Newsletter 76 – May 2021
CONSECRATED PEOPLE AND COVID
We asked José Rodríguez Carballo OFM, the Archbishop-Secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, to outline a broad panorama of certain subjects connected with religious life, during this time of Coronavirus, but at other times as well. In a second interview he will address the reality of religious vows as they bear on the pandemic.
– Msgr. Carballo, the pandemic, and limiting it, calls on many aspects of consecrated life. Right up to charisms. Is a spiritual gift that cannot be expressed still useful? Has the decline of activity made a previous lack of substance to that life visible? Can the intra-communal sharing of the gift of a foundation nourish the subject of the fraternity of everyone?
Certainly. The pandemic calls on consecrated life as it calls on the Church and the whole of society. Consecrated people as such, but also as citizens and members of the Church, cannot but pose themselves the following questions: what is the Lord telling us through this pandemic? Which changes must be made in our lives and in our lifestyles as consecrated people in order to respond to the new situation created by the pandemic? In this context, there is another question that we cannot but take into consideration: how can we express our charisms in this new social, economic and religious context that has been emerging from the pandemic?
CADIS – Feast of the Martyrs of Charity
Italy, Spain, Hungary and Croatia during the first four centuries of the life of the Order.
We want to remember and create a connection with our past and make it alive today especially in this period of pandemic. This is an essential aspect of our prophetic heritage. Recently we heard our Indian and Filipino confreres who opted to serve the COVID patients in the isolation wards of the healthcare facility as well as countless confreres who maintained their ministry to the sick in the hospitals and other facilities.
THE PROVINCE OF THE PHILIPPINES
For four months a group of Camillian religious of the Philippines and some lay people have engaged in formation activity at the Centro de Humanización de la Salud in Spain, with a view to the creation of a Centre for Listening in their country.
José Carlos Bermejo, during the closing session, expressed his thanks and offered thoughts on some aspects of the meaning of listening, on the compassionate hospitality that is produced when one listens, on the model of approach centred round the person from a systemic perspective, on the evolution of counselling, and on the Camillian charism, which is creatively interested in the world of mourning as well.
The students will receive a university extension diploma from the Ramon Llull University of Barcelona.
THE PROVINCE OF BRAZIL
A video testimony of the Camillian ministry of Father Raoul Matte, a Camillian religious of the Camillian Province of Brazil. Fr. Raul, a religious, a priest and a medical doctor, dedicated the whole of his life to caring for the poorest in the most remote areas of Brazil. Father Raoul died on 8 May! May he rest in peace!
THE PROVINCE OF ROME
On Wednesday, 26 May 2021, at 17.00, at the St. Camillus Parish of Rome in Via Sallustiana, there will be a presentation of the book ‘Nicola d’Onofrio. Molto più di un sorriso’ (‘Nicola d’Onofrio: Much more than a Smile’). His Excellency the Most Reverend Msgr. Fabio Fabene (the Secretary of the Congregation of the Causes of Saints); Sister Mary Melone (the Superior General of the Angeline Franciscan Sisters and a consultor of the Congregation of the Causes of Saints), Prof. Mario Spinelli; and Dr. Fabio Bolzetta (a journalist of Tv2000), will be the speakers.
The event, organised by the General Postulation of the Order of Camillians, will take place on the zoom platform.
For the link, consult the page of pastoral care for vocations of young men of the Camillians, Rome.
THE PROVINCE OF THAILAND
On 1 May 2021, in Khokwat, with all the due precautions and in a very private form, the beginning of his period as a postulant of a new candidate, the first professions of three new Vietnamese professed, and the renewal of the temporary professions of nineteen professed of the House for Formation of Sampran, were all celebrated.
The Provincial Superior, Fr. Rocco Pairat Sriprasert, officiated at the celebration amidst the joy of those who were being celebrated and the religious who were present, even though in limited numbers because a limit was imposed on the numbers that could take part.
Those who want to make a donation from Italy can do through the Pro.Sa. Foundation (the ‘Promozione Salute’ Foundation) www.fondazioneprosa.it
THE PROVINCE OF INDIA
The second Covid-19 wave has hit India, and hit hard. India is presently battling an aggressive second wave of the covid-19 pandemic. India’s coronavirus situation is worsening day by day with the country reporting a record surge of nearly 3 lakh new infections and over 2,000 deaths per day. We never ever thought a second wave would hit us so hard within a few months.
