Newsletter N. 57 – The Camillian World Seen from Rome…and Rome seen from the world

Newsletter 57 – MARZO 2019


Dear sisters and dear brothers,

It is with joy that I welcome you all, representatives of the different expressions of the Camillian family! I greet you with affection and I thank Father Pessini for his words. And I ask the Lord to conserve his sense of humour: you will never have a gastric ulcer! You are constantly engaged in loving and generous donation to the sick, carrying out a precious mission, in the Church and in society, alongside the suffering. When disease disturbs and at times upturns our lives, then we feel the strong need to have a compassionate and competent brother or sister beside us, who consoles us, supports us and helps us to recover the precious good of health, or who accompanies us until the end of our final meeting with the Lord!

All the Church as a whole has received from her Master and Lord the task of proclaiming the Kingdom of God and of healing the sick (cf. Lk 9: 2), in imitation of Him, the Good Shepherd, the Good Samaritan, who passed through this earth “benefiting and healing all those who were prisoners of evil” (Common Preface VIII). But God has bestowed in particular to Saint Camillus de Lellis, and to all those who follow his example, the gift of reliving and witnessing the merciful love of Christ for the sick. The Church has recognized it as an authentic charism of the Spirit. You live it in an exemplary way, translating it into life on the dual path of directly assisting the sick, especially the poorest, in their bodily and spiritual needs, and teaching others the best way to serve them, for the benefit of the Church and humanity.

All the charisms “are gifts that the Holy Spirit gives us … Gifts given not to be hidden but to be shared with others. They are not given for the benefit of the one who receives them, but for the use of the People of God. If a charism … serves instead as self-affirmation, then it is doubtful that we are dealing with an authentic charism or one faithfully lived out. The charisms are special graces, given to some for the good of many others” (Catechesis, 6 November 2013). They always have a transitive character: they are orientated towards others. Over the years, you have made efforts to incarnate your charism faithfully, translating it into a multitude of apostolic works and in pastoral service to the benefit of suffering humanity throughout the world.

In line with this mission, which some members of your religious families have lived heroically in becoming models of holiness, you are called to continue your service in a prophetic way. It is a question of looking to the future, open to new forms of apostolate which the Spirit inspires in you and which the signs of the times and the needs of the world and of the Church require. The great gift you have received is still current and necessary also for this age of ours, because it is founded on charity that will never end (see 1 Cor 13: 8). As a living part of the Church, sent to spread the Gospel so that people “have life and have it abundantly” (Jn 10: 10), you have the wonderful opportunity to do it precisely through the gestures of caring for life and integral health, so necessary even in our time.

From the charism initially inspired in Saint Camillus of Lellis, various ecclesial bodies have gradually been constituted, forming today a single constellation, that is, a “charismatic family” composed of men and women religious, secular consecrated persons and lay faithful. None of these realities is the sole custodian or single holder of the charism, but each receives it as a gift and interprets it and updates it according to his or her specific vocation, in different historical and geographical contexts. At the centre there remains the original charism, as a perennial source of light and inspiration, which is understood and embodied dynamically in the various forms. Each of them is offered to others in a reciprocal exchange of gifts that enriches everyone, for the common utility and in view of the implementation of the same mission. What is it? To witness in every time and place Christ’s merciful love towards the sick.

St. Camillus de Lellis, whom you all recognize as “Father”, lived in an age in which there had not yet ripened the possibility of active consecrated life for women had not yet matured, but only that of the contemplative and monastic type. He therefore constituted an Order of men only. However, he had clearly understood that care for the sick had to be practised also with attitudes typical of the female soul, so much so as to ask her religious to serve the sick “with that affection that a loving mother usually has for her only sick child” (Rules of the Company of the Servants of the Sick, 1584, XXVII). The two women’s congregations established in the nineteenth century and secular institutes born in the last century have given completeness to the expression of the charism of mercy towards the sick, enriching it with the distinctly feminine qualities of love and of care. In this, may the Virgin Mary, Health of the Sick and Mother of God, accompany you and guide you, consecrated women. From her we learn how to be close to those who suffer with the tenderness and dedication of a mother. I would like to pause a moment on this word “tenderness”. It is a word that today risks being dropped from the dictionary! We must take it up again and put it into practice anew. Christianity without tenderness does not work. Tenderness is a properly Christian attitude: it is also the very marrow of our encounter with people who suffer.

