,” and in 1954 she formed the branch of the diocesan priests and that of the religious men and consecrated women who adhere to the spirituality of the movement.

Little towns
In 1962 Chiara visited a Swiss abbey where she had the idea of having ‘little towns’ inhabited by the people of the Focolare Movement.
She wrote: “It was at Einsiedeln that I understood, from looking at the abbey church below and all that was surrounding it, that a town of the movement should develop which wouldn’t be made up of an abbey or hotels, but rather of simple houses, workplaces, schools: just like an ordinary town.”
A young man, Vincenzo Folonari, donated all his wealth to the Focolare Movement, including a large tract of land in the hills near Florence. This donation allowed the building of the first little town or permanent Mariapolis, Loppiano.
Loppiano currently has a population of 900 of whom 70 come from the five continents. Each year about 40,000 people visit Loppiano. There are 32 little towns of the Focolare Movement around the world.
In 1967 Chiara founded the Gen Movement (New Generation), the youth branch of the Focolare Movement. It was this branch that Blessed Chiara Luce Badano (1971-1990) belonged to.
Dialogue with people of other religions is the charism of the Focolare Movement. During her life, Chiara Lubich met and dialogued with Lutheran pastors, the Primate of the Church of England, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, and the Supreme Patriarch of Thai Buddhism.
She shared the spirituality of unity by giving addresses to non-Catholic Christians, Buddhists, Muslims, and non-believers.
Chiara died on March 14, 2008. Thousands of people attended her funeral Mass on March 18 in the Basilica of St.-Paul-Outside-the-Walls in Rome. There were politicians and representatives of other faiths.
Pope Benedict XVI sent a message in which he stated that Chiara was a woman “in full unity with the thoughts of the Popes.” Cardinal Bertone, in his homily, described her as one of the “bright stars of the 20th century.”
“We should live in such a way that in our last hours we will not regret having loved too little,” said Chiara Lubich.

去週,我們探討過真福嘉辣.魯斯生活的點滴,提到她參與「普世博愛運動」,而這運動創辦人是盧嘉勒女士(1920-2008) 。






1939年,盧嘉勒抵達洛肋圖聖母聖居朝聖,感到天主的召叫,在聖教會將有一個新景象 ──一個包括獻身者和已婚者的團體,成員們都同心奉獻給天主。


























20131021 Chiara accepted illness 嘉辣領受病苦

Blessed Chiara Luce Badano was the child of Maria Teresa and Ruggero Badano. The couple waited and prayed for 11 years for the gift of a child, and then Chiara was born Oct. 29, 1971.

Love for neighbours
Chiara desired that all the children of the world would be happy. She donated her best toys to the poor children, and set aside her pocket money for children in Africa. She invited poor people into the family’s home for holidays, and visited the elderly, and sick children.
At 9 years of age, Chiara became involved with the Focolare movement, and lived out the spirituality of unity.
To please Jesus, the teenage Chiara dressed in a clean and tidy way, without being flashy or ostentatious, because “what matters is to be beautiful inside.” She tried to turn the normal difficulties of daily life into opportunities of love. Chiara was a girl like all the others: she liked music, dancing, swimming, tennis, and hiking in the mountains.
Chiara had a wide circle of friends. When asked, she said she did not try to bring Jesus to her friends with words. She tried to bring Jesus to them by the way she listened to them, by the way she dressed, and above all, by the way she loved them.

Way of the cross
In the summer of 1988, during a tennis match, Chiara experienced a very sharp pain in her left shoulder. Medical tests revealed Chiara had osteosarcoma, one of the most serious and painful forms of cancer, and it had already started spreading.
Once back home after hearing the news, Chiara told her mum not to ask her any questions, and she experienced 25 minutes of “Gethsemane garden.” Eventually she said “yes” to Jesus about accepting her sufferings, and then she said: “Now you can speak, Mum,” and her face shone again with her usual luminous smile.
The treatment was painful. Chiara wanted to be informed of every detail of her illness. For each new and painful surprise, her offering was firm: “For You, Jesus; if You want it, I want it too!”
Chiara underwent two surgeries, and subsequent chemotherapy treatment caused her to lose her hair. As each lock of hair fell, she would say sincerely, “For You, Jesus.”
In July 1989 the tumour spread quickly, and Chiara lost the use of her legs. She said, “If I had to choose between walking or going to heaven, I would choose going to heaven.”
In the last year of her life, Chiara kept in touch with and encouraged the Focolare movement through telephone calls, messages, postcards, and posters. In May 1990, Chiara had the joy of watching Genfest 90, an international youth gathering held in Rome, from her home. She was a great inspiration for those who came to visit her.
Chiara refused to take pain medication, saying: “It reduces my lucidity,” and she added, “There’s only one thing I can do now: offer my suffering to Jesus, because I want to share as much as possible in His suffering on the cross.”
Chiara gave all savings to a friend who did missionary work in Africa. She said, “I have nothing left, but I still have my heart, and with that I can always love.”
With her mother, Chiara prepared for her “wedding celebration”: her funeral. Chiara asked to be dressed in a simple white wedding dress; she chose the music, the songs, the flowers, and the Mass readings. She told her mother, “When you’re getting me ready, Mum, you have to keep saying to yourself, ‘Chiara Luce is now seeing Jesus.'”
Chiara died at 4:10 a.m. Oct. 7, 1990. Her last words to Teresa, her mother, were “Goodbye. Be happy because I’m happy.”