VATICAN NEWS – Interview with Fr. Baby Ellickal: The Church and the pandemic, ever more infections in India. The work of charity of the Camillians – Vatican News
India: the Church in the front line to help the victims of the pandemic
In this Asian nation there are thousands of infections and deaths every day: the hospitals are at the point of collapse and there is a shortage of oxygen and medical products. The account of Father Baby Ellickal, the Provincial Superior of the Camillians in the country: “we are faced with a second wave that has brought the nation to its knees. Our response is not absent, both on the health-care front and on the humanitarian front”.
AVVENIRE – The Church in the front line to help the victims of the pandemic
The denunciation of Father Baby Ellickal according to whom those infected by the virus number many more than the nineteen million that have been declared while the number of deaths is some thousands every day.
THE DELEGATION IN TAIWAN
On 24 April the funeral took place of Fr. Rizzi Giovanni in the Camillian parish of Lotung. The funeral Mass was presided over by the Archbishop of Taiwei, Msgr.Thomas Chung, and by another Taiwanese Archbishop, the former Apostolic Nuncio, with the presence of more than 500 people. After the homily of the Archbishop, a speech was given by Fr. Giuseppe Didone who had known Fr. Giovanni Rizzi since 1952 when Fr. Rizzi had just been ordained a priest and assigned as Vice-Director to the seminary where Fr. Didonè was at that time a young aspirant. The Holy Mass was broadcast throughout the world on the Web.
On 25 April the fifty-eighth World Day of Vocations was celebrated. In some churches, after the homily of the celebrant, there were some reflections of the lay faithful, and of men and women religious, on the beauty of the Christian vocation and in particular of consecration to the Lord,
On 26-30 April the annual spiritual exercises of the Camillian religious of Taiwan were celebrated. Twelve religious took part, listening to the preacher Fr. Otfried Chan, the secretary of the Bishops’ Conference of Taiwan. The central theme was taken from John 12:32: “And I, when lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself”.
THE DELEGATION IN ARMENIA
The testimony of Father Mario Cuccarollo, a #camilliano and the director of the Catholic ‘Redemptoris Mater’ Hospital of Ashotsk which yesterday received as a gift from Pope Francis medical goods to treat patients with Covid-19.
THE PROVINCE OF NORTH ITALY
Father Virginio Bebber, a Camillian religious and the head of the St. Camillus health centre of Cremona, has been made a ‘knight of merit of the Republic of Italy’ because of his work to counter covid during this period of the pandemic. Congratulations!
THE PROVINCE OF SPAIN
Within the framework of the Ninth Day of ‘Updating: TB-COVID-1’, the Network of Tuberculosis-Stop Epidemics awarded the Humanitarian Work Prize to José Carlos Bermejo in recognition of his untiring work for vulnerable people, his ethical engagement and his work at the service of social wellbeing. Bermejo received this prize with gratitude and expressed his sense of responsibility as regards the challenge to humanise the world of health and human suffering, in particular in relation to the subjects of the end of life and mourning, where there is a great deal of suffering and loneliness which could be avoided through accompanying ‘of a character suited to human beings’, impregnated with empathy and compassionate solidarity.
THE DELEGATION IN INDONESIA
The typhoon hit during Holy Week.
In this video you can watch the transportation of goods from Maumere to the Island of Adonara. This morning they distributed more than 200 parcels to over 200 families.
Maumere (Agenzia Fides) – ‘After the difficult moments of the tropical typhoon Seroja which struck various islands near to our Island of Flores (see Agenzia Fides 9/4/2021), help is now being organised for those populations by many bodies and in particular by the Caritas of Indonesia in cooperation with the Caritas of the Diocese of Larantuka. In our own small way, we Camillians as well, together with a group of seminarians, managed to engage in a small missionary initiative of charity on the Island of Andonara which was struck by the terrible typhoon. We distributed rice, food and numerous parcels of clothes to more than 500 families’: this is what Father Luigi Galvani, a Camillian missionary on the Island of Flores, wrote to Agenzia Fides.
THE PROVINCE OF SICILY AND NAPLES
‘In addition, Excellency Prefect, I write to you to ask you to put yourself in the shoes of a country priest, just as I, reflecting on your work, have tried to put myself in the shoes of a servant of the State and a man of Law’.
The programme of 25 May, the Day of Martyrs to Charity, of the Camillian community of Macchia in Puglia.
Brother Carlo Mangione, a Camillian of the Province of Sicily and Naples and the Director General of the Camillian Holy Mary of Pity Hospital in Casoria (Naples) and of the Camillian works of Acireale, remembers Brother Leonardo Grasso who was killed in 2020 in the ‘Tent of St. Camillus’ Family House of Riposto (Catania) where he provided service. The Italian Bishops’ Conference has placed him amongst the missionary martyrs of 2020.
