Newsletter 53 – The Camillian World Seen from Rome…and Rome Seen from the World
NEWSLETTER 53 Novembre 2018
Bioetica, umanesimo e post-umanesimo nel XXI secolo: alla ricerca di un nuovo essere umano?
Leocir Pessini, M.I.
Bioethics, Humanism and Post-Humanism in the Twenty-First Century: the Search for a New Human Being?
‘O, Adam! We have made you neither heavenly nor earthly, neither mortal nor immortal, so that as a free and extraordinary shaper and sculptor of yourself you will be able to forge yourself in the form that you prefer’.
Pico della Mirandola, Oratio de hominis dignitate  1956 (my translation)
‘Humanity will be radically changed by technology in the future. We foresee the feasibility of redesigning the human condition, including such parameters as the inevitability of ageing, limitations on human and artificial intellects, unchosen psychology, suffering, and our confinement to the planet earth’.
Transhumanist Declaration (World Transhumanist Association, 1988)
‘A day will come when we will have the possibility of increasing our intellectual, psychological, emotional and spiritual capacities beyond what appears possible today. We are moving out of the childhood of humanity and entering a post-human era’.
Nick Bostrum (2005)
We began to speak about ‘transhumanism’ or ‘post-humanism’ in the epoch of ‘post-everything’! What is meant by ‘transhumanism’? Science or mere science fiction? Illusion or hope? At the beginning of our twenty-first century, thanks to the rapid and extraordinary advances in the field of techno-science, biotechnology and genomics, it is not easy to discern whether we have before us a scientific proposal that will lead to the authentic hope of being able to improve the quality of human life or whether we are faced with a utopian ideology of a technological character that seduces us and projects us into an illusory world. In essential terms, we are faced with the dream of human beings of being able to improve their lives, given that it is specifically human intelligence that is seeking to improve the human condition. But this can also conceal a dream of negation: the death of death. Could not this dream of earthly immortality, of ‘decreeing the death of death itself’, if it is not a mere illusion, place us in a nightmare? The questions do not stop there.
At the present time, the most curious case is that of the leader of the Transhumanist Party, Zoltan Istvan, who was a candidate at the presidential elections of 2016 in the United States of America. Istvan visited various cities in North America in his so-named ‘immortality bus’. This was a bus changed to look like a coffin, painted brown, with written on its side ‘immortality bus’. This initiative provoked amazement but certainly called the attention of the wider public to the cause of transhumanism. This candidate defined ‘transhumanism’ as ‘a radical domain of science that aims at transforming men, for lack of a better term, into gods’. In his view, our responsibility today is to transgress evolution. He has expressed himself as follows: ‘The human body is a mediocre part of our current possibilities in our material universe. Our biology severely limits us. As a species, we are far from being complete and this is unacceptable. Biology is for the beasts not for future transhumanists. Whereas many thinkers want to abolish God and transform the human being into a mere animal amongst others, the transhumanists want to abolish evolution and death and recreate new ‘gods’. For many transhumanists, the principal goal of this movement is to overcome human mortality, a goal that is held to be achievable by the year 2045’ (ISTVAN, 2016, my translation).
THE LAY CAMILLIAN FAMILY – international meeting (13-20 October 2018)
Presentation Fr. Leo Pessini – Superior General of the Camillians
The Beatitudes (cf. Mt 5:3-12; Lk 6:20-23) ‘are like a Christian’s identity card. So if anyone asks: “What must one do to be a good Christian?”, the answer is clear. We have to do, each in our own way, what Jesus told us in the Sermon on the Mount. In the Beatitudes, we find a portrait of the Master, which we are called to reflect in our daily lives’ (n. 63).
‘Happy’, ‘blessed’, are synonymous with ‘holy’!
READ HERE THE COMPLETE TEXT Called to holiness in my personal story: the apostolic exhortation ‘Gaudete et Exsultate’ by Pope Francis
DOWNLOAD HERE THE TEXT OF THE PAPER IN FRENCH
International Assembly of the Lay Camillian Family – Final Message
We the representatives of the LCF coming from 22 different countries gathered here in Villa Primavera, the beautiful property of the Handmaids of the Incarnation, send joyful greetings to all members of the Great Family of St Camillus de Lellis. It has been a joyful experience to meet people from many diverse origins. This mosaic of faces, races and cultures is much broader than other occasions and has enriched our gathering.
