At various times throughout the world members of the Focolare gather to learn and share in community the values and ideals of the movement.
Andrew: "This is my first experience here; my fiance brought me here. I liked the talk, and the image of Christ forsaken ... anything you're dealing with, Christ has already been there. Because a lot of us, at different parts in our lives, feel we've been forgotten, rejected or alone or abandoned in a way ... and it's a good image to come back to."
The entrance to the Mariapolis in New Hyde Park, New York.
Blessed Chiara Badano entered the Focolare Movement when she was only 9 years old. Chiara Lubich, founder of the Focolare, gave her the nickname "Luce," which means "pure light."
Jim: "I used to teach in the South Bronx. One of the people at a Focolare gathering said to me, 'Just love the kid in front of you,' and it changed everything; like, keep it simple. But I understood that I could do this in a way that was beneficial to them and to me."
Janek, Chantall and Zoila

Zoila: "It helps you to live the Gospel in a more practical way; you don't need to do great gestures, just love everyone, and treat people the way you'd like to be treated ... it doesn't matter if you're Christian, an atheist or Muslim, we can all practice this ... it's about unity."

Chantall: "This Movement says that being the first to love, and loving everyone in front of you, is the goal ... you have to go beyond yourself even if it's hard to do."
The children who participate at the Mariapolis events are well entertained with activities based on fellowship and good values ... and they enjoy it!
Many families with young children attend the Mariapolis events, raising their children with a true sense of love and fraternity that will stay with them throughout their lives.
Fr. Everst, who acts as a spiritual guide for the Focolare at the Mariapolis in New Hyde Park, celebrates Mass for the gathered Focolare members at the chapel on the premises.
Vanessa: "I am a lawyer, but I also wanted to do something more ... at a certain point in my life I understood that I wanted to dedicate my life for the movement ... now I'm a consecrated layperson (and still a lawyer) in the Focolare!"
One of many homes located in the Mariapolis in which people are encouraged to stay and grow and learn about the practice of "Love First."
Focolare members span all ages and creeds. They are united by their cause to love others.