COVID and the religious vows
by Lorenzo Prezzi in “Settimana News”
May 9, 2021
In an interview, His Excellency Monsignor José Rodríguez Carballo, OFM, archbishop secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, speaks about the experience of religious vows in times of pandemic.
Msgr. Carballo, how is it possible to combine COVID and vow of poverty? There are many institutions that the pandemic makes economically unsustainable (schools, monasteries, parishes). How to recover the meaning of the vow of poverty? What is the Spirit’s call to serve the poor?
Indeed, COVID has put a strain on the finances and maintenance of many religious communities and their apostolic works, including many communities of contemplative life. In many cases it has been necessary to draw from the funds that the Institute or the Province had accumulated over the years through much effort and sacrifice. In other cases, it was necessary to close down works that had been run for years by consecrated persons. Many structures were sold at unfair prices. In this sense, for many religious and consecrated persons, the pandemic is an experience of dispossession and poverty, an experience often painful.
But, in addition to this experience of material poverty, in this time of pandemic we have also experienced poverty in forms imagined never before: social distancing, the use of masks that erase our smiles and much of our verbal communication, isolation, fear of being infected and of infecting…
All these are faces of poverty that we had to live through in this time of pandemic and that we probably never imagined at the time we took the vow of poverty.
From our “not having”, “from our not being able”, we have discovered new ways of living poverty in favour of the poorest. We have felt the need to make ourselves neighbours of the poor and the needy, to give our time to those who live alone and marginalized.
We have also understood that our institutions must be at the service of the mission in favour of others, and that our presence and our works must be a sign of service, gratuitousness and humility. And many religious and consecrated persons have not hesitated to make their institutions available for the service of the poorest.
On the other hand, this situation of poverty caused by Covid-19 is teaching us that we cannot turn our backs on the real poverty suffered by many of our brothers and sisters who are deprived of the necessities of life. We cannot turn a blind eye to these poverties, as the Levite and the priest did in the parable of the Good Samaritan (cf. Lk 10:31, 32). We cannot live indifferent to these brothers and sisters of ours who are in need.
And we have learned, God willing, that the cry of the poor left by the pandemic must be reflected in our budgets and our economy. We have learned that we can no longer live the vow of poverty, if the cry of the poor and the needy does not “touch” our pockets. And we also learn that we can no longer adhere to the logic of consumerism, but to the logic of solidarity and justice. And then we will have learned that the vow of poverty is not just not having, but is “living without anything of our own”, because nothing we have is ours, nothing belongs to us, but everything belongs to everyone.
THE PROVINCE OF INDIA
Reaching out to the Unreached-The COOVID-19 Relief Activities by St. Camillus Province, in collaboration with Tzu Chi Foundation, St. Camillus Foundation, Taiwan, Hope Foundation, Milan, CADIS, PRO.SA, NGOs, Government agencies and Religious Congregations, from April 2020 to August 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic is certainly unprecedented in our lifetime. It has affected all walks of life, in nearly every country throughout the world. We are watching a system breaking in front of us and we are helpless to stop it. We are on, it might be said, an absolutely catastrophic path. Corona virus has a devastating effect all over the world. Now we are seeing that COVID-19 pandemic fatigue is setting in, as its effects have hit at the very heart of humanity. We are certainly passing through a challenging time. The world seems to have been wounded by fear and loneliness. Suffocating darkness seems to engulf everywhere. The COVID 19 pandemic can be described as the new darkness. READ MORE
THE PROVINCE OF BRAZIL
On 15 September 2021, the religious of the Camillian Province of Brazil began their celebrations of the Jubilee Year, looking forward to the commemoration of the hundredth anniversary of the arrival of the first Camillians in the Terra de Santa Cruz.
On 15 September, at Villa Pompéia in the Parish of Our Lady of the Rosary, a Holy Mass was celebrated to begin the celebrations for this jubilee year.
The celebration of the Eucharist to begin the celebrations was presided over by Fr. Antonio Mendes Freitas, the Provincial Superior, with the participation of numerous religious, novices, seminarians, members of the Lay Camillian Family, people who work with the various Camillian works, and members of the Camillian charismatic family. During this jubilee year innumerable events have been organised to live and rejoice at the good that our religious have done, continue to do, and will also do in the future in Brazil.