Dear brothers and sisters, I encourage you always to cultivate communion among you, in that synodal style that I have proposed to all the Church, listening to each other and everyone listening to the Holy Spirit, to value the contribution that every single situation offers to the single Family, so as to express more fully the multiple potentialities that the charisma includes. Always be aware that “it is in communion, even when this proves painful, that a charism is seen to be authentic and mysteriously fruitful” (Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium, 130). In fidelity to the initial inspiration of the Founder and the Founders, and in listening to the many forms of suffering and poverty of humanity today, you will know how to make light shine, always new, on the gift received; and many young people the world over will be able to feel attracted by and to join with you, to continue to bear witness to God’s tenderness.

Dear brothers and sisters, I ask the Holy Spirit to support this new phase of your journey as Camillian charismatic family. I heartily bless you all, your communities and the people you serve. And please, continue to pray for me. Thank you.




by the Most Reverend  Fr. Leocir PESSINI, the Superior General of the Camillians, on the occasion of the audience granted to the members of the Camillian Charismatic Family

Monday 18 March 2019

Dear Pope Francis,

We are especially moved and happy because of the precious opportunity that you have granted to us to be able to meet your person, to listen to your words, and to receive your apostolic blessing.

Who are we? We represent the consecrated men and women of the various Orders and Institutes whose inspiration is St. Camillus de Lellis – his charism and his spirituality – that are present in today’s world, in over sixty countries in the five continents of the world.

We are Camillian men religious; women religious of the Daughters of St. Camillus: women Ministers of the Sick of St. Camillus; women religious of the Handmaidens of the Incarnation; members of the secular institute of the women Missionaries of the Sick ‘Christ our Hope’; members of the Institute of the Kamillianische Schwestern (Austria); members of the Institute of Stella Maris (Brazil); as well as representatives of the International Lay Camillian Family.

We have been encouraged and we are inspired by the message that you gave to us for the Year of Consecrated Life (2015) and for the great Jubilee of Mercy (2015-2016): we have been led by ‘gentle persuasion’ to be more united and to look with ever greater creativity for new pathways of cooperation and spiritual and ministerial growth. This belief of yours and ours is the founding reason from which this meeting of ours, which we have just celebrated in Rome, sprang.

This meeting, which has just ended, has been a historic event on our charismatic itinerary searching for ecclesial pathways that will breathe and be animated by a renewed spirit of unity and cooperation. READ HERE


Which Camillian Prophecy Today? Between the Past…the Present…and the Future. Prophecy…between the Samaritan Woman and the Samaritan


Theme of the Logo


The Red Cross: the large red cross, which was left to us as a bequest by our Saint Father Camillus, indicates the Camillian identity. This is the cross that unites the whole of the Camillian family. This is the Cross that sustains every one of our works and our apostolate. The Camillian Cross is at the centre of the design of the logo in order to give relevance to our precious charism: to care for the sick with the heart of a Mother.

The two hands: 1) the yellow hand: this comes out of an opening of the Cross itself. It is the hand of God and the colour yellow indicates the royalty of God. This hand is raised upwards in order to represent the hand of the Samaritan who is ready to raise up those who have fallen down. 2) The blue hand: this represents humanity with all of the weakness and the frailty of the Samaritan woman of the gospel. It is turned downwards to where there is a request for help from above.



All of us taking part in this meeting were chosen for the thorny evangelic ministry ‘of the exercise and service of authority’ together with our fellow religious as Superior Generals, members of General Consultas and Councils, and presidents of our Congregations, Institutes and/or organisations.

We have gathered together around a fundamental question about the future of the Camillian charism: Which Camillian prophecy today? Between the past…the present…and the future. Prophecy…between the Samaritan and the Samaritan woman.

The central word in this subject is PROPHECY. What do we mean by prophecy today?





 Day of Spirituality: ‘God is faithful, let us trust him’ (St. Camillus) p. Patrizio Sciadini OCD CLICCA QUI

Le relazioni fra di noi oltre ogni barriera: l’interculturalità Sr. Carmen Ros Norte, N.S.C. Sottosegretaria CIVCSVA CLICCA QUI

Chiesa e laici nel mondo della Salute. Ambito di profezia per la Famiglia Carismatica Camilliana – dott. Gianni Cervellera CLICCA QUI

Day of Spirituality: ‘God is faithful, let us trust him’ (St. Camillus) CLICCA QUI





Fr. Leo Pessini

The superior general presides over the government of the entire Order. He has jurisdiction and authority over the provinces, the vice-provinces, the delegations, the houses and the religious (Constitution, 97).

