Fratelli tutti – Encyclical letter of the Holy Father
1. “FRATELLI TUTTI”. With these words, Saint Francis of Assisi addressed his brothers and sisters and proposed to them a way of life marked by the flavour of the Gospel. Of the counsels Francis offered, I would like to select the one in which he calls for a love that transcends the barriers of geography and distance, and declares blessed all those who love their brother “as much when he is far away from him as when he is with him”. In his simple and direct way, Saint Francis expressed the essence of a fraternal openness that allows us to acknowledge, appreciate and love each person, regardless of physical proximity, regardless of where he or she was born or lives.
2. This saint of fraternal love, simplicity and joy, who inspired me to write the Encyclical Laudato Si’, prompts me once more to devote this new Encyclical to fraternity and social friendship. Francis felt himself a brother to the sun, the sea and the wind, yet he knew that he was even closer to those of his own flesh. Wherever he went, he sowed seeds of peace and walked alongside the poor, the abandoned, the infirm and the outcast, the least of his brothers and sisters. READ MORE
Letter Samaritanus bonus on the care of persons in the critical and terminal phases of life
The Good Samaritan who goes out of his way to aid an injured man (cf. Lk 10:30-37) signifies Jesus Christ who encounters man in need of salvation and cares for his wounds and suffering with “the oil of consolation and the wine of hope”. He is the physician of souls and bodies, “the faithful witness” (Rev 3:14) of the divine salvific presence in the world. How to make this message concrete today? How to translate it into a readiness to accompany a suffering person in the terminal stages of life in this world, and to offer this assistance in a way that respects and promotes the intrinsic human dignity of persons who are ill, their vocation to holiness, and thus the highest worth of their existence?
The remarkable progressive development of biomedical technologies has exponentially enlarged the clinical proficiency of diagnostic medicine in patient care and treatment. The Church regards scientific research and technology with hope, seeing in them promising opportunities to serve the integral good of life and the dignity of every human being. Nonetheless, advances in medical technology, though precious, cannot in themselves define the proper meaning and value of human life. In fact, every technical advance in healthcare calls for growth in moral discernment to avoid an unbalanced and dehumanizing use of the technologies especially in the critical or terminal stages of human life. READ MORE
The Letter Samaritanus bonus on the care of persons in the critical and terminal phases of life from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) was published on 14th July 2020, liturgical memorial of St. Camillus de Lellis, the Founder of the Order of the Ministers of the Infirm (Camillians), the Patron Saint of the sick, nurses, hospitals and of all healthcare personnel. This Letter clearly expounds the Church’s ethical position at the end of life after so many years of Jura et Bona published in 1980 by CDF. READ MORE
THE PROVINCE OF BRAZIL
By Fr. Marcelo Valentim de Oliveira, a Camillian religious and medical doctor
Granja Viana, Cotia (San Paolo), 8 October 2020
The Ministry of Health of Brazil, faced with the reality of the pandemic caused by the Covid-19 coronavirus, invited all health-care workers to take part in the ‘Brazil Relies upon me’ programme. We answered a questionnaire that in the end gave health-care professionals the possibility of voluntarily putting themselves forward as candidates for caring for patients with the coronavirus in other regions of the country. As a Camillian religious, I thought that this would be a great opportunity to exercise our charism of mercy towards the sick with these people. I discussed this initiative with the Provincial Superior, Fr. Antonio Mendes, and his council who readily agreed with my decision. READ MORE
The new Camillian newsletter of the Province of Brazil is available in PDF. CLICK HERE
The religious of the Camillian Province of Brazil on 15 September celebrated for the first time ‘The Day of the Camillian’.
This special celebration was established by a concrete decision at the end of the Camillian Vocational Year of 2019. The date suggested has a historical significance because it was exactly on this day that Fr. Innocente Radrizzani and Fr. Eugenio Dalla Giacoma arrived in Brazil – from the Province of Lombardy and Veneto – for the foundation of a new Camillian mission: that day was 15 September 1922 (98 years ago).