The most emblematic event will be the pilgrimage of the missionary cross to all the places where we have been present with our Camillian charism in order to make our Saint, Father Camillus de Lellis, increasingly alive, loved and known about. In addition to the official hymn, various songs have been written and set to music that were written exclusively for this jubilee event, in addition to liturgical material and a basic text that will be used as instruments to experience and celebrate in a better way this time of grace. READ MORE
‘MADIAN ORIZZONTI’ Onlus – Camillians in HAITI
At 8.30 in the morning of 14 August 2021 Haiti was struck by an earthquake of 7.2 on the Richter scale.
At our Camillian communities in Jérémie and in Port au Prince our religious experienced the same fears and difficulties as the whole of the population.
We felt the ground sake and for precautionary reasons we went out of our homes. I contacted our confreres who live in Jérémie – an area near to the epicentre of the earthquake – and I leant that their situation was manageable. Father James had a sprained wrist and needed an x-ray, but the area of Jérémie had been seriously struck by the earthquake and it was impossible to move around.
Despite the difficulties, our religious in Jérémie are trying to help the people who are victims of today’s earthquake. READ MORE
CADIS (Camillian Disaster International Service)
Since yesterday, August 15 (Sunday), we begin receiving patients from the South following my visit to the hospital of La Paix yesterday afternoon. I met the one in charge of the state ambulances transporting victims from the airport to the hospital of La Paix. Seeing the limited space in that hospital, I offered them to bring the patients to our hospital at Saint Camille free of charge. We will take care of these patients together with their parents or immediate family.
To fast-track our actions, we decided to: search in our warehouses all that we have, such as food supplies, clothing, sheets, toiletries, medicines, orthopedic equipment, and other necessary items. We will also buy food supplies and emergency medicines. READ MORE
From the newspaper ‘AVVENIRE’
Haiti, storm amongst the ruins: the victims isolated by the downpours
‘We have been under the water of the storm ‘Grace’ since Monday evening. It has been raining unceasingly and the wind whips the tents in which the population tries to find shelter. Even those who have not lost their homes are terrified of going back to them’. Father Massimo Miraglio, a Camillian priest who has been on the island for years, was in Jérémie, the capital of the region of Grand Asne, to supervise the construction of a new clinic of the Order. On Saturday, however, the violent earthquake, which was 7.2 on the Richter scale, and the numerous subsequent quakes, struck the entire West of Haiti: the departments of Les Cayes, Nippes, South and Grand Anse. The dead have already reached 1,400; the wounded number almost 7,000; and the number of displaced persons is even greater.
‘HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT’ Onlus
‘Health and Development’ (www.salutesviluppo.org) is an Italian association created in 1996 by the General Consulta of the Order of the Ministers of the Sick (the Camillians). This NGO is based on the values of the gospel and on the charism of St. Camillus de Lellis and its mission is the promotion of health-care and development projects in countries of the world where there is greatest need, in particular in countries where the Order of Camillians and the female religious Institutes of the Camillian Charismatic Family are present.
For twenty-five years, without interruption, under the presidency of its founder, Father Efisio Locci, it has organised development projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America, principally in the socio-health-care fields (hospitals, medical centres), education (learning to read and write and training), and the primary sector (agriculture and livestock raising) in partnership with the Provinces, Vice-provinces and Delegations of the Order of the Ministers of the Sick of St. Camillus. These are present, with their health-care institutions and networks, in over forty countries of the world. This NGO is principally active in Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic, Kenya, India, Indonesia, Pakistan and Vietnam. It has worked and still has ties in Benin, Togo, Somalia, Thailand, Colombia, Brazil and Peru.
Since 2001 ‘Health and Development’ has been recognised by the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and is registered on the list of the AICS (Italian Agency for International Cooperation) of the organisations entitled to present initiatives for international cooperation in developing countries.
In June 2021 Father Efisio Locci presented his resignation as president to the assembly of the members on age and health grounds.
On 14 September 2021, at the Generalate House of the Order ,which houses the headquarters of ‘Health and Development’, the ordinary assembly was held to renew, in line with the statutes, the Governing Board of the association.
