Newsletter N. 62 – The Camillian World Seen from Rome…and Rome seen from the world

NEWSLETTER 62 August – September 2019


Fr. LEOCIR PESSINI – a Camillian (May 1955- July 2019)

Father Leocir Pessini was born on 14 May 1955 in Joaçaba, a city in the State of Santa Caterina in Brazil. His family had Italian origins.

He made his first profession as a member of the Ministers of the Sick – the Camillians – in 1975; he made his perpetual profession in 1978; and he was ordained a priest in 1980.

He always cultivated a great passion for the Camillian charism, care for the sick, the humanisation of the world of health, and teaching bioethics.

   Fr. Leocir loved to divide his biography into three great trajectories in order to identify three strong and fundamental points in the construction of his life’s journey.

The first fifteen years were completely dedicated to service to the sick (1981-1995). For the first thirteen years of this period he worked as a chaplain at the Hospital das Clinicas of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of San Paolo (Brazil). CONTINUA QUI


CLICK HERE per la rassegna stampa riguardante p. Leocir
l’Osservatore Romano
Famiglia Cristiana


SPEECH OF GREETING TO HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS 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

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 CONTINUA QUI

Here you can download pictures in memory of Fr. Leo in  ITALIAN, FRANCE, ENGLISH E SPANISH






THE FIRST LETTER TO THE ORDER – San Paolo (Brazil), 28 July 2019


Dear Camillian Confreres,

We have been going through days that have been very intense because of our faith in the Lord Jesus, our shared fraternity and our personal emotions, and the worsening of the illness of our Superior General, Fr. Leocir Pessini, and then his death which took place on 24 July.

His funeral, which was held on 26 July 2019, witnessed a moved participation by the people who were there and this highlighted the esteem and affection for the personality and the work of Fr. Leocir felt by various pastors of the Church, religious of the Order, and his many friends and loved ones.

In the light of this event, we wish to send to you our most keenly-felt feelings of esteem and gratitude for the close nearness, the warm fraternity and the choral prayers that you raised up to the Lord of Life, first asking for the healing of Fr. Leocir and then, after the news of his death, in suffrage for his soul and always for the good of the whole of our Order.

We wish to express our deep gratitude to Fr. Antonio Mendes Freitas and through him to the confreres of the Camillian Province of Brazil and their medical/health-care workers for the care, constant concern and skilled treatment that they provided to Fr. Leocir in a completely special way during the last months of his care and treatment.

The family of Fr. Leocir, his father Laurindo, his mother Therezinha and his sisters Salete and Bernadete, were a constant presence and a point of reference in his life and in a special way during this season of illness: the discretion and dignity with which they demonstrated their affection and their suffering remain a great example of the Pessini family that we conserve as a precious legacy.

Although shaken by these somewhat troubled weeks, the journey of the general government of the Order has continued: on 27 July last, at a meeting of the General Consulta, Fr. Laurent Zoungrana, the Vicar General of the Order, as is envisaged by our Constitution, took over the mandate of being the Superior General and duly made a profession of faith.

At that meeting debate took place on a subject that is dear to all our religious: the next General Chapter. We decided to send to the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life the request for a derogation from the rule contained in article 102 of our Constitution which lays down that ‘The vicar general announces a general chapter within three months of the office falling vacant and convenes it within six months, but not beyond that period of time’. This was done in order to be able to celebrate the General Chapter as already planned, starting on our most ‘customary’ date, namely 2 May 2020. We have thus entrusted ourselves to the decision of the Holy See. In addition, in a short time, we will also provide you with a suitable communication about the election of the new member of the General Consulta (Const. n. 102).

Trusting in the intercession of our Saint Father Camillus, in your fraternity and cooperation, we cordially send our best greetings to you!

Fr. Laurent Zoungrana, the Vicar General of the Order, and the members of the General Consulta


Dear Camillian Confreres,

Over the last two weeks, since the death of our Superior General Fr. Leocir PESSINI, we have received numerous expressions of Christian condolences and fraternal nearness from both the confreres of our Order of Camillians and from various Church and civil institutions that over the years have appreciated him as a person and his role as a Camillian religious. Amongst them all, we wish to point out to you the telegram that Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Secretary of State of the Vatican, addressed to Fr. Laurent Zoungrana, our Vicar General, communicating the condolences and the prayers of the Holy Father, Pope Francis.

This nearness helps to animate our Christian hope and comforts our journey as the general government of the Order.

At the meeting of the General Consulta of 9 August 2019, in Rome, we proceeded to certain appointments as envisaged by our Constitution (Const., n. 102) in our situation of the office of Superior General being vacant.

Unanimously, the General Consulta:

Elected Fr. Felice DE MIRANDA a new member of the General Consulta of the Order.

Elected Fr. Gianfranco LUNARDON the new Procurator of the Order (with the title Pro-Vicar General).