The Lay Camillian Family – an account of the extraordinary assembly of the International LCF
By Fr. Pietro Magliozzi
THE EXTRAORDINARY ASSEMBLY OF THE INTERNATIONAL LAY CAMILLIAN FAMILY, a step forward of hope for the Camillian laity
Rome, 14-19 October 2018
The house of the Handmaidens of the Incarnation of Villa Primavera in Rome hosted this international meeting of the LCF which, surprisingly, witnessed the presence of 25 nations (some for the first time, for example Pakistan and New Zealand), with 62 representatives (27 spiritual assistants and 35 presidents and lay people). Figures were present who gave an enhanced profile to the meeting, such as the former Superior Generals Angelo Brusco and Frank Monks, two former international presidents of the LCF, Isabel Calderon and Rosabianca Carpene, and three Camillian Provincial Superiors: Fr. Eduardo Morante (Peru), Fr. Rosario Messina (Sicily and Naples) and Fr. Alfred György (Austria, Hungary). Also present were Fr. Jesus Ruiz, the former international head of the LCF, and two current animators of the international LCF: Fr. Laurent Zoungrana and Marie Christine Brocherieux, with all of the general committee of the LCF (Maria Bako, Giosuè Sparaccino and Anita Ennis).
THE DELEGATION IN TAIWAN
In Taiwan on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month the festival of the ‘elderly’ is celebrated. This is because ‘nine’ in Chinese has the same sound as the word ‘old’. The government attributes a great deal of importance to this event and many activities are organised to celebrate centenarians in particular. The Church also takes part in this event, organising celebrations and prayers for these people.
The Republic of Taiwan on 10 October of each year commemorates Dr. Sun Yat Sen who on 10 October 1911 in a battle overthrew the Chinese empire which had existed for over a thousand years and inaugurated the Republic of China (Taiwan). To celebrate this event large parades are organised in the streets of the capital Taipei.
On 16-18 October a Protestant university of Taiwan organised an international symposium with the presence of 48 experts on the subject ‘The Role of Christian Schools in an Asian Society with Many Religions’. Participants discussed the need to present the Christian spirit of love and peace rather than directly preaching the Catholic religion, seeking to welcome what is positive in the other religions. Father Giuseppe Didonè represented the Camillian religious.
THE CAMILLIAN DELEGATION IN INDONESIA
The Office for Communications thanks Fr Andi Cyrelus Suparman for the important testimony that he wanted to share with all of us. We wish him and the community of Flores a constant and glorious following of Christ in line with the example of St. Camillus in daily service for the cause of the sick and the poor.
Vince is one of the mental patients that our Camillian Seminary of Maumere, located on the Island of Flores, Indonesia, takes care of. Recently we discovered in our area various patients with mental illnesses who were in chains because of the fact that they had become a danger to their family relatives and neighbours. Many people were afraid of them and for this reason the ‘best medicine that was advised’ was to tie them up; this assured greater security and protection, not least because a mental hospital does not exist here.
THE DELEGATION OF COLOMBIA-ECUADOR
We share our joy at the perpetual profession of our confreres José Lugo Aragon, Luis Alejandro Ruiz Blanco and Frank Jordano Castro Guzman, Camillians of the Delegation of Colombia-Ecuador. We pray for them so that they may know how to be faithful to the commitment that they are about to make.
THE PROVINCE OF NORTH ITALY
‘This little plant will spread throughout the world’. With these words charged with hope and trust, St. Camillus prophesied that his charismatic insight would reach every part of the earth, beyond all expectations. And it is starting from these words of our founder, and a sharing of the same hope for a flourishing future, that we conceived of and produced our logo: in the world (represented by a red circle), the seed thrown by God into the heart of Saint Camillus sprouted and still continues to grow today in our Order (represented by the red cross in the background). A shoot requires care, dedication and commitment – this is the task of Camillian pastoral care for young people.
Calendar 2018/2019 of the weekends of Camillian fraternity… on the way of discipleship!
The gardens in Via Quinzano, in Verona, near to our historic community of ‘San Giuliano’, were recently dedicated to the memory of the Camillian missionary medical doctor, Brother Davide Luigi Giordan. At the ceremony, which took place in the presence of the chairman of the committee for demographic services, Daniele Polato, and the chairman of the committee for the architectural heritage, Maria Neri, speeches were given by the Bishop of Verona, Msgr. Giuseppe Zenti; the Camillian Provincial Superior, Fr. Bruno Nespoli; the promoter of the naming of the gardens, Mario Presa; and numerous civic and military dignitaries. Brother Davide Luigi Giordan for more than fifty years was a missionary first in China (in Yunnan) and then in Taiwan.
Summary of the course of spiritual exercises led by Fr. Pierpaolo Valli in Mottinello (16-21 September 2018).
