New Members




NederlandsLast update: february 23rd 2008                                                    Italiano



Dear  Gen, Pope and Popi, Volunteers and members of other branches in the Focolare movement. Welcome to the alternative Focolare website. This is the place on our website for people who are part of the Focolare or Gen movement.

If you come across this website while you are a member of the Focolare, I can understand if you feel hurt, surprised, shocked or even angry. "Who is this person, writing about Focolare and why?", you might ask. 

Who made this website?

I have been a Gen for many years, later a Volunteer and member of a national Coordinating Council of the movement. After 20 years I have started to ask questions about the way things are done in the movement. Even after insisting for a long time, my questions were not answered. I was supposed to trust in the Love of God and the voice of Jesus in our midst. I have given may years of my life to the movement, many thousands of dollars, I even married the person that was meant for me according to my Gen-assistant. I called the pope and popi my brothers and sisters, and yet sadly we have grown apart. 

Now I could have started a new life and forget about this period in the movement. It would have been the easy way. many former members do like this. Why not me? I don't have a grudge against the movement. I do not hate, nor feel bitter. I am aware of and grateful for the good things that have happened. I am aware that I was part of something big. I can still remember the meetings in Rocca di Papa, Frascati, Loppiano, Castel Gandolfo. I feel my heart beating while listening to Gen Rosso and Gen Verde. Nothing is forgotten, and still I have decided to take my life a step further.

So why this website? 

Once I met the late Mother Theresa of Calcutta. When I told her proudly that I was a gen, she looked at me carefully and said to me:"There is more to life than Focolare". At that time I was astonished. In my mind, there was nothing more important than Focolare. Now I understand her words.

I am not reaching out anymore for the leaders of the movement, not to Chiara, Oreste, Sylvana, Gys, Pepuccio, Opus, Vale or any of the other leaders that I have met so often in Rome. It is clear to me now that they are beyond my scope. But I like to address the hard working focolarini, volunteers and gen who are in the countries where focolare is working. I like to start a conversation with anybody who still has a little bit of their own conscience and free will left, in spite of years of exposure to collegamenti that have encouraged you to give up your own thoughts, desires, feelings for the love of God.

I know that it can be hard for you to read this website. It seems to go against everything you believe in. It seems to attack your most precious Ideal. But please believe me, this is not the case. I must admit that I had years in my life that I felt bitter towards the focolarino who has manipulated my life, but those feelings are gone. There has been a time when I worked on this website out of negative feelings, but also those days have passed.

During the years of this website I have encountered many friendly people in the same situation. They made me see that this website has another purpose. I do not mean to attack the Ideal, nor encourage people to leave the movement.

What is the goal?

My first goal, and that of the people who work with me on this website, is to make it more clear that Focolare can be a good and positive force, but it runs the risk of taking over people's lives and conscience. Not at the beginning but after some years, you begin to believe that the Ideal it worth dying for and that this goal is so great that any means are justified to reach it. You start to permit suffering in your own life, and next you also accept some suffering in other people's lives if it is for this sanctification of the person or the good of the cause. I was told that the voice of Jesus in the midst is more important than my own conscience because the latter might be flawed by sin and human desire. After some time I lost the ability to make my own decisions; I only did what Jesus in our midst said was right. I stopped to grow as a person and became a child, a popa... For this I was rewarded by the other members of the focolare. I was encouraged to go on like this, la popa piu graziata della scuola Gen, I was the Gen who had received God's grace in a special way.

Now, in this website I like to say. I am happy for the good things the focolare has done, but I warn the movement not to take over other people's conscience. Let the members free in what they do or believe. Accept some disagreement. The world will not be less ONE if there is more freedom. God is a God who lets His children be free.

My second goal is to give a forum, a platform for people who, just like me find themselves in a vacuum after leaving the movement. All our friends outside the focolare are gone, we have abandoned our families for the love of God and the Focolare and we stand alone. Our Focolare friends stopped seeing us because they are just too busy spreading the Ideal and they are disappointed with very member who leaves the movement. They believe we have rejected God's grace for us. So we are on our own, and I like to give the opportunity to meet and talk to other people in the same situation. The main instrument for this is the guest book. It is a great success and it has had over 20.000 visitors.

Finally, I also like to show that people have been able to live very good and meaningful lives after they have left Focolare. And I like to help you in making this step, if you feel that it is your time too.

Please be not offended by this initiative. I am always open to talk or write with any member of the movement. Thank you for your understanding.

Anastasia (This is a alias to protect myself, my friends and family)



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