1954: Father Giussani, moved by the intention to rebuild a Christian presence in the life of students, begins to teach religion in the Berchet classical high school in Milan. A small group of students immediately gathers around him, which gradually grows in size and spreads to other schools. Gioventù Studentesca (GS); English: Student Youth), which at first meets under the aegis of Catholic Action of the Archdiocese of Milan and later also spreads to other cities in Italy, is supported by Cardinal Giovanni Battista Montini.
1957: Cardinal Montini, Archbishop of Milan, writes a Lenten pastoral letter to the Milanese archdiocese entitled “On the Religious Sense.” In this text, the future Pope Paul VI offers an original appraisal of the state of the faith in Italy in the 1950s. Giussani welcomes the challenge that the letter contains, and in December of the same year, he brings out his own text with the title The Religious Sense, published by the Milanese archdiocesan leadership council of the Italian Youth of Catholic Action. The topic of the religious sense will supplement Giussani’s thought and educational work throughout his life, and will result in new, more detailed and thorough editions of his original text.
1959: The first writing which systematically presents the guiding ideas and method for GS life, entitled Gioventù Studentesca: riflessioni sopra un’esperienza [Student Youth: Reflections on an Experience] is published with the nihil obstat of Archbishop Carlo Figini.
1960: A second writing, Tracce d’esperienza cristiana (Outlines of Christian Experience) is issued, and will be followed by Appunti di metodo cristiano (Notes on a Christian Method), both with the nihil obstat of Archbishop Carlo Figini.
These three booklets will be among the first foundational texts of the Movement and will later be gathered in the volume Il cammino al vero è un’esperienza (The Path to Truth Is an Experience). Father Giussani will write that these texts “record the reasons and the consequent methodological data which were connected to the forming of the first local communities.”
1964: Father Giussani starts teaching Introduction to Theology at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan. That same year, the “Adult Group” (later Memores Domini, “Those who remember/bear witness to the Lord”) begins, gathering people in Communion and Liberation who follow a vocation of total dedication to God while living in the world. The factors that make up the lives of the “Adult Group” are contemplation, understood as a remembrance of Christ that tends to be constant, and mission, that is, the passion to bring the Christian proclamation to the lives of all men.
Members of the association aim to follow a life of Christian perfection, practicing the evangelical counsels “which can be summed up in the categories by which the Church traditionally recapitulates the imitation of Christ: obedience, in the sense that spiritual effort and the ascetical life are facilitated and authenticated by following; poverty, as detachment from individual possession of money and material things; and virginity, as the renunciation of family for a dedication to Christ that even in its form is more complete” (“Memores Domini,” an interview with Father Giussani, 30Giorni, No. 5, 1989, pp. 56-62).
1965: Father Giussani goes to the United States for several months. When he goes back to Italy, he stops leading GS.
1968: The crisis in GS, which began in the mid-1960s, reaches its peak. Thousands of youth leave the Movement to join the student protest movement of Marxist inspiration.
1969: After the crisis of ’68, the Movement is born again with the new name of Communion and Liberation (CL) in a more mature form, bringing in not only high school students, but also an ever growing number of university students and adults.
The Movement’s new name is taken from the title of a flyer published in November by a group of students who remained connected to Father Giussani and who recognize him as head of the new entity. They will enthusiastically embrace that name: “Communion and Liberation: this is our job title.”
In the early 1970s, the School of Community is given more and more emphasis as the fundamental moment of catechesis for the entire life of the Movement.
1973: On March 31 at the Palalido in Milan, the first large public gathering organized by CL takes place, entitled In the Italian Universities for Freedom. The press will widely report the event, speaking of the birth of the second student movement. Among the participants is the Honorable Aldo Moro.
1974: On April 18, the first issue of CL is published, a “single monthly magazine, an expression of the lives of those in CL.” After various changes, the magazine will change its name in 1977 to Litterae Communionis, and change it definitively in 1993 to Tracce-Litterae Communionis (Traces-Letters of Communion).