The assembly of members elected the new members of the Governing Board for the three-year period 2021-24. They were as follows: Father Felice de Miranda, Father Efisio Locci, Brother José Ignacio Santaolalla Sáez, Brother Carlo Mangione and Signora Mariella Oggioni. Note should be taken of the presence on the Governing Board of four Camillian religious, two of whom are members of the General Consulta of the Order. The assembly also appointed, in line with the statutes, a single auditor, Dr. Peppino Profeta, who is registered on the approved list of auditors, as guarantor of the work of the association. READ MORE
THE PROVINCE OF GERMANY
CAMILLIANS IN PAKISTAN
The Camillian dream began, in 2001, with the arrival of late Fr. Rino Metrini, MI in Pakistan. Since then small seeds of Camillian faith are down here and there. One such seeds fell in a fertile ground in Chak 49, Okara. The community and the parish priest Fr. Khalid Mukhtar dreamt too of a beautiful sanctuary. God works in mysterious ways. To accomplish His works, God sends his people. On September 16, 2018, Fr. Luigi Galvani, MI laid the foundation stone of St Camillus Church, in the presence of late Fr. Amato Aldino, OP, Fr. Mushtaq Anjum, MI, fr. Khalid Mukhtar, FTL and Holy Family Sisters and a huge number of the faithful.
THE PROVINCE OF BURKINA FASO
On 8 September 2021, the feast of the nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the ‘St. Camillus’ Parish of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, the solemn celebration took place of the temporary religious professions of nine young novices and the perpetual profession of four confreres. To them go our best wishes and our most fraternal prayers!
TEMPORARY PROFESSED BURKINA FASO 08/09/2021
MBAIGNABE Ulrich Silvère
MOKODALE Wilfred Meursault
NANA Koudougou T. Gildas
PERPETUAL PROFESSED BURKINA FASO 08/09/2021
SAWADOGO Wendengoudi Jean Jaques
DOLOMWEOGO Wendkoguenda Denis
YAMEOGO Goamdebgnandé Didier
OUEDRAOGO Wendémanégué Rodrigue
NAMES ADMITTED TO THE NOVITIATE IN BURKINA FASO
by a decision of the Provincial Council of 29 June 2021:
KOUASSI Saint Virgil Décosty
ILBOUDO Pedwende Bruno
KABORE Kibsa Bernardin
YANOGO Lassané Romaric
THE PROVINCE OF NORTH ITALY
The new swab centre of the ULSS 9 ‘Scaligera’ will be open every day from 7.00 to 19.00. It was inaugurated recently at the headquarters of the ‘St. Camillus Work’ Foundation in Verona within the framework of the ‘St. Julian’ Camillian house of Verona. This is a service for citizens that takes the place of the ‘hub’ of the Fiera which was closed on 30 August 2021.
CAMILLIAN PASTORAL CARE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE – THE PROVINCE OF NORTH ITALY
‘We offer to you these meetings of Camillian fraternity and spirituality where we can talk to each other and seek to have a clear approach to the questions that are posed to us about life, faith and vocation! n appointment for one or for everybody…We are waiting for you!’
THE PROVINCE OF SPAIN
Teaching to take care of people is one of the goals of every Camillian just as spreading a culture of care based upon Christian humanism is one of the missions that we live with most passion. A key way by which to spread this Good News of health and a presence in places where this approach can be brought near to every person. This year the publications of Camillian religious will be present at the Book Fair of Madrid, one of the most important events for the dissemination of printed works in the capital. This will be an opportunity to talk with booksellers about the new publications and above all to be a part of that humanising impulse that we seek to generate.
THE DAUGHTERS OF ST. CAMILLUS
The ‘Madre Giuseppina Vannini’ Hospital of Rome, faithful to the commitment to ‘take care of you’, on 1 September 2021 inaugurated the new emergency section, which has been totally redone, to offer better care when patients first come into the hospital.
Also present at the inauguration were H.E. Msgr. Gianpiero Palmieri, Vice-Gerent of the diocese of Rome who blessed the new section, and Don Slawomir, the chaplain of the hospital.
