Pope urges “New Horizons” to safeguard their charism

22 days ago
The Vatican

Pope Francis sends a video greeting to Chiara Amirante as the New Horizons Movement celebrates its 30th anniversary, and urges its members to safeguard their charism for future generations.

By Sr. Francine-Marie Cooper, ISSM

Pope Francis sent a video message to the foundress and president of the New Horizons Movement, Chiara Amirante, and to the members of the movement.

“I greet first of all Chiara, who has been chosen by the Lord to carry forward this Movement, this breath of the Spirit that has awakened so many consciences,” the Pope said.

And he continued in a familiar tone: “So, to you on your 30th birthday, have a beautiful cake! Happy birthday!”

Charism must be safeguarded!

In his message, the Holy Father spoke of the necessity to safeguard the New Horizon’s charism. “Whenever a Movement develops, there is a danger that the charism may become diluted and lose the strength it had at the beginning,” he warned.

He encouraged the foundress and the collaborators not to lose sight of the charism and to preserve what the Lord has given to them through the founder.

The Holy Father offered two fundamental ways of safeguarding the charism: “prayer – one cannot go forward without prayer – and courage – do not lose that boldness, that courage to carry it forward,” he said.

All charisms must pass through the Cross of the Lord

Pope Francis reassured the members of the movement that when a charism develops, there are “almost always moments of misunderstanding, dark moments, even on the part of the Church.”

He recalled how the Society of Jesus was also supressed. “At times, there are difficult moments; all charisms must pass through the Cross of the Lord, sooner or later,” the Pope said.

The Pope urged the community to remain faithful to the charism, but to also adhere to that which the Church may ask of a community, the directives it may give in order to help it grow.

Understanding the charism

The Holy Father admitted to knowing the charism of the movement for many years, but only really understanding it after visiting the community.

“For me, it was like an anointing of the charism: to see all of you linked to the founder and with the desire to move forward with the Church,” he added.

The Pope praised the New Horizons Movement for its efforts to be close “to the poor, the marginalized, and those who are set aside by society.”

“I greatly appreciate it when you go out on the streets and take the young people who are lost in the illusion of life and give them a reason to live, a reason to grow,” he said.

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