These notes are the outcome of a commitment to listening, writing and organisation produced by Fr. Edoardo Gavotti. The spiritual exercises had the aim of making us return to the sources of our charism and our spirituality and were for religious of the Province of North Italy
THE PROVINCE of SPAIN – the Delegation of ARGENTINA
The priestly ordination of Francisco Berola, a Camillan confrere from Argentina.
CADIS – appeal for INDONESIA
An appeal for help and prayers for the survivors of the earthquake-seaquake in Palu (Indonesia)
Destroyed houses, collapsed bridges and entire villages covered in water and mud are some of the consequences of the devastating tsunami that struck Indonesia on Friday 28 September 2018 after the earthquake of 7.5 on the Richter scale. The greatest damage took place in Palu, on the Island of Sulawesi, where six-metre waves flooded buildings and roads.
As of today, 3 October 2018, 1,374 people have died, 113 people have gone missing, and more than 600 people are gravely injured. There are more than 60,000 displaced persons in over 200 locations and it is envisaged that this figure will gradually increase as more information becomes available. The delivery of primary need kits is underway; however some areas are still inaccessible because of landslides and damaged infrastructure. According to the National Agency for the Management of Disasters (BNPB), fundamental needs include food, materials to make shelters, petrol and generators, clean water and medical care. The government of Indonesia has welcomed in a positive way offers of international assistance in line with humanitarian needs.
CADIS International appeals to your generosity to help and support our response in this emergency. Send us your contribution!
Bank: Fondazione Camillian Disaster Service International – CADIS DEUTSCHE BANK
IBAN: IT13T 03104 03202 00000 08402 70
Address: Largo di Torre Argentina, 4, 00186 Rome
We thank you in advance for your great support. We ask you to support our aid and emergency teams with your prayers as well. We will keep you updated on developments of the situation! May the Lord reward you with his peace and through the intercession of St. Camillus de Lellis may you always enjoy the blessing of health!
CADIS – Crossover
The new issue of Crossover, the quarterly bulletin of the Office for Humanitarian Aid of CADIS (the Camillian Disaster Service International), is available CLICK HERE
ROME – THE CHURCH OF ST. MARY MAGDALENE
Restoration work in the Church of St. Mary Magdalene
The work to value and conserve the aesthetic and spiritual heritage of our fine Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Rome is continuing and becoming more intense.
After the partial rewiring and improvement of the electrical system and the lighting system inside the church which was carried out in May 2015, the work in the sacristy was begun. The work to restore and strengthen the frescoes and the wooden structures (protection and pest control against wood worm and termites) in the sacristy began in February 2018 and – as is foreseeable with this kind of restoration work – with a variation on the estimated time of completion: the work will continue for another three or four months (the end of 2018?), ‘Beauty will save the world’!
In July 2018, in the internal courtyard of our home, a structure was put in place to reach the roof of the church on the portion that faces the façade of the building. The aim was the restoration of an important part of the roof of the Church of St. Mary Magdalene, near to the façade (isolation against damp, cleaning of the ‘historic’ tiles, replacement of broken tiles, cleaning of the gutters and storm drains) The ‘historic’ infiltration of rain water had damaged some wooden trusses of the covering, compromising inside some parts of the frescoes and damaging with damp a part of the wooden chancel of the eighteenth century organ.
Unfortunately, this work of restoration highlighted a fracture in the false ceiling and the need to do restoration work on the side of the roof that looks onto the street – Via delle Colonnelle. This led to the setting in motion of another survey for new funding and new paper work to be able to activate a new building site on the other side of the building (the occupation of public soil).
The opening of the building site for the restoration of the tower and the belfry, and the strengthening of this part of the building after old and new fractures had opened in the clay bricks that support the overall structure (especially after the recent effects of the earthquake in central Italy), are now imminent.
Unfortunately, this work is more complex than the other work, given that down the centuries the bell tower of the Church of St. Mary Magdalene has been incorporated into the palace adjacent to the church, together with the apse of the church. Because of this very tight fit, the building site must also of necessity occupy the narrow spaces of the so-named ‘condominium’ – a part of our former generalate house – which is now, as a result of the dissolution of the Napoleonic period and the laws of the new State of Italy after 1870, made up of a series of private apartments.
Lastly, the surveys and the consultations for the restoration involving both preservation and prevention – against woodworm and termites – of the valuable wooden statue of the Church of St. Mary Magdalene, and the four large busts on the altar, have already been set in motion. The work against woodworm and termites also envisages some prevention work on the four eighteenth-century confessionals and some large gilded picture frames of the side altars.
For all these initiatives and restoration work thanks are extended to the F.E.C. (Funds for Buildings of Worship – Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Italian government), and the Special Superintendence for the Protection of the Heritage of Rome, for the funding and the care shown in the carrying out of the work.
