Newsletter N. 74 – The Camillian World Seen from Rome…and Rome seen from the world


“Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem” (Mt 20:18)
Lent: a Time for Renewing Faith, Hope and Love

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Jesus revealed to his disciples the deepest meaning of his mission when he told them of his passion, death and resurrection, in fulfilment of the Father’s will. He then called the disciples to share in this mission for the salvation of the world.

In our Lenten journey towards Easter, let us remember the One who “humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross” (Phil 2:8). During this season of conversion, let us renew our faith, draw from the “living water” of hope, and receive with open hearts the love of God, who makes us brothers and sisters in Christ. At the Easter vigil, we will renew our baptismal promises and experience rebirth as new men and women by the working of the Holy Spirit. This Lenten journey, like the entire pilgrimage of the Christian life, is even now illumined by the light of the resurrection, which inspires the thoughts, attitudes and decisions of the followers of Christ. READ MORE


“We cannot but speak about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Once we experience the power of God’s love, and recognize his fatherly presence in our personal and community life, we cannot help but proclaim and share what we have seen and heard. Jesus’ relationship with his disciples and his humanity, as revealed to us in the mystery of his Incarnation, Gospel and Paschal Mystery, shows us the extent to which God loves our humanity and makes his own our joys and sufferings, our hopes and our concerns (cf. Gaudium et Spes, 22). Everything about Christ reminds us that he knows well our world and its need for redemption, and calls us to become actively engaged in this mission: “Go therefore to the highways and byways, and invite everyone you find” (Mt 22:9). No one is excluded, no one need feel distant or removed from this compassionate love. READ MORE

Brother Leonardo has been placed amongst the twenty missionary martyrs of 2020 whom we will commemorate on 24 March next. Thanks go to the Missio Italia Foundation and the Italian Bishops’ Conference for producing this touching video of testimony.

Missio Foundation – Brother Leonardo Grasso: a father for all the Ministers of the Sick (

On 5 December 2020, at dawn, a clumsy fire tried to disguise the murder of Brother Leonardo Grasso in the St. Camillus Tent of Rest, in the Province of Catania. This fire was started by Paolo, one of the guests of this centre which was strongly wished for by the Order of St. Camillus and managed by Brother Leonardo, the ‘original’ Camillian. Original because his was a vocation of his adult years: until fifty years ago he was a business agent in Catania; then his vocation was felt and he decided to leave everything and wear the enormous red cross on his chest which marks out the Ministers of the Sick. Brother Leonardo was seventy years old and had an innate predisposition to serve by interacting with lives.

Brother Leonardo has been placed amongst the twenty missionary martyrs of 2020 whom we will commemorate on 24 March next. Thanks go to the Missio Foundation and to the Italian bishops’ Conference.  Watch the video


From the site of

The epidemic calls and they answer. They are priests, sisters and lay people of the Great Family of St. Camillus de Lellis who, without any hesitation, have entered the fray against covid-19, today like yesterday, when they were born, in that distant year of 1586 when the plague was at its height. They professed the so-termed ‘fourth vow’, that of helping the sick even when this involved a threat to their lives. To speak about the contemporary relevance of the Camillian vocation, in front of the microphone of Eva Crosetta, will be Fr. Sergio Palumbo, who will also remember how many Camillians have lost their lives for other people, beginning with Br. Leonardo Grasso, who died amongst the flames of the tent of charity in Catania where he looked after drug addicts and people with AIDS. ‘The loneliness of this time’, said Fr. Sergio, ‘can be filled through our nearness, through proximity, through our being with those who suffer’. In the programme of Vito Sidoti there are also the testimonies of Sister Gemma, Sister Laura and some volunteers, who look after, care for and love, as a mother loves her frailest child. To end the programme the mission of the Camillians in Casoria (NA), with the St. Mary of Compassion Hospital, where the right to health of everyone is defended in a resolute way: that of hope. Directed by Paola Vannelli.

The complete video of the transmission can be watched on the site of RaiPlay at: on the road to Damascus – S2020/21 – ‘You did it to me’ – Video – RaiPlay


2 February 2021 – PAKISTAN: the Camillians officially began their mission in Pakistan.

(Agenzia Fides): the Camillian fathers officially began their mission in Pakistan. Present in the country with some confreres since the early years of the century, albeit in a discontinuous way, in recent days they opened their first house in Karachi. To bless it, reports the agency Ucanews, was the Archbishop of the city, Cardinal Joseph Coutts. ‘I am happy that your work is beginning here. This work that is necessary’, said the Cardinal during the ceremony. ‘Too often we forget about the sick. We are not adequately equipped’. For the occasion, a video message was sent by Father Luigi Galvani, the Superior of the Camillian Delegation of Indonesia. ‘This is certainly a historic day for us’, observed the Superior, congratulating Father Mushtaq Anjum, the only Pakistani Camillian priest, to whom we owe this undertaking. Father Anjum’s vocation was inspired by the work carried out by the Camillians who began their first form of presence in Pakistan in the year 2001 with Father Galvini himself, together with another confrere, Father Rino Metrini.READ MORE


In 25 February of this year the Delegation of Kenya celebrated a ceremony of priestly ordinations during the course of which two confreres were ordained as priests and one was ordained as a deacon. They were the deacons CHARLES NJUE NJEGA and DOMINIC MISARO MARAGA, who were ordained as priests, and DAVID KIARIE GAKUNGA who was ordained as a deacon.