1975: Paul VI, during a Palm Sunday youth pilgrimage to Rome which he had promoted, grants the use of the Nervi Auditorium to CL for an assembly. In a private conversation, he encourages Father Giussani with these words: “This is the path; keep following it.”
1976: An assembly of University Communion and Liberation (CLU) is held in Riccione, where Father Giussani’s input marks a decisive turning point for the whole Movement: “The destiny of our community depends on the preference for presence over utopia. Presence means bringing communion into being.”
Many different instances of aggression and violence occur against the members of Communion and Liberation. This will go on for several years, reaching a peak in 1977 when a total of 120 attacks on CL members and offices take place throughout Italy.
1977: The publishing house, Jaca Book, publishes the first edition of Father Giussani’s work Il rischio educativo (The Risk of Education), a collection of his reflections on the topic of education.
1978: Several groups begin to arise which call themselves “confraternities,” which lie at the origin of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation.
1979: On January 18, Pope John Paul II (elected October 16, 1978) receives Father Giussani in a private audience. Shortly afterwards, a letter from Father Giussani appears in Litterae Communionis which he addresses to all the groups of Communion and Liberation, entitled Serviamo Cristoin questo grande uomo (Let Us Serve Christ in This Great Man). He writes, “As soon as I left the audience, I felt a huge responsibility in the heart of my joy: a willingness to serve that man with all my strength and with all my life. I would like this responsibility to impact all of us. My friends, let us serve this man; let us serve Christ in this great man with all of our existence.”
On March 31, the Pontiff receives the university students of the Movement (CLU) in an audience.
1980: July 11: the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation receives the first official recognition as “Canonical Association” by the abbot of Montecassino, Monsignor Martino Matronola. What brought to this important step is the mutual acknowledgement of the affinity between the Benedictine and the Movement’s spirit.
1982: On February 11, by decree of the president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation is established as “a juridical person for the universal Church” and declared an “association of pontifical right.”
On August 29, Pope John Paul II visits the Meeting for Friendship among the Peoples, now in its third “edition.” On the occasion, the Pontiff entrusts the people of CL with an assignment: “You must turn your gaze to ‘the architect of our salvation’ in order to build a civilization arising out of truth and love – the civilization of love! – in order not to live in agony, not to spend yourselves in unbridled selfishness, in insensitivity blind to others’ pain. Brothers and sisters, never tire of building this civilization! This is the assignment I leave you today. Work for it, pray for it, suffer for it!”
1983: Father Giussani is named Monsignor by John Paul II, with the title of Honorary Prelate of His Holiness. In the summer of this year, Father Giussani takes part at the Meeting for Friendship among the Peoples in a meeting entitled The Freedom of God, joined by the French Orthodox theologian Olivier Clément.
1984: On the thirtieth anniversary of the Movement, John Paul II receives ten thousand members of CL in an audience, giving them the mandate, “Go into the whole world to bring the truth, the beauty, and the peace that are found in Christ the Redeemer. This is the assignment that I leave you.”
New impulse is thus given to the Movement’s missionary spread.
In the mid-1980s, after the end of the period of large and sometimes violent ideological clashes, the presence of CL members in the universities shows itself in the numerous offers of assistance to incoming students to help them get situated in their programs of study and find housing. Meanwhile, CL organizes various cultural and social projects to secure services to meet student needs.
1985: The Pontiff receives five hundred priests who are members of CL in an audience, and exhorts them to “continually renew the discovery of the charism that has fascinated you.”
The Priestly Fraternity of the Missionaries of Saint Charles Borromeo, founded by Father Massimo Camisasca, is born from the charism of CL.
During the summer, Father Giussani visits the Meeting of Rimini for a second time, where he conducts a meeting entitled God Has Need of Man, which he will conclude with these words: “Our ship, sailing the ocean of life, has struck bottom on something great: the presence of God. And nothing happens. Nothing: calm, waves. Everything is just like before. Has everything already happened, and are we already unperturbed with this different reality, already complacent? My wish for me and for you is that we never be unperturbed, never again be unperturbed.”