All the Camillian communities, parishes and works were invited to plan initiatives for the celebration of this commemorative day. Because of the pandemic of Covd-19 all the celebrations took place in locations where we are present, with the broadcasting through the social networks of the Holy Mass presided over by the Provincial Superior, Fr. Antonio Mendes Freitas, and a live event with the presence of religious, seminarians and lay co-workers.
Here are some photos to illustrate the various initiatives and the involvement of lay people and religious.
REMEMBERING THE DEAD OF THE TIME OF COVID-19. ‘LET US MAKE PEACE WITH WHAT ESCAPES OUR CONTROL’
“Lenisco il mio dolore parlando del mio amore. Per l’accompagnamento delle persone sofferenti e nel lutto” (‘I Alleviate my Pain by Speaking about Love. Towards Accompanying People who are Suffering and in Mourning’, Edizioni San Paolo 2020, 192pp.), given the difficult times we are going through. In mourning, some people are able to react supported by affective ties, by faith and by commitments; others are lost and desperate. How should we help them?
The first form of help is to be present. To be there, because presence in itself is a sign of nearness, a form of comfort. To be there does not solve the problems of the person because the work must be done by she or he who is in deep suffering, who is going through a time of dismay. Thus people must bring something from inside them onto the surface, but if these people do not have inside them the intention to do this, if they are not ready to recognise their problems and their need for help, I can preach a very great deal but this is of no use whatsoever. We need to reawaken inside them something that helps these people to look at life, which is changed by a different approach. This can influence behaviour and mood. These are small steps to take that are similar to pieces of hope’. CONTINUE READING HERE.
PRENDIAMOCI CURA GLI UNI DEGLI ALTRI, COME HA CURA DI NOI IL DIO DELLA SALVEZZA
Dear sisters and brothers,
following the meeting of the uisg and usg executive councils held on 25 May 2020, we felt the need to share with you our concerns and experiences amidst these uncertainties, to manifest our communion, and to offer insights for discernment in this time of great suffering for the whole of humanity. And he said to them: What are you discussing with each other while you walk along? (Luke 24:17)
When our peace and serenity is disturbed, and there are no ready-made solutions at hand, we need discernment. our programs, our moments of encounter, and even the ordinary rhythms of our life and work have been distorted.
But, in all this, we have heard the voice of the Lord telling us: “have courage! i send you again to walk the paths of this world that i love!”. ù
NEWS SAY GOODBYE TO A LOVED ONE. CONSOLING THE AFFECTED
di p. Arnaldo Pangrazzi
Immersed in mystery
The Christian faith is founded on Christ, who lived the dramatic event of death and the prodigious event of the Resurrection.
As a testimony of the Paschal event, there is an empty tomb, the apparitions of the risen Jesus, the testimonies of the apostles: “You have killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead, and we are witnesses” (Acts 2:24).
Christian hope, as the Paschal Preface says, is based on the certainty that “in Him dead has redeemed our death, in Him risen all life resurrects.” READ MORE
di Aris Miranda
The CADIS COVID 19 Emergency Intervention phase 1 program is primarily designed to deliver relief to the most vulnerable population and immediate assistance to the Camillian healthcare facilities in the developing countries of Africa, America, and Asia. Moreover, it also aimed to get first-hand information on the real situation, the available resources (human and material) and capacities of the local communities affected, and how to rebuild and strengthen vulnerable communities’ resilience (second phase ). Thus, phase 1 served as an entry point to CADIS’s main thrust, i.e., to deliver a community-based and participatory response to the complex impact of the COVID 19 pandemic to vulnerable communities. It offered a learning space for a more in-depth analysis of the pandemic’s impact while finding ways to confront the issue with a rights-based and integral approach. READ MORE
THE NGO ‘HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT’
Thanks to the funding of the Italian Bishops’ Conference (CEI) and with the funds of the 8×1000, the Onlus ‘Health and Development’ has launched the ‘Post-primary and Secondary School for the Minors of Tenkodogo’ Project. This is because in Burkina Faso, in the area of Tenkodogo, instruction is a right for the few. The lack of structures and classrooms means that the high number of children who live in the area do not attend school and do not continue with their studies.