As we had already informed you in our last communication of 27 July of this year, we immediately sent a request to the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (CIVCSVA) for a derogation from the rule contained in article 102 of our Constitution which envisages that ‘The vicar general announces a general chapter within three months of the office falling vacant and convenes it within six months, but not beyond that period of time’ in order to be able to celebrate the General Chapter as already planned, starting on our most ‘customary’ date, namely 2 May 2020.

The CIVCSVA, by the rescript prot. n. 45028/2019 of 1 August 2019, signed by His Excellency the Most Reverend Msgr. José RODRÍGUEZ CARBALLO, the Archbishop-Secretary, derogated the time limit laid down by our Constitution n. 102 (P. IV, chap. II) and granted the dispensation to celebrate the General Chapter starting on 2 May 2020, following usual practice.

Grateful for your friendship and cooperation, above all during this stage of the preparations for the General Chapter, and trusting in the intercession of our Saint Father Camillus and in your fraternity, cordially we send you our best greetings!

Fr. Laurent Zoungrana, the Vicar General of the Order, and the members of the General Consulta


  • On 27 July 2019, at a meeting of the General Consulta held in San Paolo (Brazil), Laurent ZOUNGRANA, the Vicar General of the Order, as envisaged by the Constitution of the Order, took over the mandate of being the Superior General of the Camillians and duly made a profession of faith (cf. Const. n. 102).
  • At the meeting of the General Consulta of 9 August 2019 held in Rome, it made certain appointments envisaged by the Constitution (Const., n. 102) in our situation of the office of Superior General being vacant. Unanimously, the General Consulta elected Felice DE MIRANDA a new member of the General Consulta of the Order and elected Fr. Gianfranco LUNARDON the new Procurator of the Order (with the title of Pro-Vicar General).
  • As we had already informed you in our last communication of 27 July of this year, we sent a request to the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (CIVCSVA) for a derogation from the rule contained in article 102 of our Constitution which envisages that ‘The vicar general announces a general chapter within three months of the office falling vacant and convenes it within six months, but not beyond that period of time’ in order to be able to celebrate the General Chapter as already planned, starting on our most ‘customary’ date, namely 2 May 2020.
  • The CIVCSVA, by the rescript prot. n. 45028/2019 of 1 August 2019, signed by His Excellency the Most Reverend Msgr. José RODRÍGUEZ CARBALLO, the Archbishop-Secretary, derogated the time limit laid down by our Constitution n. 102 (P. IV, chap. II) and granted the dispensation to celebrate the General Chapter starting on 2 May 2020, following usual practice.
  • On 12-14 August 2019, in Bangkok (Thailand), Fr. Aris Miranda coordinated the conference/workshop on the subject ‘A New School of Charity’ in cooperation with the Camillians and the local Church of the Asian-Pacific area. The aim was to conceive and share some projects for pastoral care in health and the humanisation of care in our social and ecclesial contemporary realities.

The conference on planning and the workshop of the heads of ‘Camillian’ pastoral care in the Asian-Pacific area took place on 12-14 August 2019 at the Camillian Pastoral Centre of Bangkok. Twenty Camillian religious from the Provinces and the Delegations of the Philippines, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and India took part.

This group aspires to train a team of people made up of those who provide formation and are animators in the field of pastoral care in health, with a positive assessment of our resources and expertise in the field of the humanisation and promotion of the culture of pastoral care in health. It also wants to set in motion a shared project in order to strengthen the network of centres for pastoral care that are present throughout the world and in particular in Asia. The short-term goal is to draw up concrete proposals for the promotion, animation and coordination of pastoral care in health within the Order.

The proceedings of this meeting will be adapted as material for further analysis and discussion at the local and Provincial Chapters, as well as to provide ideas for the imminent meeting of the directors of centres for pastoral care in health in Rome to be held in October 2019.

     Click here to see the photographs


Padre Norbert Riebartsch sulla Via di San Giacomo

Dal 21 settembre al 1 ottobre, padre Norbert Riebartsch – per la sesta volta in gruppo – ritorna con i pellegrini al “cammino”, la via di pellegrinaggio a Santiago de Compostela.

Il “Konradsblatt” (giornale dell’Arcidiocesi di Friburgo) ha recentemente riportato:

Con la croce sulla Via di San Giacomo a Santiago

Dall’aprile 2015, padre Norbert Riebartsch, cappellano ospedaliero di lunga data a Friburgo, ha intrapreso la Via di San Giacomo con un gruppo di 23 persone. I percorsi sono pianificati in modo che anche gli anziani possano partecipare. In caso di necessità, un autobus è pronto come ausilio per i pellegrini più affaticati..


 The Camillian religious of the Province of Rome announce with joy the priestly ordination of their confrere Walter Vinci. The celebration will take place on 21 September at 18.30 at the Parish of S. Pio da Pietrelcina di Mesagne. It will be presided over by H. E. the Most Reverend Paolo Ricciardi, the Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Rome and the Delegate for Pastoral Care in Health.





Numbers 215-216, January-June 2019, of CAMILLIANI/CAMILLIANS are available on-line.