At the end of September, the majority of the priests and young people who belong to the Nueva Tierra Association in Spain merge with the Movement of Communion and Liberation.
1986: The publishing house Jaca Book issues a reworked text of Father Giussani’s The Religious Sense. It forms part of a publishing project known as the PerCorso, made up of three volumes, the third of which is subdivided into two books. The PerCorso follows the course of Father Giussani’s lessons, which he used since he began teaching at the Berchet high school in Milan and subsequently revised and enriched, using them also in his Introduction to Theology course at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan.
1987: On June 27, Father Giussani accepts the invitation of the Nagoya International Center in Japan, and travels there for a conference on Buddhism and Christianity. His presentation will be published in the monthly magazine Tracce under the title “A Clarity of Faith in the Face of the Best of Buddhism.” After this meeting, he is invited to Koyasan, some twenty-five miles from the city of Osaka, center of the Shingon (which in Japanese means “true word”) Buddhism. Thus begins his friendship with the Buddhist monks of Mount Koya.
1988: On December 8, the Memores Domini are approved by the Holy See, which recognizes their juridical personality as a “universal private ecclesial association.”
1991: At the invitation of Cardinal Camillo Ruini, president of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, the Fraternity of CL takes part in the National Council of Lay Associations.
1992: On October 17, to mark the tenth anniversary of the pontifical recognition of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, Father Giussani leads a pilgrimage to Lourdes for the whole Fraternity, as an act of gratitude and supplication. Five thousand members of CL from Italy, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Germany, Switzerland and France take part. His Excellency, Bishop Angelo Scola, presides at Holy Mass.
1993: The “Books of the Christian Spirit” series begins under the direction of Father Giussani, published by BUR-Rizzoli. From this point on Father Giussani publishes several volumes with Rizzoli and other publishing houses (including San Paolo, Marietti, SEI, and Piemme), which will be translated into many languages.
1995: Father Giussani receives the International Catholic Culture Award from the city of Bassano del Grappa.
1997: The first CD of the musical series “Spirto Gentil,” under the direction of Father Giussani, appears.
The Spanish language edition of CL’s official magazine begins, under the name Huellas, for distribution in Spain, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, the Dominican Republic, and Venezuela.
On December 11, under the sponsorship of Bishop Renato Martino, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, Father Giussani’s The Religious Sense is presented at the UN building in New York. Presenters include the Catholic theologian David Schindler, the Buddhist monk Shingen Takagi, and the Jewish musician David Horowitz.
1998: In Rome, representatives of CL give presentations and witnesses at the World Congress of Ecclesial Movements which is organized by the Pontifical Council for the Laity, taking place from May 27 to 29. At the end of the Congress, on May 30, John Paul II meets with the members of the Movements and of the New Communities in Saint Peter’s Square. Father Giussani and other founders of movements (including Chiara Lubich, Kiko Arguello, and Jean Vanier) offer their witnesses in the Holy Father’s presence. Father Giussani’s speech concludes with these words: “The true protagonist of history is the beggar: Christ begging for the heart of man, and the heart of man begging for Christ.”
1999: The International Center of Communion and Liberation begins its operations in Rome as a means of bringing together the various aspects of the Movement throughout the world, and as a service to the whole Church, especially in view of the Great Jubilee of the year 2000.
The English language edition of CL’s official magazine begins, under the name Traces, for distribution in Australia, Canada, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Ireland, Kenya, Nigeria, Taiwan, Uganda, and the United States. The Brazilian edition of the magazine, Passos, which began publication every two months in 1996, begins monthly publication.
On January 21, Father Giussani’s book La conscience religieuse de l’homme moderne (Religious Awareness in Modern Man) is presented at UNESCO headquarters in Paris. The philosopher Rémi Brague and His Excellency, Bishop Angelo Scola take part.