This initiative has led to the creation, equipping and beginning of courses of a post-primary and secondary school. The school has two floors: on the ground floor the classrooms are used for post-primary courses and on the upper floor the classrooms are used for courses of the secondary school.
The post-primary school lasts for three or four years and prepares the pupils for secondary instruction or professional life, and ends with a diploma in basic education. The secondary course lasts for three years and ends with the award of a BAC diploma (premier diplôme universitaire) by which the girls and boys can go on to university courses. READ MORE
THE WORLD MISSION DAY (25 October 2020)
THE PROVINCE OF INDIA
Mangaluru (India): ‘Snehasadan’ is a reception and care centre located in Gurpura/Kaikamba on the outskirts of Mangaluru. It is managed by Camillian religious and cares for adults and children with HIV.
The mission of ‘Snehasadan’ is to be a positive force in dealing with the overall needs of those inside it, ensuring their dignity and overall quality of life, motivating the patients, taking care of them, supporting them and rehabilitating them, and attributing priority to care for the youngest and the most frail. CONTINUE HERETHE DELEGATION IN UGANDA
In the Camillian Delegation of Uganda (the Anglo-Irish Province), five novices, namely Christopher Kyambadde, Francis Akewa, Julius Takanda, Gyaviira Matovu and Mathias Tiigo, have begun their journey of formation in Jinja (Uganda). They will be accompanied by their teacher Fr. Babychan Pazhanilaht! We send them our best wishes and our prayers!
THE PROVINCE OF THAILAND
On 29 October 2020 the religious of the Camillian Province of Thailand met for their usual sixth-monthly meeting. On that occasion the new edition in Thai of the ‘Charter for Health-Care Workers’ was presented – a fine presentation by three young religious.
Laurent Zoungrana, the Vicar General of the Order, with the agreement of the members of the General Consulta, admitted to perpetual religious profession the young confrere Dominic Savio Comson Jaisodsai, a temporary professed religious of the Province of Thailand.
THE DELEGATION IN VIETNAM
Laurent Zoungrana, the Vicar General of the Order, with the agreement of the members of the General Consulta, on 20 October admitted to perpetual religious profession four young temporary professed religious:
John B. Tran The Anh: a temporary professed religious of the Province of Thailand – the Delegation of Vietnam.
Joseph Pham Xuan Tam: a temporary professed religious of the Province of Thailand – the Delegation of Vietnam.
Raphael Nguyen Manh Tien: a temporary professed religious of the Province of Thailand – the Delegation of Vietnam.
Joseph Trinh Van Tuan: a temporary professed religious of the Province of Thailand – the Delegation of Vietnam.
DECISIONS OF THE GENERAL CONSULTA
Laurent ZOUNGRANA, the Vicar General of the Order of the Ministers of the Sick (Camillians), with the agreement of the members of the General Consulta, at the meeting of the General Consulta that was held on 20 October 2020 in Rome (at the generalate house) convoked with the first convocation the General Chapter of 2021.
With so much trust and hope that the Providence of God…will assure spaces and a time of peace for the holding of the assembly of our General Chapter!!
THE DELEGATION OF TAIWAN
Every year on 28 September the birthday is commemorated of Confucius, the greatest philosopher of Chines and the protector of mentors and more in general of teachers. In our nursing college and at the centre for the disabled there were special prayers for mentors. Confucianism is a philosophy/religion, a philosophical system that is very widespread in the Chinese context.
On 29 September 2020, at our nursing college, there was the ceremony for the three students who passed the state examination with full marks and were awarded their diplomas in nursing.
The first day of October is the day of the full moon. This is one of the most popular special days in China and is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month when the moon is at its fullest. This is an occasion for a family reunion. The Camillian community celebrated a Holy Mass for peace in families.