The superior general also consults the provincial superiors, vice-provincials and delegates in matters of major importance which concern the entire Order. If possible once a year and, whenever this is necessary, he shall convene the provincials, vice-provincials and delegates…to address various questions with the general consulta (General Statutes, 79)

The general chapter, wherein resides the supreme collegial authority of the Order, is formed of representatives of the whole Order and thus is a sign of unity in charity (Constitution, 113) 


We are beginning the preparations for the fifty-ninth General Chapter of the Order of Camillians which we will celebrate starting on 2 May 2020 and whose subject will be ‘Which Camillian Prophecy Today? Peering into the Past and Living in the Present Trying to Serve as Samaritans and Journeying with Hope towards the Future’

The subject of prophecy is once again of great contemporary relevance and appears always new as a challenge for consecrated life today. Let us welcome the invitation of Pope Francis who has repeatedly called our attention to this specific characteristic of consecrated life: prophecy! ‘I hope that you will wake up the world’ because the known characteristic of consecrated life is prophecy. As the Pope urged the Superior Generals: ‘evangelical radicalism is not exclusive to religious, it is required of everyone. But religious follow the Lord in a special way, in a prophetic way’. This is the priority that now applies to us: ‘to be prophets who bear witness to the style of life that Jesus chose for himself in the incarnation…A religious should never renounce prophecy’.



The World Day of the Sick 2019 in the Camillian communities in the world





ASIA/INDONESIA – Housing for the mentally ill: new project of the Camillian religious in Flores

Maumere (Agenzia Fides) – “It is sad and deplorable to see the conditions in which mentally ill people live on the island of Flores”, says to Agenzia Fides Father Luigi Galvani, a Camillian missionary who has been working for years on the Indonesian island. “In addition to the enormous physical suffering, psychological difficulties, social isolation and spiritual poverty, these people are forced to live, in most cases, under tents or in shabby huts, chained or with one foot blocked between two large tree trunks and exposed to bad weather conditions, mosquitoes and insects. This is wher they sleep, rest day and night. The local government does not have facilities and a welfare program for them. It merely visits them periodically bringing some medicine”.
“To concretely support these patients – explains Fr. Luigi – we have carried out a research which revealed thirty cases in the area. Some of these patients had been like this for months, others for a few years and one for forty years”.
“We thought that the best help we could offer them could have been the construction of “special houses in which they could feel free to move, communicate freely with family members and neighbors” continues Fr. Galvani. “In these shelters – he says – they are protected from rain, wind, insects, they can eat sitting at a table and have a private toilet. A more humane lifestyle certainly favors the healing and rehabilitation process and allows a new integration into the family and social community”.
“So we started the first houses near the homes of their family members, in order to give them the chance to be followed and cared for by their loved ones. Now many of them seem reborn to new life, they take care of themselves and communicate more serenely with family and neighbors”.
“This project is truly pioneering”, the missionary concludes. The Bishop, Mgr. Edwaldus Martinus Sedu, praised the initiative of the Camillian Missionaries “for their commitment of solidarity and evangelical witness”.
The Camillians, present on the Indonesian island of Flores for about ten years, are on a journey of vocational growth and with new social and charity initiatives. The two communities of Maumere and Ruteng currently host about seventy young students of philosophy and theology. Over the next five years, it is hoped that they will be the new forces for the Camillian and missionary ministry inside and outside the country.


Provincia camilliana thailandese: Esercizi spirituali (primo turno) 10-15 Marzo nel centro di Hua Hin







25 January: great celebrations took place, with over 1,200 employees of St. Mary’s Hospital, for the Chinese New Year which was celebrated on 5 February.

5 February: solemn Holy Mass for the Chinese New Year.

11 February: World Day of the Sick. Celebration of the Eucharist when some patients of the hospital received the sacrament of anointing.

1 March: the deliberations of the National Eucharistic Congress began with the presence of Cardinal Filoni




Leo Pessini – Global Bioethics at a Time of Uncertainty, Perplexity and Hope

After the editions in Italian, English and French, recently the volume of Fr. Leo Pessini ‘Global Bioethics’ was published in Spanish by the Camillian Province of Spain with the publisher ‘Sal Terrae’.






Felice Ruffini – A Life Given

   This book emerged as a response to the very many people who want to deepen their knowledge of the Servant of God Nicola D’Onofrio. The author, Father Felice Ruffini, as a man with a deep knowledge of our beloved Nicola, which he certainly is, fully meets this need with his arresting style and a constant use of numerous testimonies. The result is a ‘choral’ work that facilitates a reading of this work, a reading that becomes thereby almost listening to a symphony of voices that together manage to make us contemporaries of, and participants in, the human and spiritual experience of this life that was joyously given to God. With the certainty of the validity of this book, I thank the author and hope that the readers will draw from it further stimulus to live in their daily lives the invitation to Jesus to make a gift of their lives and thereby possess them forever.