The interview was broadcast on 6 May 2021 during the course of the television programme of Tv2000 ‘L’ora solare’ (L’ora Solare – La storia di Fratel Leonardo Grasso 06/05/2021 | )
THE DAUGHTERS OF ST. CAMILLUS
An interview with Sister Maria Ruby Chilito Penagos of the Institute of the Daughters of St. Camillus as a part of the programme ‘L’ora solare’ of TV2000. Sister Ruby talks about her experiences at the side of people with Covid-19 at the hospital of Casoria.
THE PRO.SA. FOUNDATION
The document-video of the Welcome to Reintegrate Project financed by AICS, the Italian Agency for Cooperation and Development, is finally available online. Two years of hard work for the promotion and protection of the rights of vulnerable minors who have disabilities and are in conflict with the law. A story of success that we share with great pride. Special thanks go to Massimo Gabbani for the production of the film; to Maddalena Boschetti for accompanying us in the approach to various projects; and to all our partners, without whom it would not have been possible to do all of this. However, the greatest thanks go ‘in memoriam’ to Mrs Priska Cornaggia who witnessed the birth of this project and believed from the outset in the power and the value of this project! Memories of her are now relived in the smiles of the people that we have helped.
Appeal of the PRO.SA Foundation
Nepal is one of the countries that is under the spotlights of the international community because of the rapid deterioration of the epidemiological situation. The districts that have been recorded as having the highest increase in the number of infections are those on the frontier with India. The hospitals are overwhelmed by the emergency and there is a shortage of health-care equipment and products, in particular oxygen. The Prime Minister has made an appeal to anyone who can to help in overcoming this moment of extreme difficulty. Yesterday, according to the data of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Moon Societies, the relationship between swabs administered and new infections has risen to 44% and the number of deaths has been constantly increasing, amongst young people as well.
In the light of this critical worsening of the Covid-19 emergency in Nepal, the National Mountaineering Association (NMA) launched an appeal last Monday: ‘We ask mountaineers and Sherpas to return their empty oxygen tanks where this is possible, because they can be filled up again and used in the treatment of patients with the coronavirus who desperately need it’.
The Pro.Sa Foundation has assured its local partner, the Radha Paudel Foundation, the funds that are necessary for the purchase of 20 oxygen concentrators, 100 oximeters, 100 litres of gel for hand washing and 7,000 surgical facemasks.
We are also distributing food and health-care kits to 50 mothers who live alone with their children. As they cannot work because of the lockdown they have no livelihoods.
We would like to be able to do much more!
Once again we are relying on you!
ADMISSION TO PERPETUAL RELIGIOUS PROFESSION
The Vicar General of the Order, with the agreement of the members of the General Consulta, has admitted to perpetual religious profession Patrick Athanas Bwakila, a temporary religious professed of the Province of Germany in the Delegation of Tanzania.
‘I did not have a good idea of what to say to him. I felt very clumsy. I did not have a good idea about how to touch him, how to reach him. The country of tears is so mysterious (The Little Prince).
Preface by Parolari Enrico
The working through of mourning means to enter that ‘country of tears’ that the Little Prince talks about: a very mysterious country both for those who pass through it because of the loss of one they loved and for those who decide to place themselves at their side in order to try to go forward together. Those who try to help a person in mourning often have the feeling that they are clumsy, that they do not know what to say, and how to say it, and above all else that they do not know how to reach the pain of the other person. And yet the wound that makes a person cry is not only a misfortune that can befall us but also an opportunity for growth and maturation. The memory of a person who is no longer with us can become a sort of gold dust – as takes place in the art of kintsugi – that can not only repair the damage caused by the wound but also allow that wound to become precious, an opportunity to rediscover the beauty of something that is born, and above all the way by which we say that death is not the final word on life.
THE CHURCH OF ST. MARY MAGDALENE IN ROME
The Church of Saint Mary Magdalene is in the heart of Rome. Dedicated to the saint mentioned in the gospels, it is one of the few examples of Baroque-Rococo art in Rome. The church was built on an ancient chapel of the fourteenth century. Two centuries later it was entrusted to St. Camillus de Lellis when next to the adjacent hospital. An unknown jewel of Rome: the ‘church of sugar’ (aleteia.org)
L’uomo è spiegabile solamente se c’è un Amore che superi ogni isolamento, anche quello della morte, in una totalità che trascenda anche lo spazio e il tempo. L’uomo è spiegabile, trova il suo senso più profondo, solamente se c’è Dio. E noi sappiamo che Dio è uscito dalla sua lontananza e si è fatto vicino, è entrato nella nostra vita e ci dice: «Io sono la risurrezione e la vita; chi crede in me anche se muore vivrà; chiunque vive e crede in me non morirà in eterno» (Gv 11,25-26).