The bishop who performed these ordinations was Msgr. David Kamau, the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Nairobi. The ceremony took place in our St. Camillus Seminary at 11.00, in a so to speak subdued way both because of the covid-19 pandemic and because of the liturgical time of Lent. At the end of the ceremony the Delegate Superior, Fr. Dominic Mwanzia, invited all of those taking part to a fraternal lunch.


The World Leprosy Day: the Camillian missionaries ‘at the side of the last proclaiming the Good News’.

Ouagadougou (Agenzia Fides): ‘The principal cause of suffering for people with leprosy is social exclusion – even when a person manages to recover from this disease, social re-integration is often difficult’. This was said to Agenzia Fides by Father Pierre-Marie Bulgo, a Camillian missionary, the head of the lepers’ hospital that is run by Camillians religious at Ouagadougou, on the occasion of the sixty-eighth World Leprosy Day which was celebrated on Sunday, 31 January. ‘Usually, most of our patients’, he went on, ‘have no intention of returning to their families because they say that they have found a new family in which they do not feel stigmatised’. CONTINUE HERE

Seven Camillian confreres were consecrated deacons in Burkina Faso (2 February 2021).





Renewal of the religious professions of Frandel Frisky FOUCHÉ and Jhon Pyterson ALEXANDRE. These are two young Haitian confreres who did their novitiate in Brazil and are now in Burkina Faso for their religious and theological formation.



The celebration took place of the renewal of religious vows of the following young Brazilian religious:

Lucas Dalbom
Danilo Servilha Rizzi
Elói Bataglion Junior
Genildo Guarino da Silva


 On 17 February our young confrere Lucas Rodrigues Dalbom took his perpetual religious vows. The Holy Mass was presided over by the Provincial Superior, Fr. Antonio Mendes Freitas, in the Camillian Parish of the Most Holy Sacrament in Cachoeiro de Itapemirim ES.






On the occasion of the World Day of the Sick of 2021 in his video message Pope Francis dedicated some thoughts to the delicate historical moment that we are currently living through, emphasising how the pandemic not only involves those who are going through illness but also all health-care workers and their families. We spoke about this to Brother Carlo Mangione, a Camillian religious who, like the whole of the Congregation, has as his point of reference the charism of St. Camillus de Lellis and lives his life on the front line in hospitals. WATCH THE VIDEO

  Father Gianfranco Lunardon, the Secretary General of the Order of Camillians, on the occasion of the twenty-ninth World Day of the Sick took part as a guest in the programme broadcast by TV2000 ‘Bel tempo si spera’ (‘Good weather we hope’).




Milan, a garden to commemorate Brother Ettore: the whole of the city council agreed. A motion to dedicate to this Camillian religious, who died in 2004, a garden in Viale Stelvio was approved unanimously by the city council.

Milan: a garden dedicated to Brother Ettore, the motion was approved unanimously (


Sr. Laura Cortese, a Daughter of St. Camillus, was a guest on the new programme of TV2000 ‘I magnifici 7’ (‘The Magnificent 7’), conducted by Michele La Ginestra and with the participation of Don Andrea Cavallini, the director of the Office for Catechism of the Diocese of Rome.

Each episode has as its subject one of the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church and its impact on the lives of people.

Sister Laura spoke about her vocational journey, her meeting with Brother Ettore, the Camillian fourth vow, and her greatest joy: bringing Jesus to the sick. WATCH THE VIDEO


We have reflected upon the message of Pope Francis for the twenty-ninth World day of the Sick, engaging in an in-depth analysis of some of its phrases.

Nearness: balsam and comfort for those who suffer. Read more here.


The interview with Father Walter Vinci who was a guest on the programme ‘L’ora solare’ (‘Summer Time’) of Tv2000.

Since last September Father Walter has been head of Pastoral Care for Youth at the Centro Italia and Vice-Head of Formation at the house for formation. WATCH THE VIDEO




The alternative and unusual proposal of the Parish of St. Camillus in Rome: abstinence from the Web.

Lent is a ‘journey of return to God’. Lent is ‘a time to reconsider the path we are taking, to find the route that leads us home and to rediscover our profound relationship with God, on whom everything depends’. Lent is not about making ‘little sacrifices’ but ‘asking where our hearts are directed’ (Pope Francis).

Read here the article of Avvenire – Roma7




‘Pope Francis, who has appreciated your affirmation of devotion and trust, wishes to reach you and your young people who will thus live a word of comfort, encouraging you to receive the precious inheritance of faith and generous charity left behind by Fr. Leonardo, without allowing the mortal seeds of hate to gain the upper hand over the only path of salvation – love!’

