LETTER FROM THE VICAR GENERAL TO THE GREAT CAMILLIAN FAMILY
We are experiencing a season of pain and suffering because of the COVID-19 pandemic that is affecting the lives of so many of our brothers and sisters in various parts of the world. It is a pandemic that is forcing us to change our habitual behaviors and provokes in us a deep sense of sadness and fear. This rapid global infection confronts us with our helplessness, but it also fuels the great hope of defeating it together.
I am aware that many of us are fighting this ‘battle’ on the front line, engaging in supporting, consoling, and healing infected people and trying to improve and strengthen health care services. I want to express to each one of you, through this message, my special closeness together with the Consultors, assuring you of prayer, esteem, and fraternal affection.
MESSAGE FOR THE DAY OF THE CAMILLIAN RELIGIOUS MARTYRS OF CHARITY 25 MAY 2020
Saint Camillus de Lellis, born on May 25, 1550 in Bucchianico (CH and after his conversion on February 2, 1575, dedicated himself body and soul to the service of the sick with a heart of a mother. He also instituted “a company of pious good men who, not for profit (personal interests), but voluntarily and for the love of God, would serve Him with the charity and loving kindness of a mother towards her own sick child.” Supported by the grace of God, the Crucified One and the Mother of God, Camillus, together with his companions gave such a high example of heroic dedication to the sick that their way of serving the sick has been called “a new school of charity” by Pope Benedict XIV. They were moved by the spirit of their fourth vow that wants them to serve the sick, even the afflicted, at the cost of exposing themselves to the danger of life.
From the time of Saint Camillus until today, along the four centuries of history, there have been men and women who have generously dedicated themselves to the service of the sick with great heroism, and who can be counted among the martyrs with the title of “Martyrs of Charity”.
YESTERDAY AS TODAY: THE CAMILLIANS IN THE FRONT LINE
Since the year 1586, when the ‘company of good men’ obtained the approval of Pope Sixtus V, and 1591 when Pope Gregory XIV conferred the status of an Order on it with the name of ‘Order of the Ministers of the Sick’, the Ministers of the Sick, the Camillians, have always directed their attention to the world of health by dedicating themselves to the sick and the suffering.
This noble undertaking is not only upheld by the Constitution itself of the Order: ‘Our Institute…has, as its purpose, the complete service of the sick in the totality of their being…Therefore we are prepared to undertake every kind of service, in the health care world for the building up of the Kingdom and the advancement of the people of God’ (C, 43). It is also, and above all else, felt in the depths of the soul and the heart of every member of the Order.
In consecrating their lives to the sick, many Camillans have lost their own lives in the epidemics and disasters that have followed one another down the centuries.
CORONAVIRUS SPECIAL. (The Covid-19 Emergency)
For recent months, a period marked by fear and a lack of security caused by the covid-19 pandemic, we offer to you a collection of all the initiatives, full of hope and passion for vulnerable humanity, that the Great Family of St. Camillus has engaged in to bring help and comfort to our brothers and sisters who have been going through this difficult moment. CLICK HERE
COVID-19 in Brazil – The testimony of Fr. Mário Luís Kozik
Tele Pace – Interview with Sr. Bernadete Rossoni, postulator of the Daughters of St. Camillus
Coronavirus – the St. Camillus listening centre of Rome has activated its service for psychological and spiritual support
The Celebration of the Eucharist on Facebook
During this period, which has been characterised by ‘social distancing’ to reduce to the utmost any possibility of infection, the Camillian community of the generalate house, like many other Camillian communities and parishes throughout the world, has celebrated the Sunday liturgy and in particular the celebrations of Holy Easter, sharing these moments of prayer, communion and celebration on the Facebook page of the Order live from the Cubiculum, the former infirmary of the generalate house of the Camillians and the place where St. Camillus de Lellis died on 14 July 1614, and from the Chapter hall, which commemorates the four hundred years of history of the Order.
ZOOM-CONFERENCES OF THE GENERAL CONSULTA with the MAJOR SUPERIORS AND DELEGATES OF THE ORDER (6 April 2020 and 11 May 2020)
The Vicar General, Father Laurent Zoungrana, together with the General Consulta, organised for 6 April 2020 and a month later for 11 May 2020 two video conferences on the emergency that the coronavirus pandemic has created throughout the world.
All the Major Superiors of the Order were invited to share with each other the situation as it really is, the initiatives/strategies that have been implemented, as well as the urgent needs of every Province/Vice-Province/Delegation of the Order. All of the Major Superiors took part in these video conferences.
This initiative followed the letter of encouragement sent out on 15 March of this year to all the religious of the Order and the people who work with them and sought above all to make the Order feel united in a dramatic situation, in the hope that the experience of both can help in addressing the epidemic in a better way, as well as demonstrate to sick people the affection, the care and the nearness of the Camillians. The video conferences were a moment of sharing of the experiences of the various local realities, remembering first of all our confreres involved in their ministry in the front line, those who were at that time infected, and the first three Italian religious who died having the coronavirus. With mutual encouragement in the fight against this insidious evil, in an atmosphere of general concern and uncertainty, there emerged the strategies and initiatives that were already being implemented in each Province/Vice-Province/Delegation, as well as some urgent needs for concrete help which an attempt would be made to deal with as soon as this was possible.
The member of the General Consulta Father Aris Miranda presented some concrete initiatives promoted by the General Curia of the Order: the online counselling service on the international platform coronacare.life, the support and the distribution of fund gathering promoted by the Camillian Delegation of Taiwan and the request for help from the project that the Bishops’ Conference of Italy published for the covid-19 emergency (for African countries and other poor countries in the world), as well as a special coronavirus web page on the site of the Order. The contributions made during the video conferences by the Provincial and Vice-Provincial Superiors and the Delegates provided shared information on the various situations being experienced and revealed a general wish to respond to the challenge of the coronavirus with faithfulness to our charism, albeit respecting the limits of isolation that the measures of national governments imposed on all populations. The numerical data on the pandemic have shown that whereas some countries have perhaps already gone beyond the ‘peak’ of infections (Italy, Spain) and have begun the so much awaited decline, in other countries the epidemic has just begun and a rapid growth of infections is envisaged. In all of our communities of the Provinces, Vice-Provinces and Delegations of the Order the measures indicated by the health-care and government authorities regarding hygiene, the use of face masks and other protective measures have been scrupulously followed. In the same way in all our communities the rules of isolation and social distancing, and in some countries in Africa also a night curfew, have also been obeyed. The (religious and lay) managers of our health-care and care works have met regularly to implement the precautionary recommendations issued by the health-care authorities to prevent the spread of infection and to manage the crisis. In some health-care institutions, disinfection of the buildings with the help of the local police, the army and other forces has been carried out. In all the health-care and care works of the Provinces, the visits of relatives have been prohibited as well as all activities involving worship with the people. Almost everywhere online prayer groups have been activated together with the celebration of Holy Mass on internet, as well as telephone-based listening centres. Respecting all government and health-care rules, our religious have continued to provide ministry where this has been allowed. The ministry of hospital chaplains has continued in a diversified way. In almost all the Provinces, Vice-Provinces and Delegations of the Order, chaplains have visited the gravely ill to assure comfort and the sacraments. In some communities less afflicted by the epidemic, chaplains have exercised their ministry regularly, both in health-care structures and in homes, obviously taking all the necessary health-care precautions to avoid being infected and infecting others.
The principal difficulties, and a reason for great suffering for everyone, have been connected with the consequences of social distancing and imposed isolation. Relatives have not been able to visit their loved ones, even at their bedsides, and in the case of their deaths they have not been able to take part in their funerals, which have been celebrated in cemeteries with just one priest. As regards urgent needs, almost everywhere fund gathering has been activated to meet the great need for personal protection equipment for health-care personnel and the population (face masks, gloves, sanitising gel, protective suits, screens, alcoholic detergents etc…). In some communities good forms of synergy have been achieved with government agents, the local police and public health-care agencies in order to respond positively to the pandemic. In the poorest areas and regions of Africa, Latin America and Asia there has been a great need for food for the population who, being unable to work, have turned to our communities asking for help. Hence the request for economic help in order to be able to give food and other basic goods to those most in need. All of our health-care and care institutions, as well as parishes and centres for pastoral care, have stopped their usual activity with a consequent halt to their incomes. In the short-term, difficulties are envisaged as regards paying the salaries of employees. Lastly, in many communities of the Order there has been an intensification of prayer. Communities have met more intensely for prayer and the adoration of the Eucharist and in various online ways have sought to bring the word of faith to the people and the sick as much as possible so that in this time of suffering they are able to experience the nearness and the love of the Lord.
Cadis mobilizes for the humanitarian crisis caused by Covid19
The current health crisis linked to COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the lives of many people, especially in developing countries. Anywhere, because of the measures taken by different countries to slow down the contagion, millions of people find themselves without work and therefore without resources to feed their families. The hygiene rules put in place to prevent the spread of the virus are a severe problem for many people, such as the washing of hands regularly in countries where access to water is difficult for the majority or the quarantine measure when there are more than 6 persons sharing in one room. Faced with the precariousness of life and the urgent need for food, the dilemma for many of them is to choose between starving at home or risking death from coronavirus by going out to earn their daily bread.
Faced with this dilemma, and to avoid a possible humanitarian crisis, another path emerges that depends on us, on you, on me. Indeed, to overcome the spread of the virus in these countries, these populations need our support.
CADIS International, in collaboration with the big Camillian family, is preparing a program of assistance for these vulnerable populations. This program consists of providing food and hygiene kits (pasta, rice, canned goods, oil, drinking water, hydro-alcoholic gel, soap, etc.) to enable them to survive during this period of containment and thus help to close the lines of possible transmission of the contagion, an essential measure to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe.
That’s why CADIS appeals to your generosity to make this project effective and save lives.
You may send your contribution to:
Account: Camillian Disaster Service International or (CADIS)
IBAN: IT13T 03104 03202 00000 08402 70
Bank: Deutsche Bank
Bank Address: Largo di Torre Argentina, 4, 00186 Roma
May the Lord reward you with His peace and joy. I was hungry, and you gave me food; I was thirsty, and you gave me drink. Whatever you do to the least of my brothers, you do it unto me. (Mt. 25: 35, 40).
MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS TO MARK INTERNATIONAL NURSES DAY
Today we celebrate International Nurses Day, in the context of the International Year of Nurses and Midwives officially declared by the World Health Organization. At this same time, we observe the bicentennial of the birth of Florence Nightingale, the pioneer of modern nursing.
At this critical moment, marked by the global health emergency caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, we have rediscovered the fundamental importance of the role being played by nurses and midwives. Every day we witness the testimony of courage and sacrifice of healthcare workers, and nurses in particular, who, with professionalism, self-sacrifice, and a sense of responsibility and love for neighbour, assist people affected by the virus, even to the point of putting their own health at risk. Sadly, this can be seen in the high number of healthcare workers who have died as a result of their faithful service. I pray for them – the Lord knows each of them by name – and for all the victims of this epidemic. May the Risen Lord grant to each of them the light of heaven and to their families the consolation of faith.
HUMILITY AT THE SIDE OF THE SICK.
Taken from ‘San Camillo de Lellis rivisitato secondo la ‘Positio’ dei processi canonici’ (‘St. Camillus de Lellis Revisited according to the ‘Poistio’ of the Canonical Processes’) by Domenico Casera
Witnesses to humility bring with them the idea of the greatest and heroic demonstration of this virtue in caring for the sick. The details are repetitive and crude, just as the hygienic situation of the buildings is also crude and defective. We have already listened to them in the chapter on the love of Camillus for the sick.
Here the subject is addressed from the approach of humility. We bring the testimony of a lay person, Giovan Battista Dalla Chiesa, physicus artium et medicinae doctor, who testified as follows at the process of Genoa: ‘I observed that the servant of God had a very deep humility, not only when dealing and acting with his religious in his religious house. I saw him on a number of occasions wash the shirts of the sick poor and dress them in clean shirts, change beds, clasp such sick people to him, clean their tongues and in addition he went out of the city to small shops, disdaining the applause of men [for purchases he went to the outskirts where he was less known]. He displayed a great keenness to go to the poorest houses, saying in my presence to his fathers to go quickly to the poorest of the sick wretches, not only to visit them but also to be with them when they were dying. This happened quite often while he was the Superior General. His cassock seemed to me to be the most abject if not torn of all the fathers. I admired above all else that he abhorred all praise, making a gesture of disdain, saying that he was nothing. He often said: you do not know that I was a soldier of the worst cruelties that exist. As to being an example of humility, he seemed to me exemplary and the idea of humility’ (p. 262).
25 MAY – CELEBRATION OF THE MARTYRS OF CHARITY
Taken from: Mario Vanti, I Camilliani, il Manzoni e la Peste del 1630
An integral part of Camillian ministry is caring for the dying in their homes. During the whole of the seventeenth century, especially, this was done on such a large scale as to earn the Camillians the fine title of Fathers of the Good Death or of Good Dying. In Sicily it became a proverb: ‘you are as insistent as a Crucifer at the bedside of a dying man’. Otto Cima declared that in Milan ‘a half intention to die was enough’ to find a Camillian at your bedside.
Cardinal Federico did not forbid the Camillians from engaging in such a ministry. The situation was rather that they could not apply it until 1630, unless on a small scale, because of the great amount of work that they had at the hospital and because of their living quarters of the Annunziata where they learnt to live with great sacrifice and in numbers that were too limited, compared to what was needed, that is to say to the requests that were made to them from every part of the city.
With all of this, not less than fifteen religious, usually, were available for caring for the dying in their homes. They alternated in this work with twenty-five religious at the hospital, doing the work in rounds for two or three weeks in Pio Lungo and one week in the religious house. These were the instructions of the Founder and they had been approved by the Holy See.
THE PROVINCE OF SPAIN
The testimony of Br. José Carlos Bermejo. We human beings are made like that: profoundly frail and weak, vulnerable. And I am a human being. The pandemic of the coronavirus knocked at my door and struck me. I say this strongly. I am fighting against the consequences.
At the end of March I felt bad, with a high temperature. Then there arrived the other symptoms that are known about: pains in my joints, diarrhoea, a dry cough…I had no doubts about beginning my isolation, although there were not diagnostic instruments to hand. And then the treatment, at that time limited to the privileged, of hydroxychloroquine. But the virus continued on its path of invasion and expansion in my organism.
THE DELEGATION IN PERU
The Camillians in Peru on the front of food support for the most vulnerable families during the covid-19 pandemic. CONTINUE HERE.
THE CAMILLIANS IN PAKISTAN – The Lay Camillian Family
On 7 February 2020 Fr. Mushtaq Anjum, a Camillian, gave a seminar on ‘The Basic Notions of Counselling’. He offered salient points that could help members of the Lay Camillian Family (LCF) in their home visits to sick people, in various situations of pain, suffering and vulnerability.
On 14 February 2020 the members of the LCF met at the catechistic centre of Karachi and took part in a session of prayer and healing. They began with adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament and reflected together on the experience of suffering and healing. Fr. Mushtaq offered his thoughts starting with the gospel figure of the Good Samaritan.
On 7 March 2020 the LCF met in Karachi for their monthly formation programme. The formation seminar was accompanied and guided by Mrs. Zaira Soloman, the director of nursing at the Darul Sehat Hospital in Karachi. She is also a member of the LCF.
DELEGAZIONE A TAIWAN
On April 22 there is a ceremony of sending hospital material to Italy,offered by Taiwanese people.The representative of the Italian economic and cultural office,Mr.Giglio Davide comes to attend
May 4,the celebrations in the Churches start again after one month of rest.
May 4,the celebrations in the Churches start again after one month of rest
At St.Canillus’Shrine there is one day activity for vocation sponsored by Fr.Henry. More than 100 students from the tenth deanery of Taipei diocesis attend Al Santuario S.Camillo
FROM TAIWAN ARRIVES THE DONATION OF HEALTH-CARE EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES FOR THE GENERALATE HOUSE OF THE CAMILLIANS
On 29 April 2020, the ambassador of Taiwan to the Holy See, Matthew Lee, gave to the generalate house of the Camillians health-care equipment and supplies (face masks and clothes) to deal with the covid-19 emergency.
“To help is a moral duty’, observed the Hon. Lee. Pope Francis said this in his homily of 27 March: “we are all in the same boat and we must row together, each one of us needs the comfort of others”.
To welcome Ambassador Lee were the Vicar General of the Order, Fr. Laurent Zoungrana, Fr. Donato Cauzzo, Fr. Aris Miranda, Br. Ignacio Santaolalla, and Fr. Felice de Miranda.
The donation of aid by the Camillians – through their confreres in Taiwan – to the Dicastery for Integral Human Development to support initiatives during the period of the covid-19 epidemic. In the photograph the Prefect of the dicastery, Cardinal Peter Appia Turkson; Matthew Lee, the ambassador of Taiwan to the Holy See; and Brother José Ignacio Santaolalla Saéz, the representative of the Camillians (11 May 2020).
Nel giorno genetliaco di San Camillo e festa dei confratelli Camilliani martiri della carità, ci uniamo alla gioia e all’entisiasmo dei 16 giovani professi della provincia dell’India, che hanno emesso i primi voti religiosi, oggi! Auguri di tanta santità camilliana!
PROVINCIA NORD ITALIANA – Centro Camilliano di Formazione (Verona)
Dal grido al canto
“Ci sono tre modi che l’uomo ha per esprimere la propria profonda afflizione. Gli uomini che appartengono al primo stadio gridano, quelli che stanno a un livello un po’ più elevato tacciono; l’uomo capace di elevarsi ad un piano ulteriore sa trasformare il proprio dolore in canto”. Questo detto della tradizione ebraica è ritornato alla mia memoria durante queste settimane in cui l’umanità è alle prese con la pandemia del coronavirus. Seguendo con attenzione le informazioni fornite dai mezzi di comunicazione sociale, mi pare di poter racchiudere le reazioni della gente a questa tragedia nei tre modi indicati sopra …”
DELEGAZIONE IN KENYA
St. Camillus Mission Hospital through its vision which is to always make an effort to provide
access to quality health care services to the marginalized is currently in the fore front and is
committed to the fight and taking preventive measures against Covid-19 pandemic.
After the first Covid-19 was confirmed in Kenya on 12th March 2020, Dala Kiye and the Hospital
have put various preventive and preparedness measures in place.
THE PROVINCE OF SICILY AND NAPLES
On 13 May 2020, the feast day of Our Lady of Fatima, Fr. Rosario Mauriello, the Provincial Superior of the Camillians, consecrated the religious, the personnel and all the sick of the Camillian Province of Sicily and Naples and the Camillian Province of Benin-Togo to the immaculate heart of Mary.
THE DAUGHTERS OF ST. CAMILLUS
By Luciano Andreotti, the mayor of Grottaferrata
THE CHURCH OF ST. MARY MAGDALENE
WATCH THE VIDEO HERE produced by the Special Superintendence of Rome which is responsible for the protection and the valuing of the extraordinary historical, architectural, artistic and landscape heritage of the eternal city.
The Solar Hour – Interview with Fr. Gianfranco Lunardon
Fr. Gianfranco Lunardon, a member of the General Consulta of the Order of Camillians and the Rector of the Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Campo Marzio, Rome, where the important picture of Maria Salus Infirmorum is kept, offers his thoughts on this devotion to Mary.
The author offers a confession: ‘I never had the intention of writing a serious and well documented biography of my Saint Father Camillus because I well know that there are formidable such biographies and as ‘the last in the line’ certainly nobody expected one of me! If those who are reading want to know something about the source of this ambition of mine, in summarising form here is what I write more broadly inside the volume’
…It was not a revelation but at the age of seven years and eight months to hear inside you a mysterious voice that wants you to be a priest is not something that you read about only in books about saints, it is something that also happens to you…And thus with the ‘human career’ discourse closed I was an altar boy in our Church of St. Mary Magdalene, going freely and pleasantly about all the ‘Sacred Places of Father Camillus’, with daily contacts with the imposing figures of elderly and learned priests which, mixed with the ‘Celebrations for the Second Centenary of the Canonisation’, for this poor and wretched child was like an overwhelming river that rained down on him what there was to know about the ‘Saint of Charity’: it overwhelmed him and imprisoned him…
‘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 confreres of the Province Brazil have announced the death of Fr. JOSÉ CARLOS ROMANO (1945-2020). Read the obituary here.
The Camillian confreres of the Province of Austria have announced the death of Fr. WERNER PUNTIGAM (1940-2020). Read the obituary here.
The Camillian confreres of the Province of Poland have announced the death of Fr. STEFAN SZYMONIAK (1948-2020). Read the obituary here.
Un temoignage en memoire du pere Stefan Szymoniak, religieux camilliens 40 ans de vie missionnaire a madagascar. READ HERE
The Camillian confreres of the Province of France have announced the death of Br. ROBERT MICHEL BEC (1924-2020). Read the obituary here.
The Daughters of St. Camillus share the news of the death of Sr. Michelina Nucifora (at the age of 88), which took place in Span on 30 March 2020, and of Sr. Antonina Celiberti (at the age of 82), which also took place in Spain, on 1 April 2020. On 11 April 2020 the death took place in the community of Buenos Aires, Argentina, of Sr. Clara Ortiz Aguirre (at the age of 87), after 67 years spent in religious life. On 12 May 2020, the death took place at the ‘Daughters of St. Camillus’ Nursing Home, Cremona, of Sr. Crescentina Maccagni (aged 86), after 65 years spent in religious life.
LA PREGHIERA NEL TEMPO DELLA FRAGILITÀ
O Dio onnipotente ed eterno, ristoro nella fatica, sostegno nella debolezza: da Te tutte le creature ricevono energia, esistenza e vita. Veniamo a Te per invocare la tua misericordia poiché oggi conosciamo ancora la fragilità della condizione umana vivendo l’esperienza di una nuova epidemia virale.
Affidiamo a Te gli ammalati e le loro famiglie: porta guarigione al loro corpo, alla loro mente e al loro spirito.
Aiuta tutti i membri della società a svolgere il proprio compito e a rafforzare lo spirito di solidarietà tra di loro.
Sostieni e conforta i medici e gli operatori sanitari in prima linea e tutti i curanti nel compimento del loro servizio.
Tu che sei fonte di ogni bene, benedici con abbondanza la famiglia umana, allontana da noi ogni male e dona una fede salda a tutti i cristiani.
Liberaci dall’epidemia che ci sta colpendo affinché possiamo ritornare sereni alle nostre consuete occupazioni e lodarti e ringraziarti con cuore rinnovato.
In Te noi confidiamo e a Te innalziamo la nostra supplica perché Tu, o Padre, sei l’autore della vita, e con il tuo Figlio, nostro Signore Gesù Cristo, in unità con lo Spirito Santo, vivi e regni nei secoli dei secoli. Amen.
Maria, salute degli infermi, prega per noi!