Il 9 ottobre 2020, a Taipei si è svolta la mostra d’arte di un pittore che sta vendendo le sue opere, devolvendo il ricavato a tre enti benefici. Tra questi c’è anche il centro ‘san Camillo’ per anziani e per portatori di disabilità.
Domenica 18 ottobre è stata celebrata la giornata missionaria mondiale. Durante la messa, alcuni fedeli fanno condiviso le loro riflessioni sull’origine della loro fede.
Il 25 ottobre, è il ‘nono’ giorno del ‘nono’ mese lunare: il suono della pronuncia cinese della parola ‘nono’ è simile al suono della parola ‘anziano’. Per questo motivo, i cinesi celebrano oggi la festa degli anziani. I camilliani hanno celebrato l’eucaristia con il sacramento dell’unzione dei malati agli anziani presenti.
THE PROVINCE OF SPAIN
- The XV Jornadas de Familia y Cuidados Paliativos which this year took place online on 7-8 October. The aim was ‘to be near to the terminally ill and their families’, as well as to render ‘homage to people who place hope in palliative care’. CLICK HERE
- The XVI Jornadas sobre Duelo (XVI Day of Mourning) which this year will be held on 11-12 November 2020 online. The Centre will organise papers on mourning which will have the purpose of thinking about strategies for accompanying and central approaches so as to live through mourning in a healthy way. CLICK HERE
- The Jornada de Voluntariado en situaciones de pérdida. The Association for the Humanisation of Health will celebrate online the Day of Volunteers in situations of loss on Sunday 22 November 2020. This conference has been organized in cooperation with the Department for the Family and Equal Opportunities of the city council of the city of Tres Cantos. CLICK HERE
THE PROVINCE OF NORTH ITALY
VERONA – BOLZANO
The pandemic brought out the urgent need for a new model of pastoral care that pays attention to all forms of frailty. Hence the subject ‘The Contagion of Mercy: the Parish as a Healing Community’ that was chosen for the conference of October 2020. This witnessed agents of pastoral care coming together at the Accademia Cusano of Bressanone. Father Luciano Sandrin, a Camillian religious and a lecturer in the psychology of health and illness, in pastoral care in health and in the theology of pastoral care in health, dwelt upon the image of the healing community Continue here
On Saturday 17 October 2020, at Mottinello di Rossano Veneto (Vicenza), Daniele Bistaffa and Noukoudjo Christ Geoffroy, accompanied by their teacher Fr. Umberto Andreetto, began their pathways as novices. Our best wishes go to them, with friendship and fraternity!
At the beginning of the Holy Mass, the Camillian Superior, Father Virginio Bebber, remembered with a long list the many people who have died, amongst whom many relatives of the employees of the centre and in a special way those who were a part of the family of the St. Camillus Clinic: Dr. Leonardo Marchi, the health-care director of the centre; Father Francesco Avi, a Camillian surgeon and missionary who for many decades was in Taiwan and Kenya; and Brother Antonio Pintabona, a zealous sacristan in the chapel of the clinic who was very well known in the city. CLICK HERE
THE PROVINCE OF SICILY AND NAPLES
By Fr. Alfredo M. Tortorella, MI
The time of the Italian lockdown of last March, with its slogans about ‘everything will be alright’ with coloured rainbows seems now truly far away, although Covid-19, with its truly unpredictable moves, constantly exposes us to health-care attention, individual and collective cautionary measures, new ministerial decrees and those who have the most issue the most. Day by day we see that although we have thought up and applied the most disparate and studied means of precaution, the battle against this small but powerful enemy is still far from a definitive triumph. Science itself – at least that medical voice that makes itself dominant in television salons and talk shows on internet – seems to be resigned to the idea of a prolonged co-existence, or, remembering the history of epidemics, gives, in our view, weak and inopportune hopes, because to follow logic one epidemic is not the same as another and an epochal context of the past is certainly not our epoch. READ MORE
THE PROVINCE OF ROME
Donated by the artist to our sanctuary, the work is now hung as a part of the exhibition ‘Camillus de Lellis – Enchanting Charity’
THE DAUGHTERS OF SAINT CAMILLUS
On the first anniversary of the canonisation of Maria Giuseppina Vannini, the Daughters of Saint Camillus gave to us the precious relic of St. Giuseppina which we venerate in the Cubiculum of our generalate house. St. Giuseppina returns spiritually today to the same place where from the hands of the Blessed Luigi Tezza she received the Red Cross, an official sign of the beginning of her vocation to the charism of mercy towards the sick!