On 30 July the Camillians of Uganda celebrated the perpetual professions of Tusabe Bernard and Peter Owakubariho and the temporary religious professions of Ojok Isaac, Batambuze Rogers, Mate Jonous, Okello Isaac and Abaho Felix.





On 17 August 2019, in Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), the priestly ordination was celebrated of five young confreres of the Camillian Delegation in Vietnam: Anthony Vu Phi Song, Joseph Hoang Quoc Huy, Joseph Luu Ngoc Khanh, Joseph Nguyen Quoc Hung and John Baptist Le Van Thoung.




On 10 August 2019, the Archbishop of Cotonou (Benin) consecrated three young Camillian confreres: Dimitri Arnaud Dandonougbo, Théodore Gatiglo and Romeo Akpegnon.



On 6-15 July, at the Camillian community of Acireale-Mangano, in concomitance with the novena and the feast day of St. Camillus, the camp service ‘The Courage to Dare’ was held. This slogan was on the T-shirts of the participants that they were given to them together with other gadgets during the first day of welcome.

The phrase ‘The Courage to Dare’ was the constant injunction that echoed throughout the entire service provided to our sick brothers and sisters and our friends of the common table during the days that led up to the feast day. The novena involving preparations embraced our sick brothers and sisters of the various parishes of the diocese who had previously been the objects of the inter-parish mission guided by the women Ministers of the Sick. The visits took place during the morning and had their culminating point in the celebration of a Holy Mass in the afternoon. . CONTINUE HERE

Pilgrimage to Medjugorje

On 30 July to 6 August 2019 the ‘XXX Festival of Youth’ was held in Medjugorje. Its evangelical subject was ‘Follow me!’, a phrase taken from the Gospel According to St. Mark, chapter 10. This year the Province of Sicily and Naples of the Camillians, together with the women Ministers of St. Camillus and the women Ministers of the Sick, had the idea of taking part in this event, which for thirty years has been organised by the Franciscans of the Province of Bosnia-Herzegovina at the Parish of St. James of Medjugorje. CONTINUE HERE

Priestly Ordination

Our confrere Fr. Dario Malizia will be consecrated a priest on 14 September 2019 at 10.00 in the cathedral of Palermo by Archbishop Msgr. Corrado Lorefice.

Cfr. Programma completo della preparazione in occasione dell’ordinazione sacerdotale del confratello Dario Malizia, a Palermo.





Hogar San Camilo

Boletín Informativo – AGOSTO 2019















The Camillian Province of Brazil has in recent months been celebrating the Camillian vocational year to make the figure of St. Camillus more known about and to promote Camillian spirituality and the Camillian charism in those contexts where our religious work.

For this reason, it was decided to take the itinerant picture of St. Camillus to the various Camillian communities of Brazil. CONTINUE HERE




On 26 July in Makung (the Pescadores Islands) the sixty-second anniversary was celebrated of the Camillian hospital with a religious celebration and a dinner for all the personnel.

The next day, again in Makung, we celebrated the thirty-eighth anniversary of the St. Camillus health centre which was founded by the Camillians in 1981. The Bishop of Tainan presided over the Holy Mass. Many of the leading figures of the country spoke at the event. On 31 July a suffrage Holy Mass was held for our Superior General, Fr. Leo Pessini.


According to traditional Chinese culture, the seventh lunar month is the month when spirits come out of hell. As a result, people ‘moved by fear’ perform certain ceremonies to ward them off. The Church has adapted to this custom and organises prayers for people’s ancestors. We Camillians engaged in a ‘celebration’ at the hospital, at the centre for disabled people, at the centre for elderly people, and at the school for nurses.

The annual meeting of all the various heads of St. Mary’s Hospital took place with the purpose of engaging in an overall assessment of the performance and development of the hospital. Over a hundred people took part in this meeting. Fr. Giuseppe Didonè during his paper dwelt upon the meaning and the value of a ‘Catholic’ hospital.

On 21-23 August the pastoral visit took place of the Provincial Superior Fr. Jojo Eloja to the Camillian Delegation of Taiwan.


The General Secretariats for Mission and Ministry of the Camillian Province of Brazil have organised for 15-20 September, in São Paulo (Brazil), a meeting of the administrators and directors of Camillian works. Its subject will be: ‘ADMINISTER WELL TO SERVE BETTER’. DOWNLOAD THE PROGRAMME HERE






FROM OUR GENERAL ARCHIVES – fragments of Camillian history

A solicitous sacristan and a precious gift of Pope Pius IX

Perhaps not everyone knows that a solicitous sacristan of the Church of St. Mary Magdalene, a certain Br.

Fr. Ferdinando Vicari,[1]  requested and obtained a gift from Pope Pius IX.

Expressed in such terms, this could appear to be an affront to the Pope, but let us take a step backwards…

It was the year 1846 and given that this was the centenary of the canonisation of St. Camillus the newly elected Pope celebrated the Holy Mass at the High Altar. By accident, the sacristan Msgr. Castellani had forgotten to bring the chest with the sacred vestments as was the custom and thus the Holy Father celebrated with the vestments of the Church of St. Mary Magdalene. This forgetfulness meant that the Pope did not leave his sacred vestments as a gift in honour of the Founder Saint, as was the custom when he went to other churches.