Felice Ruffini – ‘Camillian’ Places in Rome

  To meet the requests of friends of, and those devoted to, St. Camillus de Lellis, we compiled this ‘Visit to the City of Rome’ looking for places made sacred by the presence or frequentation of the ‘Saint of the Sick’. For those who do not have an extensive knowledge of his life, the short passages which we present for the purposes of documentation are intuitive and helpful in disposing the soul to a beneficial meditation. The research entrusted to ‘Camillian sources’ near to the saint when he was alive does not seek to be exhaustive but is open to further news and documentable information. In addition to the ‘Church of St. Mary Magdalene’, which is so rich in and full of ‘Memories and the Presence’ of the saint, we have in the ‘Church of Miracles’ in Piazza del Popolo the ancient picture of the ‘Little Church on the Banks of the Tiber’ from the first days of the nascent ‘Company of Father Camillus’. In the ‘Church of St. James’ there is the venerated picture in front of which Camillus prayed as a neo-convert and where he celebrated his ‘First Mass’, as his contemporary Fr. Cicatelli wrote, ‘in the small old Church of St. James of the Incurables specifically at the altar of Our Lady’. We wish you a good ‘Spiritual Tour in the Footsteps of St. Camillus’, as we read in the Introduction.

Walter Vinci, #CerchiAmoTe. Journeying towards Easter

Walter Vinci, #CerchiAmoTe. Journeying towards Easter

We live in an epoch of masks and not only masks of carnivals. There are the masks that we willingly wear to seem better than we really are. Therefore, roll on the time of Lent so that we can address a decisive restyling of our ‘facades’ and above all our souls. Walter Vinci, thinking about this urgent ‘restoration operation’, has drawn up a most original pathway by which he wants to give a decisive blow to the ‘fiction’ that runs the risk of concealing itself inside us behind the very many masks that we are capable of wearing.

Starting from Ash Wednesday and aiming at Easter Sunday, the author proposes a diary of the most important days of Lent through five verbs that end in an intelligent way with the word (in Italian) ‘amo’ (‘I love’), meditiamo (‘we meditate’), preghiamo (‘we pray’), camminiamo (‘we walk’), appuntiamo (‘we note down’) our experiences to correct our errors so as to always find a way of improving ourselves.

At every stage the meditation of the Gospel is made precious by the testimony of a ‘travelling companion’: witnesses to faith who with actions full of life and courage have known how to be able to bring to their faces the smile of Easter.

Throw away our masks, therefore, and a good journey to attempt to love, to hope and to look for God every further day!

THE PROVINCE of the Philippines continues the pilgrimage of the ‘heart’ of Saint Camillus

      Catholics and the devout of the Philippines in an enthusiastic way are honouring and venerating with great devotion the relic of St. Camillus de Lellis, the patron saint of the sick, medical doctors, nurses and other health-care workers (2 February to 31 March 2019).

Cf. photo and video





      Here below is the programme for Lent of the community of Macchia and the Parish Camillian Mission that will be held in Acireale.




50 anniversario di ordinazione sacerdotale di p. Camille Neuray







     In Mottinello on Wednesday 28 February 2019 there took place the traditional first meeting of ongoing formation for the Camillian religious of the Province of North Italy for the year 2019. Those taking part addressed the subject ‘The Reforming Project of Father Cesare Camillo Bresciani’, the authentic second founder of the Order of Camillians.

Angelo Brusco, who is deeply knowledgeable about Bresciani, after outlining some brief biographical notes interacted with those who were present about the implementation of his message and suggestions for contemporary consecrated life in our Province of North Italy.


An initiative for vocations and formation organised by Camillian Pastoral Care for Young People of the Province of North Italy for Lent 2019.



     1 February 2019 – blessing of the pilgrim statue of Saint Camillus and the beginning of the Camillian vocational year!

New in Christ: a loving heart to love and serve’: this was the subject chosen by the Camillian Province of Brazil to celebrate the Camillian Vocational Year of 2019.

The idea of having a year dedicated in particular to the vocation of Camillians arose to celebrate our charism, to spread it further, and therefore to create greater nearness to young people during the period of discernment of their vocation. In addition, this Vocational Year has the goal of promoting in Camillian religious a strengthening of our consecration to Christ and our identity as promoters of life and health.

The pilgrim statue of Saint Camillus is greeting sinop-Mt after a weak of faith and devotion dedicated to the patron saint of the sick.




