Once again, this year, the Mariapolis will be held online from 2-3rd October 2021. The theme will be ‘Our heart, our home, our world’, exploring how we change the world, by starting with ourselves.

Mariapolis is an annual gathering organised by the Focolare Movement, whose inspiration comes from Jesus’ prayer ‘That all may be one’ (Jn 17: 21). People from all walks of life and expressions of faith are invited to join and explore a society built on fraternity, peace and justice. There will be moments of reflection, sharing of real life stories, workshops and time for relaxation and fun together. Children and young people are very welcome.

With the coronavirus pandemic, racism, social inequality, divisions and conflicts, climate change… it could be easy to lose hope. But a just, peaceful, caring and united world is possible.

Some readers may remember last year’s online Mariapolis? It was a ‘first’ in many ways. For many of us it was a boost that was really needed at that time of lockdown.

Feedback on the online Mariapolis in 2020

An essential characteristic of Mariapolis is the participation by people of all ages and backgrounds. The challenge to make an online event child-friendly and accessible to those unfamiliar with current technology was a huge one. However, teams working together over many Zoom and phone hours developed a programme that crossed these barriers more effectively than could have been expected.

An exceptional joy was the participation by many who would have been unable to attend a physical event due to health limits or other restrictions. Also, the international aspect of Mariapolis was enhanced by connection points in the USA, Finland, Canada, Sweden, India and Nigeria…

Impressions from Mariapolis 2020

‘This was my first Mariapolis (having been invited by friends). I was struck by the joy of everyone and it was great to see the film about the founder, Chiara Lubich. I felt as though I learnt more about love… I had a lot to reflect on. I loved the personal stories/testimonies and to hear the wonderful results where people have reached out to others by being the first to love. It gave me a better insight as to how we make Jesus present through acts of charity.’

‘The theme of “light” was truly visible in the programme of the day, particularly through the experiences. However, the most significant witness was the spirit of family and unity among all participants, regardless of their geographic locations, ages, races, faiths, cultures and backgrounds.’

‘I really appreciated the potential to participate from any location, making it viable for many, who may otherwise have travel, financial or personal problems. Also the great input by the young people (presenters, animators and personal contribution of experiences) was indeed a very powerful and refreshing message to all generations.’

‘I loved the way technology was used creatively to bring the Focolare family and friends together for an online Mariapolis. Although we were in different places, it really did feel like the “face to face” Mariapolis.’

Do join us! Further information will be posted on www.focolare.org/gb

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