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Chiara Lubich

Born: January 22, 1920

Died: March 14, 2008

I had the good fortune to meet Chiara Lubich in 1978 when I became a member of the Focolare Movement. I was beginning my career in interreligious dialogue and knew that Lubich had won the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion in 1977 in part due to her work in interfaith dialogue. I took the opportunity to ask her for some guidance, and she offered me three guidelines for my future work. The first guideline emphasizes the foundational importance of what the church calls “the dialogue of life.” Her second guideline was to search for “seeds” of truth in all religions and be enriched by their fruit, while also sharing the riches of our own tradition. Lubich’s third guideline affirmed the importance of developing personal relationships with people of different faiths in order to build bridges of unity. When I participate in interreligious dialogue following the guidelines of Chiara Lubich, I feel that I am contributing to a more united, just, and peaceful world—and that’s something that is sorely needed in this new century.

Donald W. Mitchell

More about Chiara Lubich:

Fire starter

Chiara Lubich’s vision of warmth and friendship has sparked dialogue among people of many faiths.

Image: CSC Audiovisivi - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons