Newsletter N. 64 – The Camillian World Seen from Rome…and Rome seen from the world

NEWSLETTER 64 – November 2019


The sixth conference of the coordinators of CADIS (the Camillian Disaster Service International) was held on 28 October to 3 November 2019. This year it was the Catholic Missionary Centre of the diocese of Chiang Mai in the North of Thailand that hosted the event. The 36 participants (religious, lay people and partners), from thirteen countries, addressed the subject Organizational Capability Development in Post-Disaster Interventions in Developing Countries.

The conference began on Sunday 27 October with a very fine ceremony of welcome organised according to the ritual of the Karen and Lahu tribes of the North of Thailand.

The days of 28-29 October were dedicated to the symposium on the encyclical Laudato Sì entitled Deep-Journey into Laudato Sì. It was animated by Fr. John Leydon and Sr. Elizabeth Carranza, both members of the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) of the Philippines. The goal of this deep journey into the encyclical of Pope Francis was to strengthen the participants in a sensitisation of public opinion about the urgent need to take care of our common home.

    On 30-31 October, under the guidance of the members of the centre (RTRC) of Fr. Niphot, the participants, organised into four groups, stayed in four indigenous villages (Pa Pae, Nong Tao, Khun Pae Pa Na) to learn with them and to share their life experiences. The special feature of these villages made up of immigrants and often marginalised by the Thai government is the importance and the respect that they give to nature and its elements. The inhabitants live in symbiosis with every element of nature and for this reason they reject agriculture, which could injure the spirit of nature itself. This was a very educational experience for each participant and it was shared on 1 November with Fr. Niphot.

The last two days (2-3 November) were dedicated to an assessment of the strategic plan 2014-2020 of CADIS. Under the guidance of Fr. Samuel Cuarto, the leaders of CADIS engaged in an introspective look at the life and the activities of the CADIS Foundation over the last five years. At the end, a round table highlighted future challenges for CADIS and for the Order related to the subject chosen for the General Chapter: ‘Which Camillian Prophecy Today?’

All of this took place in an atmosphere of great practical action but it was above all a valuable opportunity for the sharing of experiences and mutual interaction for the development of CADIS in order to achieve increasingly well-qualified care for the victims of disasters and vulnerable people.


Community-based manual for psychosocial support intervention in disasters

Every disaster, a phenomenon that overwhelmed the local capacity to manage, provokes serious impact on the mental health of the survivors. While stress and anxiety are normal reactions to an adverse event, its serious impact often explodes after the relief, and recovery phases are gradually disappearing. According to studies, when these emotional reactions left unattended at the very onset of disaster, most likely these survivors (mostly adults) will experience depression and addiction (drugs or alcohol) and even episodes of domestic violence. After a natural disaster, your entire routine in life is disrupted. “Chronic stress, regardless of cause, can impair the parts of the brain presiding over reasoning and self-control — leading to more impulsive behavior and an increased likelihood of addiction.” (Dr. Christie Manning). This will not impact only among adults but more among the children, which will have a long-lasting effect on their cognitive and emotional development. Thus, children will not be motivated to study, and most likely, it will cause poverty.

Community-based psychosocial intervention (such as community rebuilding and psychological first aid) can be of great help to mitigate the severe impact of natural disasters on children and adults. It can be beneficial in people’s resilience and rehabilitation. “In adults, this means helping them recognize symptoms of trauma and providing coping mechanisms to address negative thoughts and feelings. For children, this may mean reconnecting with friends in school and receiving support from adults and caregivers.” (Sarah R. Lowe). Moreover, according to Lowe’s researched and interview with Hurricane Katrina survivors, 60% displayed resilience – those who felt stronger social support and more financial resources.

Counting on the documented successes of psychosocial intervention, this manual entitled Camillian Community-Based Psychosocial Support Guide is an excellent contribution to persons and organizations engaged in humanitarian ministry. This manual is based on the principle of integral healing and empowerment. It does not pathologize cases of trauma and anxiety after a disaster. Its approach is not highly clinical but scientific. It can be administered by a non-clinical or non-professional staff but done with professionalism according to the core humanitarian standards. Moreover, it builds on local capacities and works towards improving the resilience of communities and people affected by the crisis. This will ensure a sense of ownership among the primary stakeholders/actors and assures the sustainability of practice and learnings, which can be shared with others. 

This is the second book published by CADIS and authored by its field collaborators Dr. Consuelo Santamaria Repiso and Fr. Biju Sebastian, MI. Both have been to several CADIS intervention in Sierra Leone (Ebola) and Nepal (earthquake). Their experiences in the field have encouraged them to document their intervention program which is now published into a book.







The Sixth Latin American Meeting of the Lay Camillian Family

The pearl of charity in our hands today– Lima (Peru), 25-27 October 2019

By Fr. Pietro Magliozzi

Within a context of the culture of encounter wanted by Pope Francis, Marie Christine Brocherieux, the President of the international Lay Camillian Family (LCF), opened the deliberations of the Sixth Latin American Meeting of the LCF, which has continued its journey of growth after the meetings of Rome (2018: the international LCF; 2019: the Camillian Charismatic Family), building bridges of real dialogue in the Camillian world and with gratitude towards the Camillian Blesseds and Saints who have handed down this charism to us. Indeed, an innovation of this meeting of the continent of Latin America was the presence and participation of the international governing body of the LCF, with Anita Ennis and Maria Bako taking part in all of the deliberations.

Magda Lazarte, the President of the LCF of Peru, welcomed about 90 participants from Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, Chile and Brazil.

The first paper was given by Isabel Calderon from Colombia, the former president of the international LCF, who animated with great skill, and guided, a large part of the meeting. The title of her paper was: ‘Following the Merciful Christ in the Way of St. Camillus’. This year is the twenty-fifth anniversary of the LCF (1994-2019) and one can clearly see the journey that has been made in faithfulness to a responsibility. Isabel organised her paper around the ‘call’ of Christ and St. Camillus to Camillian volunteers, a call not to be afraid and to love, a call that brands for always the life of a person and the kind of service that is provided. “We are children of a convert, Camillus” she said “and in answering ‘yes’ to this pearl of charity we choose to live as people who have been reanimated, we choose the best part of spirituality – charity”.




     Fr. Laurent ZOUNGRANA, the Vicar General of the Camillian Religious, together with the members of the General Consulta and the conferes of the community of St. Mary Magdalene in Rome, has extended an invitation to the liturgy for the renewal of religious vows on Sunday 8 December 2019 at 17.00 at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene





Praying the Holy Rosary with the Venerable Nicolino

Nicola d’Onofrio did not write a ‘Meditated Rosary’, even though he commented on some Mysteries on a number of occasions in the month of May, as was the tradition at the Roman Camillian studentate, and some witnesses say that they were helped by him in doing this. But we have not found any traces of this. It was the very young Barbara of Rome, who is strongly devoted to the young Servant of God, who when reading and studying his ‘Writings’ compiled this meditated Holy Rosary with Nicolino, taking freely selected passages from ‘Un amore Giovane’ (edited by Fr. Felice Ruffini, the General Postulation of the Camillians, Rome, 1990) which lead to ‘immersion in the contemplation of the mystery of he who is our peace’.

‘The Rosary of the Virgin Mary, which gradually took form in the second millennium under the guidance of the Spirit of God, is a prayer loved by countless Saints and encouraged by the Magisterium. Simple yet profound, it still remains, at the dawn of this third millennium, a prayer of great significance, destined to bring forth a harvest of holiness. It blends easily into the spiritual journey of the Christian life, which, after two thousand years, has lost none of the freshness of its beginnings and feels drawn by the Spirit of God to “set out into the deep” (duc in altum!) in order once more to proclaim, and even cry out, before the world that Jesus Christ is Lord and Saviour, “the way, and the truth and the life” (Jn 14:6)’ (John Paul II, Apostolic Letter Apostolica Rosarium Virginis Mariae, n. 1)

The young Camillian student Nicola d’Onofrio, who tenderly loved the Mother of God, wrote in  his Spiritual Diary, ‘I have the Mother of Jesus, I abandon myself to her arms, to her heart. Every day I will entrust myself to her with my consecration, I will greet her with the Rosary’.

The witnesses who knew him have confirmed that he observed this holy resolution until the last day of his brief life.


Hogar San Camilo – Information Bulletin August 2109


MILOME – Newsletter from St. Camillus Dala Kiye October 2019 – Ottobre 2019


CamUp – September October 2019


Luciano Sandrin

A healing community. From pastoral care in health to the health of pastoral care

From the introduction

If service to the sick and the suffering has been for the Church ever since the beginning of her history an ‘integral part of her mission’, it is the task of those who work in this kind of pastoral care to make ‘visible’ this reality by calling all of the Christian community to its commitment at the side of the sick, of those who suffer, and of those who take care of them in the vast socio-health-care world. But is also the task of those who think theologically about the action of the Church in the world of health and health care, in particular during the most frail moments of health, to call people’s attention to how the (salvific and health-inducing) healing dimension is not only present in a specific example of pastoral care, and in special fields, but must also be recognised as an integral part of being the Church and her activity at the level of pastoral care. This is a characteristic of her identity.

BROTHER ETTORE – Brother Ettore, the saint who runs you over with his car

Nothing is more contemporary than something that is eternal

Giuseppe Signorin

Ettore was a living Red Cross. He did not only have it on his front, as a good follower of St. Camillus (although his way of behaving could remind us of another Camillus, the product of the pen of Guareschi…), he also embodied the concept of the Red Cross, of emergency aid. Ettore and Our Lady on the luggage rack of his care while he went up and down the streets of Milan looking for people to help. The pavements were his hospital wards. There were to be found the sick in the worst condition. There was Jesus Christ.



The Camillians of the Province of Spain and the Camillians of the Delegation of Vietnam have strengthened their ties of cooperation.

Two new religious who are priests, Anthony Vu ​​Phi Song and John Baptist Le Van Thoung, of the Delegation of Vietnam, have joined the community of the Province of Spain, thereby strengthening the ties of cooperation between the two areas.

These two confreres of ours were ordained on Saturday 17 August of this year in the cathedral of Dong Tien of the diocese of Saigon.

Over the next few days they will begin their study of Spanish, sharing communal life with the religious of Tres Cantos.

We may remember that cooperation between the Camillian religious of Spain and those of Vietnam began two years ago with the arrival of Brother Long Tran who at the present time is taking part in activities of the health centre and the centre for the humanisation of health, continuing at the same time with his academic formation.


On 8 November 2019, Fr. Albert Yonli (a Camillian religious of the Province of Burkina Faso) defended his doctoral thesis in molecular biology.





On 12 November 2019, our confrere who is a medical doctor, Fr. Henri Nitiéma (of the Camillian Province of Burkina Faso), was awarded a specialisation diploma in surgery together with five people of his class (he is second from the left in the picture).





  Our very good wishes to the novice Lorenzo of the Camillian Province of Rome who on 12 November 2019 was awarded a degree in nursing science, making his defence of his thesis vibrate with the Camillian approach.




    At the ‘Fraternità san Camillo’ of Piossasco (TO), an intense day of spiritual retreat and fraternity with young people of Bruino (TO) and Piossasco (TO) has come to an end.  We reflected together on the subject of free service experienced as a gift received from the Lord to be put back into circulation for our good and the good of the entire Church! The wish for everyone is that the Holy Spirit will be able to make us live not as ‘dead people’ but as generators of life!



    ‘The more you give the more you receive’. This motto of Father Emilio Balliana, who has been a missionary in Kenya for 31 years, is a rule of life that works at all latitudes of the globe, but perhaps it becomes even more evident specifically where poverty is widespread. “On the fringes I have learnt that nothing can be taken for granted and that things have to be done together, making each person responsible in their own field. One can really live with little and be happy”. First as a nurse in the missionary hospital of Tabaka (the diocese of Kisii), and today as the Superior of the Saint Camillus Mission di Karungu (the diocese of Homa Bay), he has seen from close at hand the effects of ‘Providence’ which has enabled him to implement very many projects



    The Redemptoris Mater Hospital of Ashotck seems to come out of nothing two thousand metres above sea level in the uplands of Armenia. A bad road cuts the countryside in two and seems to go off into the infinite. But then there are the flying flags and a modern low prefabricated building, with solar panels next to it. “This hospital was strongly wanted by Pope John Paul II”, the director Father Mario Cuccarollo explained immediately to a group of journalists of the FISC (the Italian Federation of Catholic Weeklies) who had come to Armenia to discover the projects implemented in this country with the support of the eight per thousand of Italian tax returns given to the Italian Bishops’ Conference.



‘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 Camillians of the Camillian Province of the North of Italy have announced the death of their Camillian confrere Fr. Eugenio Sartore (aged 75). His death took place on Wednesday 30 October 2019 at the ‘O. Cerruti’ Nursing Home of Capriate S. Gervasio (BG).

Read here the biography /obituary

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.