A pathway of an autonomous and protected emergency section to be used in the greatest privacy for men and women who are the objects of gender violence – a phenomenon that is provoking extreme social alarm. This is what is envisaged by the ‘Vannini’ Hospital in Rome which has renewed its emergency section, helping, in addition, these patients with a medical team of doctors and nurses that has been especially created for the purpose.
This new part of the ‘Madre G. Vannini’ Hospital of the Daughters of St. Camillus was inaugurated on 6 September in the presence, amongst others, of the assessor for health of the regional government of Lazio, Lazio Alessio D’Amato.
LETTER TO ST. CAMILLUS by Fr. Efisio Locci
We are celebrating your feast day at a time of pandemic – therefore with a grain of sadness, but also with the joy that comes to us from the conviction that, in following the road you pointed out to us, you come to a glorious destination. Your road is that of ‘works of mercy’ and in particular that of caring for the sick ‘in body and spirit’ in hospitals and in the world. Indeed, you urged us ‘never to provide only spiritual service in hospitals’ (Lt) (See letters for the hospitals of: Mantua, Ge Na, Bull of Clement VIII). Indeed, you knew well that the message of the gospel concerns the whole of man and all men. The events of history, unfortunately, have gone against your orders and your indications.
THE LAY CAMILLIAN FAMILY
How a journey of faith and a cultivated spirituality have an impact on my being a health-care worker. How the experience of caring for the sick nourishes and enriches my spirituality.
From the moment I received the invitation to take part in the meeting on pastoral care in health I thought that it is not easy to speak about one’s own experience of faith, of spirituality that shapes life. that is cultivated during life; it forms a part, in a certain sense, of the intimate and personal experience of the human and Christian journey and our growth; to this I can add, even though this can be taken for granted, the difficulties of the present time. If last year, when thinking about the meeting of May, we were almost confident that we would have behind us (or almost) the hardship, the isolation, the closure due to the pandemic, we had to think again very soon, and found ourselves, or we remained, on an upward road that continues today, albeit with some rays of hope.
When reflecting on the subject that was entrusted to me, it seems to me that I almost have to refer to a time between a ‘before’ and an ‘after’. This is not linked only to the today of the pandemic but something that during my life I have experienced with other tiring and painful experiences that have made me face up to the precarious character of life, with my frailty, with the image of death, so much uncertainty and fear, and which have raised questions about my belief.
I feel how important it is, among so many spoken words, at times of a shallow character, how necessary it is, to go back into oneself, to stop, to think, looking at a life that has been lived, reflecting on the experiences that have been gone through, and if and how these experiences have made me go on a journey or grow as a person.
Still today I feel the wish, at times the need, to ask myself the reason for many events that have taken place; how I lived through them, if they left me something, what I learnt that has helped me or can help me to live today, learning positively from an experience, from the passage through narrow roads, of pain and mourning. There are facts, episodes, meetings that left their mark, and return easily to my memory, that are not forgotten. This is the wish to ‘remember’, not to forget what was experienced. And remembering is an experience as well, a meaningful meeting that remained inside me, that helped to change me, and after a certain fashion to learn positively from that meeting. Meetings that in some way have marked me. Continue reading here
RECTORY– THE CHURCH OF ST. MARY MAGDALENE
On 12 August 2021, after about two years, there came to an end the works to strengthen the structures and achieve an aesthetic restoration of the baroque façade of the Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Campo Marzio. One of the masterpieces of the Roman baroque has been brought back to its original beauty. On the façade one can look with pleasure upon the profiles of four statues: of St. Mary Magdalene, of St. Martha, of St. Filippo Neri and of the Founder of the Order, St. Camillus de Lellis. The restoration work now also enables us to enjoy the wonderful stucco work that beautifies the whole of the façade.
The baroque façade of our church is the work of the architect Giuseppe Sardi (Sant’Angelo in Vado, 1680 – Rome, 1753), well-known for being the creator of the façade of the Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Rome. Its construction took place between 1716 and 1718 and was done following a commission of Cardinal Annibale Albani, who at that time was the titular holder of the church.
