Focolare elects Israeli-born Arab Catholic as new leader

The Focolare Movement has elected Margaret Karram, an Arab Catholic who was born in Israel, to a six-year term as its new president.

The election of the 58-year-old consecrated lay woman was announced on February 1 during an online general assembly spanning from January 24 to February 7.

Some 359 representatives cast their ballots on January 31 and, in accordance with Focolare’s statutes, sent the name of the new president to the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life for its ratification.

Karram is the third consecutive woman to lead the worldwide new ecclesial movement, which was founded in the 1940s by Chiara Lubich, an Italian laywoman who served as Focolare’s first president until her death in 2008.

Her Italian successor, Maria Voce, has just completed her second, and final, six-year term as the movement’s leader.

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