Some sisters of the Daughters of St. Camillus in Paraguay continue their mission of providing help and relief to those families that are most in need.
‘This time they organised solidarity lunches: 128 portions of chicken and rice were cooked with the help of Rachele and Signora Maximiliana who, with the hearts of mothers, prepared the dishes to be taken away!’ CONTINUE HERE
THE WOMEN MINISTERS OF THE SICK
The perpetual religious profession took place of Sister Leontine Toè as a member of the women Ministers of the Sick of St. Camillus. At the celebration, which was held in Lucca at the mother house and was presided over by the archbishop of the diocese, Fr. Laurent Zoungrana, the Vicar General of the Order, was also present.
THE CHURCH OF ST. MARY MAGDALENE
St. Leo the Great, St. Gregory the Great, St. Ambrose and St. Augustine, polished up, after eight months of in-depth restoration, are about to be once again enthroned on the high alter of the Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Rome…and will continue to watch over our heads and protect our backs!
The fourteenth-century wooden statue of Mary Magdalene supported by expert hands has returned to intercede for us, in the church that is dedicated to her.
Sincere thanks go to the technicians of the Superintendency of Rome and to the FEC for the skill and the resources dedicated to its restoration! Watch here
On Friday 25 September, on RAI Storia, ‘Rome 1870. The Cultural Heritage between Church and State’ was broadcast. In the programme ‘Italy: a Journey in Beauty’, film and news was broadcast on the Camillian church of St. Mary Magdalene in Campo Marzio.
THE PROVINCE OF BURKINA FASO
On 2 February the celebrations began for the fiftieth anniversary of the birth of the Camillian ‘Juvénat St Camille’ seminary in Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso. Many activities and projects animated the community during those days of celebration.
This magazine goes over the various stages! DOWNLOAD THE TEXT HERE IN PDF
The new issue has been published of Camilliani-Camillians and it is dedicated principally to reflections on the Covid-19 pandemic at the level of the Church and at the level of the Order of Camillians. Download the complete text here.
In recent days the easy to read short work ‘The Constitution and the General Statutes’ of the Ministers of the Sick (Camillians) in French has been sent to the printers.
The translation into French of the original text in Italian and the constant proof reading of the work required the work of a number of confreres. To all of them, our warmest thanks!
In the section ‘New Things‘ of the site you can find a selection of the recent publications of the Camillian religious or texts relevant to the world of health and illness. Good reading!
MADIAN ORIZZONTI Onlus (Camillians Turin)
The project for the self-production of medical products in Haiti is active and well launched thanks to Madian Orizzonti Onlus, to A.P.P.A.® and to the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Turin. With this project we will manage to provide medical products of high quality to the patients of the hospital of Port au Prince and we will have sufficient resources in reserve to address the needs of the population in the future.
The missionary office to support the work of the Camillian Fr. Massimo Miraglio in Haiti has been opened in Borgo San Dalmazzo. The aim is to provide information on projects that this confrere has been engaged in for sixteen years in Jérémie and to collect material for his mission. It will open in the Parish of St. Dalmatian in Piazza XI Febbraio.
PRO.SA. (Promotion Health – Milan)
Last spring the coronavirus upset our lives and the lives of many other families in the world, without distinctions. In some countries, however, where emergencies and malaise are the order of the day, the pandemic turned out to be a two-edged sword and the most vulnerable populations do not manage to get to the end of the day and they suffer hunger. From the outset the PRO.SA. Foundation intervened to limit the damage of the lockdown by protecting the most afflicted parts of the population.
