International Center for Unity and Peace
The plan consists of the construction of an international center of spirituality, study, dialogue and formation.
The desire of
Chiara Lubich (1920-2008) was foundress of the Focolare and she was conferred the UNESCO Prize for Peace Education, received various honorary citizenships and awards as well as 15 honorary doctorates in a variety of academic disciplines.
Already in 1956, Chiara Lubich had the opportunity to come to Jerusalem. She visited the site of the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu (in the area of Mt. Zion), which a tradition links to the moment following the Last Supper in which Jesus asks the Father “that they may all be one” (John 17:21). Chiara expressed the desire to one day have a center there, given that the specific goal of the Focolare is precisely to contribute to the fulfillment of Jesus’ prayer for unity.
The building project
On August 2, 2016, the Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee gave final approval of the plan of the “Focolare Visitor Center.”
The Center is planned as a multi-use structure suitable for hosting various local and international events and initiatives. It will cover two floors with a total surface area of 1,180 square meters: a lower floor is to be comprised of modular partitions with the possibility of seminar halls, an exhibition area, a library and a prayer room; the upper floor will include an auditorium for 150 persons, an administrative area and a coffee bar.
An essential and important part of the project is the surrounding open area of almost 8,000 square meters where rest areas will alternate with green zones, thus facilitating socializing and interactive activities.