On March 19, the Priestly Fraternity of the Missionaries of Saint Charles Borromeo is recognized by John Paul II as a society of apostolic life of pontifical right.
On May 24, Father Giussani’s At the Origin of the Christian Claim, published by McGill-Queen’s University Press, is presented at the United Nations building in New York. Presenters include Archbishop John O’Connor of New York, Rabbi Neil Gillman, the Afghan ambassador Razan A.G. Farhadi.
On June 4, Father Luigi Giussani speaks in Vatican City at the conference “The Paternity of God and Paternity in the Family” organized by the Pontifical Council for the Family.
On June 18, as part of the seminar organized by the Pontifical Council for the Laity, entitled “Ecclesial Movements and New Communities in the Pastoral Solicitude of the Bishops,” Father Giussani offers his witness, describing the characteristics and purpose of CL.
2000: Throughout the entire Jubilee Year, many groups of Communion and Liberation take part in various celebrations with the Pope, including the Workers’ Jubilee, World Youth Day, the Jubilee of the University World, and the Jubilee of Families. For the latter, Father Giussani sends his input to the international theological and pastoral conference entitled “Children: Springtime for the Family and for Society,” organized by the Pontifical Council for the Family from October 10 to 12.
The Russian language edition of CL’s magazine begins under the name Sled, and the French language edition begins publication as Traces.
On September 18, the new headquarters of the International Center of CL has its grand opening in Rome. The event is hosted by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Secretary of State for His Holiness, who reads a letter sent by John Paul II for the occasion.
2001: Numerous activities are promoted by CL members in favor of freedom of education, equal treatment of private and public schools, and school vouchers. Two large demonstrations initiate the battle for school reform. The first is staged in Milan on December 2 and the second in Saints Apostles’ Square in Rome (December 7th).
On October 14, Father Giussani receives the tenth “Corona Turrita” prize, awarded by the city of Desio in recognition of its most illustrious citizens.
2002: February 11 is the twentieth anniversary of the pontifical recognition of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation. To mark the event, John Paul II sends Father Giussani a long handwritten letter, in which he says, among other things, “As I go back in memory over the life and works of the Fraternity and the Movement, the first aspect that strikes me is the commitment you have put into listening to the needs of today’s man. Man never stops seeking... The only answer which can satisfy him and appease this search of his comes from the encounter with the One who is at the source of his being and his action. The Movement, therefore, has chosen and chooses to indicate not a road, but the road toward a solution to this existential drama. The road, as you have affirmed so many times, is Christ. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, who reaches the person in his day-to-day existence… Christianity, even before being a sum of doctrines or a rule for salvation, is thus the ‘event’ of an encounter. This is the insight and experience that you have transmitted in these years to so many people who have adhered to the Movement. Communion and Liberation, more than offering new things, aims at helping people rediscover the Tradition and history of the Church, in order to express this in ways capable of speaking to and engaging the men of our time.”
Shortly afterwards, Father Giussani writes a letter to the members of Communion and Liberation. In one passage, he writes, “What a daunting work emerges from this letter! We are always starting afresh! What has to happen is something new, an extremely weighty step in our history. This is a moment of responsibility; its movements are revealed over time, as an urgent need to root the Spirit’s judgment in our existence. Each of us can either concur with it in an orderly and obedient manner, or resist it, justifying his resistance on the basis of his carnality, making it impossible to defend serenity or to fight against the obvious destruction of what happens. Everything depends on a serene, and thus constructive, obedience of our labor.”
Organized by the New York community, the Way of the Cross is followed across the Brooklyn Bridge on March 29, arriving at Ground Zero, in memory of the victims of September 11, 2001. This public gesture will involve thousands of people, including the mayor of New York, Giuliani.
October 15 is Father Giussani’s eightieth birthday. More than two thousand faxes, emails, letters, and telegrams come in from all over the world, from representatives of politics, culture, the Church, and various religions, from individuals and communities.