13 countries, over 10,000 families, more than 5,000 food parcels, the same number of health-care kits, over 15,000 items of personal protection equipment, 10 laboratories for schooling, an ambulance and a mobile unit: these are our figures eight months after the first infections. These figures have been achieved thanks to you who, despite everything, have known how to lift up your eyes. This battle is still not over but, if we journey in the same direction, we will know how to rise up again, all together.
16 NOVEMBRE – FESTA LITURGICA DELLA MADONNA DELLA SALUTE
The history of the painting – the most accurate and documented – is very beautiful and simple.
On 15 May 1616 Signora Settimia De Nobili, the wife of Sig. Giovanni Paganelli, a citizen of Rome, was dying in Montecitorio, a few steps away from the Church of St. Mary Magdalene.
This lady was cared for during her infirmity by Father Cesare Simonio, a zealous Minister of the Sick who had grown up at the school of St. Camillus to whom he was especially attached because of his great love for the sick and Our Lady. Fr. Simonio was also the rector of the Church of St. Mary Magdalene but his principal task was to care for the sick in their homes.
Signora Settimia practised great veneration in one of the rooms of her house for a painting of Our Lady. We are not told when and how she came to own it but during her long sickness this pious lady found her greatest comfort by praying constantly under the gaze of her devout painting.
Father Simonio, who had been called to visit the sick woman to hear her confession and comfort her, remained captured by great admiration and devotion for the fine painting, expressing in the end his opinion and wish that it should be hung at the right time for public veneration in the Church of St. Mary Magdalene.
The lady said that she was ready to make over the painting but only after her death.
It is likely – and here the documented story gives way to tradition and the easy interpretation of a chronicler – that F. Simonio asked for information about this painting. He thus came to learn that the valuable painting had belonged to Pius V (1566-1572) and that he had kept it with him in his rooms in the Vatican. As a consequence it began to be thought and said that this painting was the one in front of which the Supreme Pontiff and saint, when praying, had learnt of the victory of Lepanto (7 Oct. 1571).
However it is probable that as the painting involved an iconographic theme or subject (Our Lady of St. Luke) that was very widespread, this tradition was in effect more linked to St. Pius V than in a specific way (with certainty based on the facts) to this or other copies.
The story continues in a known way on its journey from the day when the picture was entrusted to the Church of St. Mary Magdalene and to the religious of St. Camillus.
By the act of a public notary of 19 February 1614, Signora Settimia De Nobili left the painting of Our Lady with the Baby Jesus in her left arm to the Church of St. Mary Magdalene of the Regular Clerics the Ministers of the Sick. This devout picture, it was laid down, had to be handed over to the fathers before the funeral of the lady of who donated it.
Signora Settimia died on 25 May 2016, cared for until her last breath by Fr. Cesare Simonio. The next day, in line with what she had laid down, the picture of Our Lady was taken to the Church of St. Mary Magdalene and placed on the high altar.
PREYER TO OUR LADY HEALTH OF THE SICK
A PRAYER FOR A TIME OF FRAILTY
O Almighty and Eternal God, solace in difficulty, support in weakness: from you all creatures receive energy, existence and life. We come to you to invoke your mercy because today we still know the frailty of the human condition because we are living the experience of a new viral epidemic.
We entrust to you the sick and their families: bring healing to their bodies, to their minds and to their spirits.
Help all the members of society to perform their tasks and to strengthen the spirit of solidarity amongst them.
Support and comfort medical doctors and health-care workers who are in the front line and all those who provide care in their service.
You who are the source of every good, bless with abundance the human family, distance from us every evil and give a solid faith to all Christians.
Free us from the epidemic that is striking us so that we can go back to having peace of mind in our usual occupations and praise you and thank you with a renewed heart.
In you we trust and to you we raise our supplication because you, O Father, are the author of life, and with your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in unity with the Holy Spirit, You live and reign for ever and ever. Amen.
Mary, health of the sick, pray for us!