This was not the first time that Pope IX had visited the Church of St. Mary Magdalene. Indeed, as our solicitous sacristan tells us, the Holy Father as Msgr. Maria Mastai Ferretti had lived for some time in that house, knew the fathers that at that time stayed there, and in various circumstances had also made reference to them. Amongst the anecdotes connected with him there is also a moving episode that is described in the Canonical Process for his beatification: ‘Living at that time with the Camillians at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene, he forgot one night to put out the lamp and his bed caught fire; after waking up abruptly and seeing the danger, he prayed to Our Lady, and managed to flee safe and sound’ [2].

And in the year 1862 he was present at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene on the occasion of the feast day of our Most Holy Saviour.

Thus the sacristan, when in conversation with Msgr. D. Paolino Carlucci, who held most affectionate feelings towards the Institute and the church, expressed with great displeasure that although the Holy Father had come on a number of occasions to the Church of St. Mary Magdalene, he had never left a memory of him that could be shown. Msgr. Carlucci shortly made this news reach the Holy Father who in humorous tones replied: “We had never thought of that, but the sacristan is right”.

Thus the gift soon arrived: ‘a magnificent chalice of gilded silver with cherubs around it of good and recent work’.

The sacristan on receiving this gift was pleased but also a little confused. And to such an extent that in his turn he wanted to express his gratitude to the Pope by offering him a copy, superbly illuminated by Sig. Giuseppe Pazzi, of a magnificent picture of Our Lady of Health with St. Joseph and St. Camillus, by the painter Francesco Gagliardi and reproduced by Sig. Filippo Belli.[3]

[1] Br. Vicari (Rieti 22 January 1815 – Rome, house of St. Mary Magdalene 27 August 1877) performed the office of sacristan at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene starting in the year 1839. He worked to promote the Archconfraternity of Our Lady of Health for which he had made an effigy in copper of St. Mary of Health with St. Joseph and St. Camillus in supplicant pose.

[2] Domesticum, 1911, p. 165.

[3] AGMI 2745 ‘Historical memories of the miraculous Picture of the Most Holy Mary of Health which is venerated in the Church of St. Mary Magdalene by the Fathers of the Ministers of the Sick, by Ferdinando Vicari of the same religion’ (ff. 45 -50).


Ordinazione Presbiteriale

Il confratello Basil Darker Gaete, sabato 7 settembre 2019, sarà consacrato sacerdote!





The spiritual exercises of the Province of 16-20 September 2019 will hear the preaching of the Bible expert and expert on the Holy Land, Father Fernando Armellini (a Dehonian). His subject will be ‘The New Justice of the Kingdom of God’. This is the new justice that St. Camillus accepted into his life after his conversion.






On 11 September 2019 our confrere Verna Cinéus will discuss his doctoral thesis in the theology of pastoral care in health at the Camillianum of Rome. The title of his dissertation is: ‘Nouvelle évangélisation et Pastorale de la santé. Aspects, problématiques et nouveaux parcours pastoraux sanitaires dans l’église d’Haiti’.



On Monday 22 July, at the Faculty of Medicine of Chieti, our Camillian confrere Fr. Mathieu Wenkouni Ouedraogo discussed his degree thesis in medicine and surgery on ‘Mental Pain and Suicide as Transcultural Phenomena: a Retrospective Study in Burkina Faso’.




From La Stampa

Of the 17,000 islands that make up the archipelago of Indonesia, Flores is one of the poorest with a population of 1.3 million inhabitants, most of whom are Catholics (80%), and a surface area of 14,000 square kilometres. They are peasants and fishermen who experience poverty and have to deal with a lack of primary services. Many young people therefore prefer to migrate to the great cities of the country (Jacarta, Surabaya, Bali…) to have better opportunities and to try to build a better future for their families. Here Camillians are at work: six priests (four Indonesians, one Italian and a Pakistani), 14 professed religious in theology, six novices and 52 seminarians studying philosophy).


The Camilliani have been in Indonesia for ten years

By Fr. Luigi Galvani

On 14 July 2019, the feast day of St. Camillus celebrated at the Camillian seminary of Maumere was characterised by important events: the tenth anniversary of the establishment of the Delegation in Indonesia, the renewal of vows of eight professed, the first profession of six novices, the admission to the novitiate of six candidates, and the perpetual profession of Mensianus Aman. This last is seen as the initiator of the second generation of Indonesian Camillians who followed on from the four young pioneers that were sent to Manila in the year 2000 for their studies and their Camillian formation. In 2009 they returned to Indonesia and after a period of two years they were ordained in our seminary of Maumere. At the present time, they make up a team of people providing formation in our two seminaries of Maumere and Ruteng.

