A representative of Catholic Focolare Movement visits DDM

In the afternoon of 14 April 2009, the Director of the Center for Interreligious Dialogue of Focolare Movement, Stella Chiu (Chiu Yuen Ling), paid her first visit to the Dharma Drum Mountain World Center for Buddhist Education for promoting mutual friendship and giving her warmest tribute to Venerable Master Sheng Yen.

The Abbot President, Venerable Guo Dong expressed his warmest gratitude to her tribute and welcomed her arrival for the promotion of friendship between two organizations.

Before meeting with the Abbot President, Director Chiu first took a guided scenic tour within the Centre. The tour took her to the Wish Fulfilling Guanyin Hall, the Grand Buddha Hall, the Founding History Memorial Hall, the Picture in Praise of Dharma Drum Mountain and the Founding Guanyin. Following the tour a reception was held at the reception room.

The Abbot President said that regardless of race, gender and religion we are all working on the same goal of the goodness of humanity. This represents DDM's idea of 'building a pure land on earth' that Venerable Master Sheng Yen had strived for with great compassion.

Director Chiu recalled the day she met Venerable Master Shen Yen in 1994, when the Master met with Pope John Paul II at the Vatican. She said since then she had always hoped she could visit Dharma Drum Mountain some day and meet the Master again. Although the Master had passed away she felt that she should take the opportunity of visiting Taiwan and pay her highest regards to Venerable Master Sheng Yen.

The meeting lasted about thirty minutes in joyful atmosphere. Before leaving, the Abbot President said that he is looking forward to seeing more exchanges and cooperation between organizations in the future for the welfare of human beings.

The Focolare Movement is a lay movement born in the heart of the Catholic Church. It began in 1943 during World War II, in Trent, Northern Italy. Amidst all the bombings and destruction, a group of young women, led by the then 23 year old Chiara Lubich, made the great discovery that GOD IS LOVE, an experience that radically changed their lives. They lived their lives as persons whose actions and thoughts are based on the Gospel.

The movement is made up of persons of all ages, races, vocations, and is now spread to over 100 nations. Focolare means "hearth" and "family fireside" in Italian. The founder, Chiara Lubich, died in March 2008 at age 88.

(by Jin Yang/edited by DDM Australia Editing Team)

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