BENEDETTO XVI, UDIENZA GENERALE – Mercoledì, 2 novembre 2011
P. Crescenzo was born in Ischia (Naples, Italy) on January 1, 1935. On September 23, 1947, he entered the Seminary of “Villa Lellia” in Turin. On October 7, 1951, he entered the Novitiate in Imperia in the House of “Villa Immacolata”, where he made his temporary religious profession on October 8, 1952. On September 10, 1954, he moved to the new Seminary of “Stella Maris” in Borghetto Santo Spirito (Savona). On October 10, 1955, he began his Theological studies at the Seminary of Albenga. On January 8, 1956, he made his solemn profession of vows at “Stella Maris.” He was ordained a deacon on July 21, 1958, and a priest on March 22, 1959, by Mons. Raffaele De Giuli, Bishop of Albenga.
Born on December 5th 1936 in Essen-Heidhausen near the Camillian community he entered the order of St. Camillus after finishing his basic schooling in Essen-Werden 1956 and started his novitiate in Sudmühle b. Münster /Westf. On April 24. 1957 was his temporary and on September 29. 1960 his solemn profession. The following studies of philosophy and theology he did in Austria und Münster (Germany). His priestly ordination was on July 26.1962 in Essen.
Father Kramer continued his theological studies at the University of Freiburg and finished it with the doctorate in ethics. At the same time was involved to care for a little group of applicants living in the Freiburg community. 1970 he was assigned as novice master for four novices in the formation house of the Province in Sudmühle. At the same time Fr. Kramer became assistant of the ethics teacher of the University in Münster /Westf., Professor Dr. Wilhelm Heinen. Using his free time he started to write the thesis for the certificate of habilitation at the University of Würzburg (Germany).
JOSÉ BARRIOS ALFONSO
Fr. José Barrios passed away, at the age of 92, at the Residencia San Camil hospital in San Pere de Ribes (Barcelona – Spain), surrounded by the affection of the Camillian religious community and the collaborators of the health centre, at 6 p.m. on May 7, 2021.
Fr. José Barrios, son of Francisco and Amalia, was born in Seville, on November 20, 1928. He was baptized on December 1, 1928, and he received the sacrament of confirmation on July 18, 1938.
He entered the Order of the Ministers of the Infirm, in Vic (Barcelona), on August 27, 1942. He began the novitiate experience in Vic (Barcelona) on September 7, 1947, and made temporary religious profession in Traslaviña (Vizcaya) on September 8, 1948.
JOSÉ RAUL MATTE
Fr. José Raul Matte, son of José Osvaldo Matte and Maria Clara Torres Martins, was born in Curitiba in Brazil, on July 5, 1934. He was baptized on October 3, 1934, and he received the sacrament of Confirmation on December 19, 1943.
He graduated in medicine, with specialization in paediatrics, in 1959. After a long path of vocational discernment to consecrated life, he entered the seminary São Camilo de Vila Pompéia (São Paulo, Brazil) on September 4, 1960: he was welcomed by the then superior of the community, Fr. Carlos Alberto Pigatto.
In 1962, he completed his philosophical studies and began his novitiate on January 5, 1963. He made his first religious profession on January 6, 1964. In 1966, he completed his theological studies. He made his solemn religious profession on December 8, 1966. He was ordained a deacon on December 19, 1966, and a priest on July 1, 1967, in the parish of Nossa Senhora de Guadalupe in Curitiba by Bishop Manuel da Silveira D’Elboux.
On Sunday, 16th May 2021, Solemnity of the Ascension of Jesus, Sr. Teresa Barrera (a religious of the Daughters of St. Camillus) died in the “Padre Luis Tezza” Clinic in Lima – Peru. She was 68 years old, of which 43 years of Religious life.
We thank the Lord for the gift of her life given with joy at the service of the poorest and the sick.
PREGHIERA A SAN GIUSEPPE
Dalla LETTERA APOSTOLICA ‘PATRIS CORDE’ DEL SANTO PADRE FRANCESCO
Non resta che implorare da San Giuseppe la grazia delle grazie: la nostra conversione.
A lui rivolgiamo la nostra preghiera:
Salve, custode del Redentore,
e sposo della Vergine Maria.
A te Dio affidò il suo Figlio;
in te Maria ripose la sua fiducia;
con te Cristo diventò uomo.
O Beato Giuseppe, mostrati padre anche per noi,
e guidaci nel cammino della vita.
Ottienici grazia, misericordia e coraggio,
e difendici da ogni male. Amen!