Without doubt, the Delegation feels blessed because of the good missionary work that has been done in such a short period of time. Ten years ago, the group began with four candidates whereas today it has more than seventy. From the outset, the principal goal of the Delegation has been, and it still remains, the promotion of vocations and the formation of candidates. This certainly contributes to the fulfilment of the dream of St. Camillus of one day seeing his Institute spread to all the countries of the world.

After these positive events, the Delegation can rely every year on a group of new novices, professed and, fortunately, ordinations. With gratitude and joy, we can say that the visible growth of the Delegation has been characterised by providential signs. Amongst these we may list: the canonical recognition by the General Consulta in 2011; the inauguration of the first seminary for philosophy students in 2012; the opening of a second seminary in Ruteng in 2015; the beginning of the novitiate in Maumere in 2016; the inauguration of the theologate in 2017; the opening of the St. Camillus Social Centre in Misir in 2018; and the launch of ‘St. Camillus’ mineral water and ice cream in 2019.

At the present time the Delegation in Indonesia is made up of six priests, one deacon, fourteen temporary professed, six novices, forty-two students of philosophy, and twenty aspirants.

As well as its role at the level of formation, the Delegation performs pastoral work in the chaplaincy of the government hospital (260 beds) and engages in ministry with sick people and the elderly in various villages in the mountains. At the same time, it helps hundreds of children in a number of nutritional centres and promotes the programme of ‘distance adoptions’ for especially deserving students.

After ten years of dynamic missionary activity, the Delegation looks to the future with hope, new enthusiasm and the wish to continue to enlarge the ‘hundred arms’ of charity which St. Camillus urged on his religious.

Certainly there is no lack of good opportunities but ‘everything will be possible’ if we believe in the grace of the Sprit and if the intuitions of St. Camillus are followed.

Indonesia: the ordination of the first deacon

After ten years of being present in Indonesia, the Camillian Delegation has received the first ordination of a deacon with Mensianus Aman. We can say that the new deacon belongs to the second generation of Indonesian Camillians who follow on from the four pioneers sent to Manila in the year 2000 for their studies and formation. In 2009 they returned and they were subsequently ordained in our seminary of Maumere. Now they are the providers of formation in our two seminaries of Ledalero and Ruteng.

Ten years ago the first Indonesian Camillian community was made up of four candidates and the deacon Mensianus was one of them. Today, thanks to Providence, the number of our seminarians is more than seventy. From now on, we will have the great hope of always being able to have a group of candidates at their various stages of formation.

The Delegation is truly grateful to Providence and to the Superiors for being able to engage in good missionary work in such a short period of time.

Kamillianischen Schwestern

On 1-5 May 2019 the fifth Ordinary General Assembly of the Kamillianischen Schwestern (‘Camillian Sisters’) was held.

During the general assembly the new general council was elected and this body is called to accompany, support and animate the journey of faith and consecration of the Institute.

The following were elected to be members of the general council: Heidelinde HINTEREGGER (Austria); (as general assistants) Maria Isabél de PAULA (Brazil), Eliana PINTO (Brazil), Maria MANZENREITER (Austria) and Annemarie SUTTERLÜTY (Austria). To all of them go our best wishes accompanied by our fraternal prayers for the shared intercession of St. Camillus de Lellis whose charism of mercy towards the sick we share and who inspires us!


La Consulta generale il 4 settembre 2019 ha ammesso alla professione solenne dei voti religiosi il professo camilliano Valamparackel Tinto Augustine. Con i migliori auguri di bene nel Signore per la sua vocazione camilliana.







Agenzia Fides

Ranja. ‘Still today, almost ten years after the earthquake that shook Haiti, we are trying to accompany the population of Haiti towards full recovery’, Agenzia Fides was told by Father Aris Miranda, a Camillian missionary and the executive director of the Camillian Disaster Service International (CADIS), when he spoke about the aid programmes implemented in recent years on this Caribbean island after the earthquake of 12 January 2012 which caused 230,000 victims, 300,000 wounded, and one million displaced people. CONTINUE HERE

Appeal for health-care aid camps to deal with the disaster caused by flooding in the State of Kerala (9 August 2019)

Dear Friends,

States throughout India have been afflicted by a series of floods that have caused an enormous loss of human life and have opened up human wounds on a large scale. The most afflicted States are Bihar, Assam and Uttar Pradesh, whereas the situation in western Bengal and Assam the situation is gradually improving. The principal rivers have burst their banks, flooding new inhabited areas and forcing thousands of people since last week to leave their homes, smashing hundreds of poor dwellings, damaging buildings, roads and bridges, and above all sweeping away forever numerous crops, causing incalculable damage.