Pope Francis writes to and blesses the friends of the St. Camillus Tent for People with AIDS (


Dear faithful of the Macchia and those devoted to St. Camillus of the whole of Gargano, the work in Macchia to build in the square behind the parish church a Camillian monument to commemorate those who have fallen in the covid-19 pandemic, whether they were providing care or being cared for, is continuing. The monument was conceived of by the parish: the statue representing St. Camillus with a sick person who looks like Christ and with a facemask lying on his torso which was purchased with offerings provided by the faithful. The town council has financed the building of the monument and the commemorative inscription, with everything placed within a project to improve the site. It is hoped that everything will be inaugurated on 25 May of this year, a date that commemorates the birth of St. Camillus and the martyrs to charity, that is to say all those who during pandemics have lost their lives providing service. The idea is that on 25 May of every year the victims of covid-19 will be remembered at this monument so as not to forget them and to keep our memory of them alive.


Pictures of the celebrations for the anniversary of the conversion of St. Camillus in the sanctuary and in the house where this saint grew up.

From Wednesday 17 February until 31 March 2021 Tv2000 will broadcast the Holy Mass celebrated in the St. Camillus Sanctuary in Bucchianico, the home town of our saint and founder.






Beyond the pandemic. True stories, antibodies of hope

A mosaic of faces, stories, emotions. From those who overcame the challenge of covid-19 and those who were overwhelmed by it. And on to testimonies gathered directly by the author of heroes of daily life, men and women who were encountered during an anxious time.

A close up of the launch of the book Oltre la pandemia. Storie vere, anticorpi di speranza (‘Beyond the Pandemic. True Stories, Antibodies of Hope’) by Fabio Bolzetta, written by the Office for Communications on 15 February 2021. On Saturday February 2021 at 19.00 at the St. Camillus de Lellis Basilica in Via Sallustiana, Rome, the launch took place of the book by the journalist Fabio Bolzetta Oltre la pandemia. Storie vere, anticorpi di speranza (‘Beyond the Pandemic. True Stories, Antibodies of Hope’). In addition to the author, His Most Reverend Excellency Msgr. Paolo Ricciardi, the bishop responsible for pastoral care in health, also spoke. The event was organised by the Office for Pastoral Care for the Vocations of Young Men of the Camillians, Rome. WATCH THE VIDEO HERE.


Featured What do the Martyrs of Charity teach us?

di p. Gianfranco Lunardon

It’s 1630 in Milan. The scourge of the plague rages. Only in the regions of northern Italy, is assumed to have decimated about one million people. Was the “good friar,” Friar Cristoforo, perhaps a Camillian? He could be the religious who, in the Promessi Sposi (The Betrothed), was the first to discover the plague of 1630. He could have been inspired not so much by a Capuchin, the Capuchin with the dark habit of the followers of Francis of Assisi, but by the figure of a Camillian Brother Giulio Cesare Terzago, with the flashy red cross that dominates the cassock of the sons of Saint Camillus de’ Lellis, who served the plague victims in a leprosarium in Milan, until he died of the same contagion. The hypothesis has already been documented with an absolute The Camillian Charism in the Face of the Challenges of Covid-19 Pandemic amplitude in 1930 in a book by Fr. Mario Vanti on I Camilliani, il Manzoni e la peste del 1630 (The Camillians, Manzoni and the plague of 1630).CONTINUA QUI

The Impact of the Pandemic and Pastoral Challenges at the Side of those who Suffer

By Fr. Arnaldo Pangrazzi

This has also been a time of sorrow for the Church and her representatives who have not been able to exercise to the full their traditional ministry from both a sacramental point of view and in terms of the pastoral care of accompanying. I am referring in particular to chaplains who work in various specific contexts (hospitals, RSA, psychiatry departments, centres for the disabled, hospices and centres for palliative care), but also to priests active in parishes and to sisters and deacons involved in the ministry of comforting. CONTINUE HERE


«Ecco, ora svaniscono. I volti e i luoghi, con quella parte di noi che, come poteva, li amava, per rinnovarsi, trasfigurati, in un’altra trama!» (T.S. Eliot)

On Tuesday 23 February 2021, the death took place of Sr. Tereza Brancalione (aged 72), a woman religious of the women Ministers of the Sick of St. Camillus. A Brazilian by nationality, she was one of the first women Camillian missionaries in Kenya. She died in a hospital in Nairobi.




The religious of the Camillian Delegation in the United States of America have announced the death of their Camillian confrere Fr. John Joseph Gallagher (Jack) (born 19 April 1936; perpetual religious profession: 2 May 1980; priestly ordination: 14 June 1981). His death took place on 5 February 2021 at the ‘St. Camillus’ Campus in Milwaukee (Wisconsin). Let us remember Fr. Jack in our prayers! READ MORE





We need only ask Saint Joseph for the grace of graces: our conversion.

Let us now make our prayer to him:

Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer,
Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
To you God entrusted his only Son;
in you Mary placed her trust;
with you Christ became man.

Blessed Joseph, to us too,
show yourself a father
and guide us in the path of life.
Obtain for us grace, mercy and courage,
and defend us from every evil. Amen.

Given in Rome, at Saint John Lateran, on 8 December, Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in the year 2020, the eighth of my Pontificate.