MILOME Newsletter from St.Camillus Dala Kiye

Dear friends, February is the month of love. As Dala Kiye, we remind ourselves daily of the love and care our children in the Foster houses need. We provide care and support in drug adherence, nutrition and education and we thank you for supporting us in realizing this noble dream. Much love was spread this month; we had new admissions in the foster house. 5 boys were admitted and are living in Simba house for boys. I am happy to introduce them to you.

Fr. Emilio







   Within the framework of the Camillian Vocational Year of the Province of Rome, a Camillian parish mission was organised that was connected with the St. Camillus Basilica, in Via Sallustiana, Rome (3-9 March 2019).

     On 30 March, at 18.00, in the Parish of the Sacred Heart of Grottaferrata, our Camillian religious Walter Vinci will be consecrated a deacon.








Our Camillian religious Fr. Jacques Simpore was recently appointed a member of the ‘WHO expert advisory committee on developing global standards for governance and oversight of human genome editing’ of the World Health Organisation (UN). Congratulations!



50 anniversario dell’ospedale san Camillo di Ouagadougou







    The inauguration took place in Sokodé in Togo of a new centre for the mentally ill of Grégoire Ahongbonon. A delegation of the Community of Sant’Egidio also took part​. In 1994 Grégoire Ahongbonon founded the ‘Saint Camille de Lellis’ Association which through its care centres helps tens of thousands of mentally ill people, who at times have been put in chains because of the prejudices that stigmatise people who suffer from this kind of illness in countries where health-care institutions are highly inadequate, thereby restoring to them a life of dignity.

Comunità di Sant’Egidio – Community of Sant’Egidio





      Do you want to come close to the Church of Saint Mary Magdalene, the Chapter Hall, the Museum of St Camillus and the Generalate House of the Camillians?

We invite you to take part in the virtual visit created by the Camillian Province of Spain thanks to the cooperation of the Undanet group.

Religiosos Camilos en España


     We share with the Daughters of Saint Camillus the joy and the feelings of gratitude to the Lord for the positive outcome of the commission of theologians of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints (the Vatican) which on 19 February 2019 examined the purported miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed Mother Founder Giuseppina Vannini.

This new and important stage on the itinerary of canonisation of the Blessed Mother Vannini is moving towards our final destination. Now we are waiting to know when the Cardinals will meet to establish the date for the canonisation of the Blessed Mother Giuseppina Vannini.


23 February, at the Mother House: Eleonora becomes a postulant

     On Saturday 23 February the community of the Mother House received with great joy the fact that the young Eleonora had become a postulant. A date and a place that were very significant – indeed it was there that the Blessed Mother Giuseppina Vannini returned to heaven, specifically in that room which today has been transformed into a museum. After the Holy Mass celebrated by Don Giuseppe, Eleonora received from the hands of Mother Zelia the small cross of Saint Camillus and entrusted to Our Lady, and to the sister who will accompany her, her journey of formation towards holiness.




The Camillian Disaster Service International (CADIS) embarks anew on a post-disaster needs assessment in Palu and Lombok Indonesia in collaboration with Fondazione L’Albero della Vita (FADV). The team composed of two volunteers – Sr. Daisy Carmona, SMI of CADIS Asia and Mr. Biplab Chakrabarty of FADV – visited the affected communities in Kota Palu, Kulawi in Sigi and the nearby village of Central Sulawesi which was heavily affected by the horrific earthquake and tsunami in 2018.

Lombok had suffered from a 6,9 magnitude earthquake in August 2018 while Palu with a 7,5 magnitude with horrendous tsunami and liquefaction a month after. These resulted in serious damage to infrastructures, market, and business investments leaving hundreds of thousands of people injured, displaced, missing and dead. Surviving family members are suffering from trauma and fear.



‘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).

     The Camillian religious of the Province of Sicily and Naples announce the death of Fr. Giuseppe TONDIN (aged 95). His death took place on 12 February 2019 at the Camillian hospital community of Casoria (Naples). Here is a brief biography Fr. Giuseppe




   PÜTZHOVEN Ferdinand (aged 80), a Camillian religious of the Province of Germany, died on 19 February 2019, in Moenchengladbch, with the Camillian community of Essen. Here is a brief biography of Fr. Ferdinand.

On 27 February 2019 the lovingly accompanied death took place in the community of Torpignattara (Rome) of Sr. Ancilla Di Lanzo, a Daughter of St. Camillus. Sr. Ancilla was 95 and had spent 75 years in religious life.

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’.


For all the victims of all types of disasters, for people who have lost their lives, for their loved ones, for the survivors, and for all those who work to provide help, we pray:

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.