Now all the principal rivers of the State are showing a tendency to fall. Thousands of people have been forced to flee from their homes after slimy waters swept away entire villages. The inhabitants have taken refuge in high lying areas, amongst which school buildings, and on the banks of the rivers. The monsoon has generated chaos in Kerala. The red danger alert has been sounded in four districts: Idukki, Kozhikode, Malappuram and Wayanad. The terrible storms of rain, accompanied by impetuous winds, have caused landslides and landslips throughout the State. The winds and then rain-filled clouds of the monsoon in the South-West have intensified, provoking an authentic deluge. Many people are feared missing or dead. The State of Kerala has been suffering various landslides with strong rains since Thursday evening. Widespread damage to property and crops has been reported. Under unceasing rains which have continued to devastate Kerala, causing widespread flooding, sixteen people died on Thursday and over 22,000 men and women have been evacuated to about 315 camps that provide aid.

Aware of the situation of poverty and the bad living conditions of most of the population of Wayanad, in Kerala the Camillian Task Force (CTF), together with the Diocese of Mananthavady, is ready to respond to this disaster by organising camps to provide medical help in the four most afflicted districts of Kerala. We are planning to send our CTF medical assistance team to Kerala and it will leave on 10 August 2019.

For this reason, we ask all of our dear friends, benefactors, supporters and health-care workers to support this initiative with your prayers and your contributions, according to your means. As always, we commit ourselves to guaranteeing that the financial help that you wish to give through CTF-India will reach the people for whom it is intended.

Your contribution can be paid to the Camillian Task Force (CTF). Bank details: A/C Name: Sneha Charitable Trust, A/C No: 0108053000008729, The South Indian Bank Ltd, Brigade Road Branch, Bengaluru and IFSC Code: SIBL0000108, (Exempt u/s. 80G (5).

We ask you to continue to pray for the victims and to support all of our volunteers.

With a deep sense of gratitude,

Fr. Baby Ellickal, MI – National Director of the CTF


‘A giant of charity’: this was how the Archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, defined Brother Ettore Boschini. The process for his beatification was set in motion by the current Archbishop of Milan, Msgr. Mario Delpini, on 19 December 2017.

Roberto Allegri, a journalist and the author of the book L’amico dei poveri (‘The Friend of the Poor’), published by Ancora, has brought together numerous episodes and a great deal of information to produce a detailed account of the life of the Camillian, Brother Ettore.





On 2 May 2019 the very much ‘longed for’ building site for the restoration and above all the structural strengthening of the bell tower of our Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Rome was opened.

      The historic cracks in the bell tower, which expanded with the effects of the earthquakes of recent years – devastating earthquakes in central Italy which were also felt in Rome and above all in our neighbourhood of ‘Campo Marzio’ which is well known as being an old marshy area run through with streams that flow into the Tiber – began to provoke some concern.

The technicians are already working on the structure in order to make it safe by placing some metal struts that above all will strengthen the walls of the bell tower. The three historic bells will be taken down from their natural locations and placed in a side chapel in the church so that they can be admired for their rare beauty (after suitable restoration work and cleaning).

At the beginning of the month of June 2019, a large scaffolding (41 metres high) was installed, inside the Church of St. Mary Magdalene as well, for the restoration of the fresco which adorns the cupola (1739), the work of the painter Parrocel (Parosel) Stefano (Avignon, 8 January 1696 – Rome, 26 August or 13 January 1775 or 1776), also known as Le Romain. The restoration of the cupola envisages technical intervention on the cracks and fissures and the replacement of the glass in the large circular windows of the cupola and of the glass of the roof lanterns which were vandalised in the night of 22 December 2014.

The scaffolding is already being used for the structural strengthening of the building (a repositioning of the ‘chain’ that secures the anchoring of the façade onto the nave of the church) and the aesthetic restoration (the retrieval of the original colours of the Baroque plasterwork and stuccos) of the façade of the Church of St. Mary Magdalene. The façade of our church is the work of the architect Giuseppe Sardi (Sant’Angelo in Vado, 1680 – Rome, 1753). He was the creator of the façade of the Church of St. Mary Magdalene of Rome between 1716 and 1718 and was commissioned to do this by Cardinal Annibale Albani, who was then the titular prelate of the church.

In the autumn the second stage will begin of the restoration (cleaning) of the watercolour frescoes and the larger wooden objects (large wardrobes) of our precious sacristy.

   The technical study by experts on the works in wood is also at its completion stage. This is directed towards anti-woodworm treatment and the retrieval of the original colours of the polychrome wooden statue of St. Mary Magdalene of the fifteenth century and of the four ‘reliquary’ busts that are located on the principal altar of the church.

The financial support of the ‘owner’ – the FEC, the Fund for Buildings of Worship of the Interior Ministry –, the technical and legal perseverance of the special superintendence for the architectural heritage of Rome, and the kind readiness to help of those who form a part of the overall complex have all contributed to carrying out this work.

The hope is that over time a lasting maintenance will be achieved.



During the month of August of this year the opening of the mission of the Daughters of St. Camillus in Mali in the Diocese of San was celebrated.







Rome, 13 October 2019

After promulgating the decree on the miracle of the Blessed Giuseppina Vannini, Pope Francis established the date for her canonisation in Rome in St. Peter’s Square: Sunday 13 October 2019.