In recent days the work that began in June 2019 inside the Church of St. Mary Magdalene to restore the fresco of the trinity that adorns the cupola (1739) also came to an end. This was the work of the painter Parrocel (Parosel) Stefano (Avignon, 8 January 1696 – Rome, 26 August or 13 January 1775 or 1776) known as Le Romain. The frescos of Stefano Parrocel known as ‘the Roman’ were painted in 1739 in the cupola of the Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Rome. In the festive jubilation of angels we can see in a memorial form, and pervaded by full light, the figures of the Virgin and of saints, amongst whom St. Mary Magdalene and St. Camillus, St. Teresa, St. Domenic, Filippo Neri …
Humanisation. This is something we all want. We feel the fact – we need it. Above all in the field of health care. Increasingly more people are impassioned about the conjugation of this verb when they care for sick people and their families.
This book is the result of the research of the Centre for the Humanisation of Health in Spain, after more than thirty years of experience. We point to the current movement for the humanisation of the health-care system and we offer the necessary keys of reference so that this verb acquires full meaning and sense. We study it philologically, we show the results of our studies, we describe what to humanise means – its foundations, its fields.
Josè Carlos Bermejo – Dar Gracias
Every day since the beginning of the pandemic (more than 500 days), José Carlos Bermejo has sent an audio prayer on WhatsApp at 22.00 to those who wish to receive it and to send it on to other contacts. If you wish to receive it, send your name and telephone number to the e-mail address of this site.
The first 150 prayers, in a key of hope and health, are brought together in this book which is useful for families, schools, churches and outside in the streets. Adults and young people who give thanks for what surrounds us, with simplicity and profundity.
Arnaldo Pangrazzi – Il suicidio. Non ci siamo mai detti addio. Lo strazio di chi resta
Il suicidio è un viaggio senza ritorno che tarpa le ali alla speranza. Quanti lo compiono sono prigionieri di pensieri e sentimenti che li consumano e travolgono, sospingendoli alla scelta fatale. Con frequenza chi chiude il sipario non lascia trapelare le sue intenzioni e porta con sé nella tomba le proprie ragioni per rinunciare a lottare. non si muore mai soli: si trascina con sé un po’ della vita dei propri cari e si lascia con loro un po’ della propria morte.
Chi resta è tormentato da tanti “ma” e “se” che accompagnano il cammino tortuoso e travagliato del cordoglio e della lenta rinascita. L’autore ritrae fotografie dei paesaggi interiori di chi ha scelto di morire e dei superstiti, cogliendo frammenti toccanti degli abissi e dei misteri della natura umana.
DECEASED BROTHERS & SISTERS
Man can be explained only if there is a Love that overcomes every isolation, even that of death, in a totality that transcends space and time. Man is explainable, finds his deepest meaning, only if there is God. And we know that God has come out of his remoteness and has made himself close, he has entered our lives and tells us: “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live; whoever lives and believes in me will not die eternally” (Jn 11:25-26).
BENEDICT XVI, GENERAL ADDRESS – Wednesday, 2 November 2011
Camillian Confreres of the Northern Italian Province, announce the death of p. Agostino Padoan (birth: September 7, 1934; religious profession: September 26, 1954; priestly ordination: June 24, 1962).
His death occurred today, September 22, 2021, at the hospital of Zingonia, near the Camillian community of Capriate San Gervasio (Bergamo – Italy).
We remember p. Agostino in our prayers!
Obituary will follow.
On 13 September 2021, Sr. Irene Zecchini, a Daughter of St. Camillus, passed away at the ‘St. Camillus’ Clinic of Buenos Aires, Argentina. She would have celebrated her one hundred and first birthday in December, after spending 83 years in religious life.
Sr. Elvira Degetto passed away on 13 August 2021 at the nursing home of Cremona. She was 97 years old and had spent 74 years in religious life.
Our much beloved Sr. Mercedes Peralta, from Uruguay, passed away on 17 September 2021 at 13.05 (local time) at the ‘St. Camillus’ Clinic of Buenos Aires. She was 92 years old and had spent 74 years in religious life. She always served God, her sick brothers and sisters and her religious sisters with great love and devotion.
PRAYER TO SAINT JOSEPH
APOSTOLIC LETTER PATRIS CORDE OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
ON THE 150th ANNIVERSARY OF THE PROCLAMATION OF SAINT JOSEPH AS PATRON OF THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH
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.