On October 19, over twenty thousand Fraternity members in Italy come together in pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of Loreto. Marian pilgrimages are organized on all the inhabited continents.
In December, the German language edition of Tracce begins under the name Spuren.
2003: New editions of Tracce begin publication in Portuguese (Passos, for distribution in Portugal and Mozambique), Polish (Ślady), Hungarian (Nyomaink) and Japanese.
On April 4 and 5, Georgetown University in Washington, DC, hosts a conference on The Risk of Education by Luigi Giussani. Fifty university professors take part, including eminent philosophers and theologians.
On October 17, the Russian language edition of The Religious Sense is presented in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Speakers include Murat Khazhi Mynbayev, dean of the Kazakh-Arab University, the philosopher Vislavy Zorin, the pianist Janiya Aubakirova, the author Rollan Seisenbayev, and the astrophysicist Marco Bersanelli.
On the twenty-fifth anniversary of John Paul II’s pontificate, Father Giussani writes a letter to the Holy Father in Panorama, which the weekly magazine publishes on its cover on October 30.
On November 12, nineteen carabinieri and Italian soldiers are killed in an attack in Nassiriya, Iraq. For their funeral, held on November 18, Father Giussani writes the text for the 8:30 pm opening coverage by Italian state television RAI2. He says, “If there were an education for the people, everyone would be better off. Fear of or contempt for the Cross of Christ will never allow for participation in the joy of living within a people’s celebration or a family event.”
2004: Communion and Liberation turns fifty years old. To mark the occasion, Father Giussani writes to the Pope on January 26. He writes, “Not only did I have no intention of ‘founding’ anything, but I believe that the genius of the Movement that I saw coming to birth lies in having felt the urgency to proclaim the need to return to the elementary aspects of Christianity, that is to say, the passion of the Christian fact as such in its original elements, and nothing more. Perhaps it was precisely this that awoke the unforeseeable possibility of encounter with personalities of the Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Protestant and Orthodox worlds, from the United States to Russia, in an impetus of embrace and appreciation of all that remains of truth, of beauty, of good and of justice in whoever lives a sense of belonging. The capital problem for Christianity today, as Your Holiness suggestively announced, right from the programmatic encyclical of your Pontificate, Redemptor hominis, is that Christianity is identified with a Fact, the event of Christ, and not with an ideology. God has spoken to man, to mankind, not as a discourse that in the end is discovered by philosophers and intellectuals, but as a fact that happened and that is experienced. Your Holiness expressed this in Novo millennio ineunte: ‘We shall not be saved by a formula but by a Person, and the assurance which he gives us: I am with you!’ If our passion for education and communication has a characteristic, it is the constant reference to this ineffable focus of the Christian experience, over which many glide, as if taking it for granted as an obvious premise.”
John Paul II will respond with a long letter to Father Giussani, dated February 22. The Pontiff will write, “The original pedagogical insight of your Movement lies precisely here: proposing in a fascinating way, and in harmony with contemporary culture, the Christian event, perceived as a source of new values, capable of directing the whole of existence. It is urgently necessary to help people encounter Christ, so that He becomes the ultimate reason for living and operating also for present-day man. This experience of faith generates a new outlook on reality, a responsibility and a creativity that concern every ambit of existence, from work to family relationships, from social commitment to the animation of the cultural and political environment… May your Movement go on announcing to everyone the beauty and joy of the encounter with the Redeemer of man; may it vigorously proclaim the mercy of God and remind mankind, at times discouraged, that it need not be afraid, because Christ is our future.”
To celebrate the Movement’s fiftieth anniversary, on October 16 about forty-five thousand people from all over Italy go on a pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of the Holy House in Loreto, while the communities around the world organize pilgrimages to Marian sites. Moreover, hundreds of meetings are organized in Italy and throughout the world to present Father Giussani’s book Why the Church?