On 13 May 2019, the Holy Father Francis received at an audience His Eminence the Most Reverend Cardinal Angelo Becciu, the Prefect for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. During this audience, the Supreme Pontiff authorised this Congregation to promulgate the decree on the miracle attributed to the intercession of the Blessed Giuseppina Vannini (born Giuditta Adelaide Agata), the Founder of the Daughters of St. Camillus. She was born in Rome (Italy) on 7 July 1859 and died in the same city on 23 February 1911.



  The Congregation for the Causes of Saints has been authorised by the Pope to promulgate the decree on the miracle attributed to the intercession of the Blessed Giuseppina Vannini. Soon the founder of the Daughters of St. Camillus, who was born during the second half of the nineteenth century in Rome where there is a hospital that bears her name, will therefore soon be a saint. By Francesco Durante.



273 years after the canonisation of St. Camillus: the first Camillian female saint – Giuseppina Vannini!



Dear Confreres and Sisters of the great family of St. Camillus,

The celebration of the liturgical feast day of our holy Father Camillus spurs us, in addition to praising God for the gift of such a great saint, to regain possession of our charism so as to make it increasingly living and of contemporary relevance so that it may continue to produce fruits in us and through us in all those people who need our help.

      To illumine our journey on this pathway of our lives and donation, in addition to our father St. Camillus, there are our Blesseds, Venerables, Servants of God and an array of confreres and religious sisters who, though the example of their lives more than through words, knew how to express the Gospel of the Good Samaritan in the various contexts and circumstances in which they worked.

Amongst the very many figures who have stood out in the exercise of the charism of charity, one in particular attracts our attention today and she is the Blessed Giuseppina Vannini, the founder of our Congregation of the Daughters of St. Camillus who on 13 October next will be proclaimed a SAINT by Pope Francis.

     It is with immense joy that we want to share with you this great grace that the Lord has deigned to grant to our religious family. A daughter faithful to St. Camillus who joined the father 273 years after his canonisation!

    This event is also a sign of the fertility and further authenticity of an ancient and always new charism that continues to mark the history of holiness of the Church in general and our religious family in particular. And we hope that soon other very fine examples of men and women Camillians can shine before all the people of God.

   Three hundred and nine years separate the birth of St. Camillus from the birth of the Blessed Giuseppina Vannini, and yet in their existences we find various points of convergence: the first thing that comes to the eye is the condition of being orphans that both of them experienced. Camillus became an orphan when his mother died when he was thirteen years old; after the death of his father he was an orphan who was alone in the world. Vannini lost her father when she was four years old and her mother when she was seven. She was thus sent to an orphanage. The search for their vocations, albeit in different forms; seeing the doors of the religious house that they wanted to belong to closed to them – St. Camillus with the Capuchin friars and Vannini with the Daughters of Charity – and then the opening up of a horizon that was after a certain fashion expected but never imagined: creating a new reality that would have changed things into a before and after, taking care of suffering man in his totality of soul and body, and also changing the history of health care!

The ‘new school of charity’ begun by Camillus still conserves today its evangelical newness: you did it to me; as well as its peculiarity expressed in the way of serving – like a loving mother cares for her sick only child! And this leads one to see the person of the sick person as unique and unrepeatable, as Pope Francis exhorts us: ‘People are never equal, they should be understood and cared for one by one, as God does: God does this!’ And would we not say: as a mother does so should every son and daughter of St. Camillus do!

But who was Giuseppina Vannini? We can capture her life’s history, which lasted just fifty-two years, in a few lines. Giuditta (this was the name given to her at baptism) was born in Rome on 7 July 1859, some 160 years ago! At the tender age of seven she was made an orphan because of the death of both of her parents and she was entrusted to the Torlonia Orphanage which was run by the Daughters of Charity. Contact with the sisters helped to develop in the young Giuditta a religious vocation that led her to ask to become one of them. She was received into the novitiate but after a period of membership of it she was sent out of the Institute. At the age of thirty-two a providential meeting with Fr. Luigi Tezza, a Camillian, helped her to learn the Will of God which was to found a new religious Congregation: the Daughters of St. Camillus. As a woman religious she took the name of Giuseppina and rather than a ‘daughter of charity she became a mother of charity’, to use the happy phrase of Gaetano Meaolo.

      The Blessed Vannini lived an existence marked by suffering and yet she never allowed herself to be overwhelmed by the bitterness of life. She entrusted herself to the Lord and in him she always hoped; she looked for his will with perseverance and humble trust even when everything seemed lost, and her expectations were never disappointed. The Lord was preparing her, shaping her, and making her capable of implementing the Camillian charism in a female way.

Her life teaches us, or at least would like to teach us, to trust in the Lord, to believe in the irrevocable nature of his call, and to respond generously to our vocation. Only in this way can our lives become a gift of love to those whom we encounter in our daily ministry.

     This in a few words is the wonderful story of our founder saints who outlined a pathway for us, their followers. The Church confirms to us that we can reach holiness if we follow this pathway with generosity and love.

