[New City Magazine – July 2020, page 3]

Firstly, an apology to readers in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. In the editorial last month I spoke about the British Government beginning to ease the lockdown in June. This of course was just for England and not for the whole of the UK!

This month New City reports on ‘United World Week’ which took place at the beginning of May 2020. Conleth Burns reports in ‘Time for Peace’ (page 4) how the pandemic, despite all its negative consequences, actually enhanced this annual event, rather than ruined it.

The use of technology such as zoom, skype etc allowed more people to participate than ever before. As Conleth reports: ‘The 1000 events that made up this years’ United World Week (UWW) came from over 100 countries hosted from communities in over 400 cities. It was the most global UWW ever. For the first time, we didn’t need to hop on a plane to get involved in this event in another country – you just had to go onto YouTube or get a Zoom meeting ID’.

Many of us are now using technology more than ever to link up during these months of lockdown. Zoom particularly has taken off and allowed us to dialogue with people all over the world. I have been particularly struck how, when there is mutual love, there has been a real presence of Christ amongst participants so that everyone has been uplifted and enlightened.

It is interesting that Chiara Lubich always saw technology as being a way of spreading the Focolare spirituality of unity – a vehicle for helping bring people together and to bring about ‘God’s dream’ of ‘That all may be one’.

Paul Gateshill


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