2005: Father Giussani dies on February 22 in his dwelling in Milan.
On February 24, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger presides over the funeral of Father Giussani in the Cathedral of Milan as the personal envoy of John Paul II, and preaches the homily to forty thousand listeners: “Father Giussani grew up in a house that was—to use his words— poor in bread but rich in music, so that from the very beginning he was touched, or, better, wounded, by the desire for beauty. He was not satisfied, however, with just any ordinary beauty, with beauty however banal; he sought rather Beauty itself, infinite Beauty, and thus he found Christ. In Christ he found true beauty, the path of life, true joy… Seeing Christ, Giussani truly knew that to encounter Christ means to follow him. This encounter is a road, a journey, a journey that also passes—as we heard in the psalm—through the ‘valley of darkness.’”
John Paul II, weakened by illness, sends a handwritten letter, which is read at the beginning of the celebration. He writes, “I thank the Lord for the gift of his life, spent without reserve in consistently following his priestly vocation, in listening constantly to the needs of his contemporaries and in courageous service to the Church. His entire apostolic action could be summed up by the frank and decisive invitation to a personal encounter with Christ, which he knew how to present to those who approached him as a full and definitive response to the deepest expectations of the human heart.”
On March 8, the Rome community organizes a memorial ceremony for Father Giussani at the Capitol, with Walter Veltroni, Maria Pia Garavaglia, Giulio Andreotti, Father Julián Carrón, and Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.
On March 19, the central Diakonia (leadership council) of the Fraternity of CL gathers in Milan to nominate a new president to succeed Father Giussani. With only one abstention, Father Carrón is unanimously elected. Father Giussani had already chosen a year earlier to share with Father Carrón his own leadership responsibilities of the entire Movement, having called him to come from Spain, with the complete approval of his archbishop, Cardinal Rouco Varela.
On May 13, the Pontifical Council for the Laity names Father Carrón the ecclesiastical consultor to the ecclesiastical association of Memores Domini.
On August 26, Father Carrón is received in audience by Benedict XVI at Castel Gandolfo.
On August 27, the Rimini Meeting concludes with the presentation of the new edition of Father Giussani’s The Risk of Education, launching a cultural battle for education, which will be waged in Italy and throughout the world in the coming months, resulting among other things in a “Call to Education,” signed by dozens of celebrities and thousands of other people.
On October 16, the Milan city council organizes a conference entitled “Father Giussani and the Search for Beauty,” with Claudio Risè, Stefano Zecchi, Lorenzo Ornaghi, Franco Loi, Julián Carrón, and Franco Branciaroli.
2006: On January 17, the Sisters of Charity of the Assumption announce that their general chapter has declared Father Giussani the founder of their institute along with Father Pernet, and that the Holy See has approved and confirmed their decision.
On February 22, the first anniversary of Father Giussani’s death (as well as in years to come), hundreds of memorial Masses are celebrated throughout the world by cardinals and bishops.
From March 9 to 12, Father Carrón takes part in the gathering of ecclesial movements and new communities held in Bogotá, Colombia, on the theme “The Christian: the Disciple of Jesus Christ.”
On June 3, Father Carrón speaks in Saint Peter’s Square during a meeting of Pope Benedict XVI with the ecclesial movements.
On October 26, the Arabic language edition of Luigi Giussani’s The Religious Sense is presented at the Catholic University in Milan. Speakers include Wa’il Farouq, a professor of Arabic language and literature at Cairo University, and Father Julian Carrón.
2007: On February 1 in Rome, the Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States, Bishop Dominique Mamberti, presents the second Arabic language edition of Father Giussani’s The Religious Sense.