     May the examples of humility and great charity of our saints as well as their powerful intercession help us on our journey of daily faithfulness to the call of the Lord!

We send our best wishes to you fraternally with the words of the Blessed Vannini: ‘Let us pray for each other and although we are far from each other let us help each other to sanctify ourselves, not by altars but by facts, and having as our only witness the Lord!’

    A good feast day to everyone!

Mother Zélia Andrighetti

and the members of the General Council: Sr. Rosanna Priore, Sr. Lancy Ezhupara, Sr. Flor Barreda and Sr. Sabine Zida


This year as well, on the first of September, we are invited to celebrate the ‘Day for the Care of Creation’: a day to sensitise women and men of good will to an authentic ecological conversion according to the approach of integral ecology of Laudato si’ so that in dialogue and peace between different faiths and cultures the human family can live in a sustainable way on the earth, which has been given to us.

The day for the care of creation is an opportunity to learn about and understand the frail and precious reality of the creation: Laudato si’ invites us to have a ‘contemplative outlook’ to admire the creatures of the earth and in particular the world of life which is so varied and luxuriant. A contemplation that is also an outlook that is concerned about the creation which is threatened by the adoption of irresponsible forms of behaviour.

God gave to man ‘the earth, the sea and everything that they contain’ (Psalm 146:6; Acts 14:15). He made available the sky, as well as the sun, the moon and the stars. He granted to men the rains, the winds and everything that is in the world. And after all of this He gave Himself. ‘God in fact so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son’ (Jn 3:16) for the life of the world.

These words of the great Alexandrine exegete Origen (II-III centuries AD) express in a simple but very effective way the source of Christian theological thought about safeguarding the creation:  man is called to take care of the creation because it is the outcome of the love of God who was pleased to give it to man himself who was by God ‘made sovereign over the works of his hand’ (cf. Psalm 8:7).

Pope Benedict XVI himself dedicated to ecology his traditional message for the forty-third World Day of Peace (‘If you want to cultivate peace protect creation’ – 1 January 2010), emphasising the inseparable link between protecting creation and plenary humanism: ‘it is imperative that mankind renew and strengthen “that covenant between human beings and the environment, which should mirror the creative love of God, from whom we come and towards whom we are journeying”’.

But it was Pope Francis who impressed a decisive acceleration on this tandem with the re-proposing of a phrase of great semantic efficacy and one that is dense in religious, spiritual and ethical consequences: ‘Gospel of Creation’.

The phrase ‘Gospel of Creation’ comes directly from the title of the second chapter of Laudato si’ (nn. 62-100), the chapter that constitutes the true core of the encyclical. It is in this chapter that Pope Francis, with a broad Biblical trajectory, unfolds that fraternal outlook on the creation that he – as is emphasised by the introduction (nn. 1-16) – takes up from Francis of Assisi and which defines the point of view of the text.

The riches of this section allow (at least) two approaches at the level of its reading. They are certainly not opposed but are, rather, complementary. It is therefore starting with their presentation that one can come to explore the fundamental notion of ‘integral ecology’ which,indeed, is the specific purpose of the fourth chapter (nn. 137-162) of this encyclical. CONTINUE HERE


‘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 women Ministers of the Sick of St. Camillus announce the death of Sr. Speranza Gentile which took place in the community of ‘Casa Betania’ in Lucca. Sr. Speranza was born on 11 November 1940 (her religious profession took place on 8 October 1959). The whole of her life was given to service to the sick and this is a wonderful memory for all of us in the Camillian Charismatic Family.

The Daughters of St. Camillus announce the death of Sr. Ermengarda Casonato which took place on 29 July 2019. This woman religious died in the community of the health centre of Cremona. Sr. Ermengarda was 94 and 70 years of her life had been spent as a woman religious.

On 5 August at our generalate house of Grottaferrata the death took place of Sr. Amelia Das Chagas Pires, a Brazilian. She was 95 (her last birthday was on 17 July of this year) and she had spent 70 of her years in religious life.

We thank the Lord for the gift of their lives which were given and offered with joy at the service of the Institute, the community and the sick.


At the ‘St. Camillus’ health-care residence of Tres Cantos (Madrid), surrounded by the affection of the community, of the health-care workers and of friends, at dawn on 30 August 2019, our dear confrere Fr. Cirilo Marijuán died at the age of 87.

Fr. Cirilo was born in Burgos on 16 February 1932. He entered the Order of Camillians at Vic (Barcelona) on 6 October 1945. After a few years, he began his novitiate in Traslaviña (Vizcaya) on 7 September 1949 and he made his temporary religious profession in Vic (Barcelona) on 8 September 1950.

On September 1952 he was assigned to the house of Navarrete as a teacher of postulants.

On 8 September 1953 he made his perpetual profession at Vic (Barcelona) and he was ordained a priest on 15 June 1957.


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, the Blessed Enrico Rebuschini and the Blessed Maria Domenica Brun Barbantini 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. Instil 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. Amen. Our Father – Hail Mary – Glory.