‘Charisms are not entrusted to an institution or group for safekeeping; rather they are gifts of the Spirit to people integrated into the body of the Church, drawn to the centre which is Christ’. Pope Francis
We are eight expressions of the Camillian charism, which is so deeply human and evangelical, is always of great contemporary relevance, and above all else is very necessary to today’s world.
- A male Order: the Ministers of the Sick (the Camillians)
- Four female Congregations:
The Daughters of Saint Camillus (the Blessed Luigi Tezza and the Blessed Giuseppina Vannini).
The women Ministers of the Sick of Saint Camillus (the Blessed Maria Domenica Brun Barbantini).
The Handmaidens of the Incarnation (Fr. Primo Fiocchi).
Stella Maris (Guarulhos – SP – Brazil)
- Two secular female Institutes:
The women Missionaries of the Sick – Christ our Hope (Germana Summaruga)
Kamillianischen Schwestern – Camillian Sisters (Fr. Calisto Vendrame and Heidi)
- A lay organisation linked to the Camillians
The Lay Camillian Family (LCF)
What message have we received from this meeting which has witnessed the coming together of religious, secular, consecrated and lay bodies that refer to the spirituality of St. Camillus?
Aware that we have the same roots, albeit with the specificity of individual charisms, we wish to proclaim those roots amongst ourselves and to the world.
This is the first time that we have had the opportunity to meet the various charismatic bodies that have their origins in the work of St. Camillus: to meet each other as people, to learn about each other, and to experience a shared pathway. We are a Church that has sought to live the synod approach. We have been guided by the Holy Spirit and by the two gospel figures of the Samaritan woman and the Samaritan on the road to Jericho.
Fr. Patrizio Sciavini suggested to us the meanings that these two icons give to us: the initiative of God that precedes every meeting of ours (give me a drink) to leaving behind the bucket at each person’s midday; the readiness to reveal ourselves to ourselves in the fullness of our own frail lives and the conversion from being ‘announced’ to being an ‘announcer’.
What announcement comes from the pathway of the Samaritan? A direct participation in the suffering of another person, without any explicit reference to faith or the law: that love that goes beyond, indeed breaks, the law. We meet each other with an overturning of the question ‘who is my neighbour?’ which becomes ‘to whom do I want to be a neighbour?
Given the extensive participation in this meeting of people from different cultures, histories, traditions…our thoughts about interculturality have enabled us to see that we are following a pathway of growth that calls us to a specific awareness: it is not enough to change mentalities – we need to acquire a mentality of change that is not confined to accepting what happens but also expresses an intention to implement it!
In meeting people from all parts of the world, we have experienced the international character of our faith because we have received the Gospel incarnated in the whole of the world, we have encountered the world, whose language is the Gospel.
The experience of communion that we have achieved by meeting each other and listening to each other has been very variegated, because of the individual vicissitudes shared during the informal moments as well: they have given us what is in effect a vocational impulse that for us is the proclaiming of faithfulness to, and love for, our vocation.
Fr. Amedeo Cencini called on us to recognise truth in sincerity, to live our journey with a spirit of ‘DOCIBILITAS’ (he who has learnt to learn from all circumstances, from relationships with every other person) and to train ourselves to listen to the ‘radically Other’: God.
The holy people of God, of whom we are a part, are called to bear witness to, and strengthen, faith in the Church in valuing and finding the meaning of the pain of those who suffer, respecting the person in his or her integrity: it is hope made flesh that we experience in this multiform variety of presences who draw upon the figure of St. Camillus, in the ‘going as he wishes’ of the Holy Spirit who continues to generate new things (Sr. Elisa Kidanè).
Grateful that we were called together, convinced that differences placed in communion have enriched us, and grateful for the diversity that has made us even more brothers and sisters, together we walk with hope and trust to say to the world that it is possible to be prophets of mercy with an increasingly clear Camillian identity, searched for in a plurality of cultures.
This meeting, a great kairòs in the history of the Camillians, is the beginning of a journey that is now opening up for the Camillian charismatic family and pushes us to the joy of communion amongst us and mission amongst those who suffer.