On March 24, on the twenty-fifth anniversary of pontifical recognition of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, Benedict XVI receives in an audience at Saint Peter’s Square in Rome one hundred thousand members of the Movement, who come from all over the world. “My first thought,” the Holy Father will say, “goes to your Founder, Monsignor Luigi Giussani, to whom many memories bind me and who became a true friend of mine. Our last meeting, as Monsignor Carrón mentioned, took place at the Cathedral in Milan, in February about two years ago, when our beloved John Paul II sent me to preside at his solemn funeral. Through him, the Holy Spirit raised in the Church a Movement, yours, that would witness to the beauty of being Christian in an age when the opinion was spreading that Christianity is a difficult and oppressive way to live. Father Giussani then committed himself to awaken in youth the love for Christ, ‘Way, Truth and Life,’ repeating that only he is the way toward the fulfillment of the deepest desires of the human heart, and that Christ does not save us despite our humanity, but through it. As I was able to recall in his funeral homily this courageous priest, who, grown up in a home poor in bread but rich in music, as he himself liked to say, from the beginning was touched, or rather wounded, by the desire for beauty, though not any sort of beauty. He sought Beauty itself, the infinite Beauty which is found in Christ.”
On October 14, the national assembly of teachers in Communion and Liberation organizes a meeting with Father Julián Carrón, entitled “Education: A Communication of the Self, That Is, of One’s Own Way of Relating to Reality.” Five thousand teachers take part, and many others follow the meeting by way of audiovisual links.
On June 15, the Arabic language edition of Father Giussani’s The Religious Sense is presented in Alexandria, Egypt.
2008: On January 20, the first volume of the English language edition of Father Giussani’s book Is It Possible to Live This Way? is presented in New York. Speakers include Monsignor Lorenzo Albacete; Father Julián Carrón; Robert Pollack, professor of biological sciences at Columbia University; and Joseph Weiler, law professor at New York University.
Throughout the year, some two hundred presentations of foreign editions of Giussani’s books take place all over the world, bringing in deans, professors, businessmen, professionals, bishops, theologians, bankers, judges, politicians, and journalists.
On January 28, Father Julián Carrón writes a letter to the whole Movement after many take part in the Angelus in Saint Peter’s Square on Sunday, January 20, as sign of communion with the Bishop of Rome. A few days earlier, the Pontiff had declined, after a bitter debate, to take part in the ceremonies for the commencement of the academic year at La Sapienza University in Rome. In a passage of this letter he writes, “Without the authoritative testimony of Peter’s Successor we would be lost like so many of our contemporaries… It is his unshakeable testimony which forms our hope of not giving in to the danger of the Western world he warned against, the danger of giving up on ‘the question of the truth,’ for we know well that ‘if reason ... becomes deaf to the great message that comes to it from Christian faith and wisdom, then it withers like a tree whose roots can no longer reach the waters that give it life.’ Reason then ‘loses the courage for truth’ and it surrenders.”
On February 24, at the Cathedral of São Paulo in Brazil, in front of fifty thousand people and Cardinal Odilo Scherer, Cleuza and Marcos Zerbini entrust the Sin Tierra workers’ association, which counts over one hundred thousand members, “into the hands of Father Carrón, because in meeting Communion and Liberation, we have met everything we needed to meet.”
February–March: in the third anniversary of the passing of Father Giussani, more than two hundred fifty Masses are celebrated all over the world by cardinals and bishops.
On March 8, upon the expiry of the mandate of March 19, 2005, naming Father Carrón to succeed Father Giussani in leading the Movement, the central Diakonia of the Fraternity of CL reconfirms him as president of the Fraternity for the next six years.
On April 24, Father Julián Carrón is appointed by Benedict XVI as a consultor for the Pontifical Council for the Laity.
On June 11, the Japanese language edition of Father Giussani’s The Religious Sense is presented in Tokyo at the Italian Cultural Institute. Sadahiro Tomoko, assistant to the bishop of Hiroshima, acts as moderator; on the panel are Shodo Habukawa, professor at the University of Mount Koya and head of the Muryokoin Temple; Archbishop Giuseppe Pittau, a missionary teaching at Sophia University in Tokyo; and Father Ambrogio Pisoni. The sculptor Etsuro Sotoo, who gives a video presentation, is a featured guest.