FESTA DI MARIA SALUS INFIRMORUM – FESTA LITURGICA
Venerdì 16 novembre 2018 ore 19.00 celebrazione Eucaristica presieduta da Rev.do p. AUGUSTO BUSSI RONCALINI, Parroco di ‘S. Maria in Aquiro’… il “nostro” parroco.
Novena in preparazione alla festa 7-15 novembre 2018
S. Messa – ore 19.00
S. Rosario – ore 20.00
Sabato 27 ottobre 2018 alle ore 20,30 presso la Basilica Santa Croce in Gerusalemme a Roma si è tenuto un momento di preghiera-testimonianza con Enrico Petrillo e Virginia D’Onofrio sulla vita di Chiara Corbella Petrillo e Nicola D’Onofrio. Ha partecipato anche S. E. Mons. Paolo Ricciardi.
THE PROVINCE OF SICILY AND NAPLES
The entrance into the novitiate of Salvatore Barbagallo, Luca Apreda and Mariano Servadei
Messina, 24–28 September 2018
‘Which path should I take? It depends on where you want to go’. With this quotation from Lewis Carroll the religious of the Province of Sicily and Naples accepted the invitation that Jesus makes in the Gospel of Mark – “come with me to one side in a solitary place and rest a while’. Guiding them in looking at their goal, not with a purely human eye but with the eye of God, was Msgr. Paolo Urso, the Bishop Emeritus of Ragusa, who along the pathway of spiritual exercises emphasised above all the importance of historical memory, calling the attention of those present to three verbs that sound out in the apostolic exhortation Vita consecrata of John Paul II: ‘You have not only a glorious history to remember and to recount, but also a great history still to be accomplished! Look to the future, where the Spirit is sending you in order to do even greater things’ (Vita consecrata, n. 110).
The ordination as a deacon of our confrere Dario Giuseppe Malizia will take place in Messina on 18 November 2018.
THE GENERAL CONSULTA
On 15 October 2018 Fr. Laurent Zoungrana, the Vicar General of the Order, a Camillian religious from Burkina Faso, at the Roman residence of the ambassador of Burkina Faso to the Holy See received the title of ‘Knight of the Republic of Burkina Faso’ from the Grand Chancellor of the Republic of Burkina Faso. He shared this honour with a priest of the ‘White Brothers’, missionaries in Africa. Our very warm congratulations!
The Superior General with the agreement of the members of the General Consulta has admitted to the perpetual profession of vows our confrere Matia Aliikiriza, a temporary professed religious of the Anglo-Irish Province (the Delegation in Uganda).
See, now they vanish, the faces and places, with the self which, as it could, loved them. To become renewed, transfigured, in another pattern’ (T.S. Eliot).
On 5 October 2018 Sister Guglielmina Kieninger, a women religious and Daughter of St. Camillus, of German nationality, passed away. On 3 November she would have reached the age of 96 and on 8 December she would have lived 50 years as a woman religious.
On 12 October 2018, in Lucca, Sister Francesca Gemignani, a woman Minister of the ABGELO PASQUALE ENG Sick, passed away. Sister Francesca was aged 88 and had spent 65 years as a religious, dedicated to service to God and to her brothers and sisters in need.
On 25 October 2018 the Camillian religious of the Province of Brazil communicated to us the death of their Camillian confrere Fr. ANGELO PASQUAL FILHO (aged 93). His death took place in the evening of 24 October at the Hospital São Camilo da Granja Viana (San Paolo – SP). OBITUARY of Fr. ANGELO PASQUAL FILHO
‘Now they live in Christ whom they met in the Church, followed in our vocation, and served in the sick and the suffering. Trusting that the Lord, the Holy Virgin our Queen, St. Camillus, the Blessed Luigi Tezza, the Blessed Giuseppina Vannini, and our deceased religious brothers and sisters, will welcome them in their midst, we commend them in our prayers, remembering them with affection, esteem and gratitude’.
PRAYER FOR THE VICTIMS OF ALL TYPES OF DISASTERS
God in heaven, who has created and who preserves every existence,
You know all of our sadness and our suffering. May all the victims of all types of disasters be welcomed in your peace! Receive, we pray, in your mercy, our very many brothers and sisters buried by the forces unleashed by nature. Lead them to your home!
Comfort the pain of so many families, dry the tears of so many brothers and sisters, offer protection to the loneliness of so many orphans. Instill courage into everyone so that pain is transformed into a journey of growth and hope.
Generate in the hearts of Christians and all men and women of good will the wish to act so that the wounded and those who suffer because of these calamities experience the comfort of fraternal solidarity.
You who live and reign for ever and ever.
Our Father – Hail Mary – Glory