From October 5 to 26, Father Julián Carrón, who had been appointed by the Holy Father, takes part as a Synodal father at the twelfth ordinary general assembly of the Synod of Bishops, giving a speech to the assembly on October 8.
After this experience, on November 3, Father Carrón writes, in a letter to the entire Movement of Communion and Liberation, “Today we are called to become more aware of the purpose for which the Spirit gave a charism to Father Giussani: to contribute, together with all the baptized, to the upbuilding and renewal of the Church for the good of the world. Following His usual method, God gives grace to one person so that through him it may reach everyone. We would be unfaithful to the nature of our charism if the gift we have received were not shared with everyone, inside and outside the Church. So each one of us must find out in his own circumstances how best he can contribute to the good of the Church.”
2009: On January 17, Is It Possible to Live This Way? Volume 2: Hope is presented in New York City. Speakers include Father Julián Carrón, Monsignor Lorenzo Albacete, the journalist John Allen, and Professor Edward Nelson.
On January 23, the English language edition of Father Luigi Giussani’s The Risk of Education is presented in Bangkok, Thailand.
On January 28, the Permanent Centre for Education, named by Father Giussani, opens its doors in Kampala, Uganda.
February–March: four years since Father Giussani’s death, cardinals, bishops, and apostolic nuncios celebrate Holy Mass throughout the world in his memory.
In July, with the publication of Luigi Giussani’s volume Qui e ora (1984-1985) (Here and Now), the “Books of the Christian Spirit” series, founded by Giussani in 1993 and directed by him until 2005, comes to a close. The series continued until 2009 under the direction of Father Julián Carrón.
2010: The new English language edition of Father Giussani’s book Is It Possible to Live This Way? Volume 3: Charity is presented in Dublin (January 7), New York (January 17), and Montreal (January 18).
On May 16, thirty-five thousand members of CL travel to Rome to pray the Regina Coeli with the Holy Father, in response to the invitation of the National Council of Lay Associations.
November 24: Manuela Camagni, Memor Domini part of the papal household, dies in Rome, run over by a car. Benedict XVI sends a message for the funeral rites celebrated on November 29 by his secretary, Msgr. Georg Gänswein.
2011, January 26: presentation by Julián Carrón of Luigi Giussani’s book The Religious Sense (Rizzoli) at the Palasharp in Milan and via satellite link with 180 Italian towns.
February-March: hundreds of masses are celebrated all over the world to remember Father Giussani six years after his death and on the occasion of the twenty-ninth anniversary of the recognition of the Fraternity.
October 14: Julián Carrón is granted an audience by Benedict XVI, at the Apostolic Palace. The audience takes place on the eve of the meeting at the Vatican on the theme New Evangelizers for the New Evangelization.
2012, January 25: Julián Carrón presents Giussani’s book At the Origin of the Christian Claim (Rizzoli) at the Arcimboldi Theater of Milan. The event, in via satellite link from hundreds of towns throughout Italy, has involved more than fifty thousand people.
On February 22: at the end of the Mass celebrated in Milan Cathedral on the 30th anniversary of the Pontifical recognition of the Fraternity of CL, and the 7th anniversary of Fr. Giussani’s death, Fr. Julián Carrón, President of the Fraternity of CL, announced that he had presented the request for opening the Cause of Beatification and Canonization of Fr. Giussani. The request was accepted by the Archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Angelo Scola.
2013, September 11: the first complete biography of Fr. Luigi Giussani, written by Alberto Savorana, is published by Rizzoli.
October 11: Fr. Julián Carrón is received in private audience with Pope Francis. On October 16 Fr. Julián writes a letter to the Fraternity and to the entire Movement of Communion and Liberation.
2014, March 29: at the end of his term, Fr. Julian Carron was re-elected by the Diakonia as the President of the Fraternity of CL for the next six years.