Dear brothers and sisters!
As we celebrate your International Day, I would like to speak directly to all of you who live with any condition of disability, to tell you that the Church loves you and needs each of you for the fulfilment of her mission at the service of the Gospel.
Jesus, our friend
Jesus is our friend! That is what he told his disciples at the Last Supper (cf. Jn 15:14). His words also speak to us; they shed light on the mystery of our close relationship to him as members of his Church. “Friendship with Jesus cannot be broken. He never leaves us, even though at times it appears that he keeps silent. When we need him, he makes himself known to us; he remains at our side wherever we go” (Christus Vivit, 154). We Christians have received a gift: access to the heart of Jesus and friendship with him. It is a privilege and a blessing, and it becomes our vocation: we are called to be friends of Jesus!
Having Jesus as a friend is an immense consolation. It can turn each of us into a grateful and joyful disciple, one capable of showing that our frailties are no obstacle to living and proclaiming the Gospel. In fact, a trusting and personal friendship with Jesus can serve as the spiritual key to accepting the limitations that all of us have, and thus to be at peace with them. This in turn can lead to a joy that “fills hearts and lives” ( Evangelii Gaudium, 1), since, as a great exegete has written, friendship with Jesus is “a spark that kindles the fire of enthusiasm”. 
Below is the video of the episode of the RAI program “A sua Immagine”, dedicated to the Missionary Month (Sunday, October 31, 2021), in which participated our confrere Fr. Massimo Miraglio, who has been working for years in Jeremie in Haiti.
At the end of the Angelus on Sunday, October 31, 2021, Pope Francis made two appeals for prayer and concrete solidarity towards two populations in difficulty, that of Vietnam and that of Haiti, affected by floods and a state of poverty, respectively.
“… and you, on your way home, look for news about Haiti, and pray, pray a lot. I was watching the program “A Sua Immagine”, the testimony of that Camillian missionary in Haiti, Fr. Massimo Miraglio, the things he told us… how much suffering, how much pain there is in this land, and how much abandonment… Let’s not abandon them.”
Church of Santa Maria Maddalena, Rome
Photos of the prayer vigil held on Sunday, October 31, 2021, the eve of the Solemnity of All Saints, at the church of Santa Maria Maddalena in Campo Marzo in Rome.
We celebrated the vigil of ‘All Saints, the beauty of being saints’, in collaboration with the Daughters of St. Camillus and a group of young people.
Vigil of the Feast of All Saints at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene – the reflection of Fr. Gianfranco Lunardon.
Renewal of Camillian religious vows – December 8, 2021
Vicar General Fr. Laurent Zoungrana, together with the Consultors of the Order of the Ministers of the Infirm (Camillians), invites to the celebration for the renewal of Camillian religious vows, which will be held, as a long-standing custom in our spiritual tradition, on Wednesday, December 8, 2021, at 16.00 at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Rome.
Pope Francis and his surprise visit to the inmates of Villa Sacra Famiglia on November 2, 2021
Pope Francis, at the end of the celebration of the Holy Mass in Commemoration of the Dead at the French Military Cemetery, returning to the Vatican noticed some elderly inmates of the adjacent Camillian residence of Villa Sacra Famiglia waiting for him; he stopped the car and got out and greeted them… a great joy exploded among those present.
THANK YOU, HOLY FATHER, for the gift you gave us!
PROVINCE OF BENIN-TOGO
On October 30, 2021, the Church in Mali had the joy of having her first Camillian priest in the person of Fr. Michel Koulibaly. The joy was the same for the Camillian Province of Benin-Togo to have its first Malian priest. Our confrere was ordained by the Archbishop His Eminence Cardinal Jean Zerbo, in his parish, Notre Dame des Champs at Bamako, his hometown, in the presence of a large crowd of religious, relatives, friends and faithful who had come to thank God for this great and beautiful gift. Thirty-Four-year-old Fr. Michel, a medical doctor by training, began his Camillian religious formation at Sègbanou in 2012. With patience, courage, and wisdom he lived the different stages of formation in Benin and Togo until his priestly ordination. Fr. Michel had made his perpetual profession on September 25, 2020 at Sègbanou. The Provincial Superior, Fr. Guy-Gervais, who attended the ceremony with a large delegation of confreres and friends from the Province, has just assigned him the mission of directing our clinic at Sègbanou. At the same time, Fr. Michel will assist at the Major Seminary of San Gallo in Ouidah, as the doctor of the facility.
CADIS (CAMILLIAN DISASTER SERVICE INTERNATIONAL)
The Camillian Disaster Service International (CADIS) Foundation is a non-profit, legally registered humanitarian and development organization of the Order of the Ministers of the Infirm (Camillians), a Catholic religious Order founded by St. Camillus de Lellis in 1586. WATCH HERE
Recently, a severe drought struck in the northeastern part of Kenya (Wajir), which left severe consequences on livestock and agriculture. Wajir is one of the arid and semi-arid (ASALS) regions of Kenya. After a rapid needs assessment, gaps were identified, such as food, livelihood (agro-pastoral), water, and health. CADIS Kenya is starting an emergency relief response in Wajir West in the coming weeks. We also plan to organize recovery and resilience programs during the post-relief phase, including food security (sustainable farming), water provision, and health and sanitation. READ MORE
CrossOver Quarterly Bullettin No. 23 July-September 2021
CROSSOVER is the quarterly news bulletin of the Camillian Disaster Service International. The name CROSS- OVER was inspired by the gospel of Mark (Mk. 4,35-41) when Jesus invited his disciples to cross over to the other side of the lake, and then a massive storm battered their boat that it almost sank. Fear had overshadowed them; Jesus rose from sleep and calmed the sea. St. Camillus himself had crossed over the confines of the hospitals when he learned about the plague-stricken people, and the victims of floods, war, and pestilence. The enormous strength and enduring compassion of the Camillians are displayed during these difficult historical moments.
In this number:
– Editorial: Climate change
– A message to protect the Creation
– Let’s not forget Haiti
– Dialogue with Kenyan stakeholders
– FARDEC activity goes on
PROVINCE OF BURKINA FASO
An ambulance has been donated by the association Partecipazione e Sviluppo. The ambulance is at the disposal of the Hospital Saint Camille de Ouagadougou (capital of Burkina Faso) and its director, Fr. Paul Ouedraogo, a Camillian religious and a doctor.
The new tomb of our venerable brother Nicola D’Onofrio was blessed at the Shrine of St. Camillus de Lellis at Bucchianico on Thursday, November 25, 2021, on the occasion of the conclusion of the process of the canonical recognition of his mortal remains. PHOTOGALLERY
After the Vespers and the blessing of the new tomb in the crypt of the shrine, His Excellency Monsignor Bruno Forte, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Chieti-Vasto, presided over the solemn Eucharistic celebration in the parish of St. Michael the Archangel.
INTERNATIONAL AIDS DAY
On the occasion of the anniversary of 1 December 2021, the international day against AIDS, we publish a recent speech by Pope Francis (16 November 2021) thanking all those who help people suffering from HIV and AIDS.
5 December also marked the first anniversary of the violent death of Brother Leonardo GRASSO, a Camillian religious, who was killed in the very house he founded and ran, dedicated to supporting AIDS patients. READ MORE
We share with you the programme of the Youth Vocation Promotion Ministry of Camillians in Rome for the pastoral year 2021-2022.
Starting from November 16, Camillians in Rome organize a series of weekly meetings with Lectio Divina on the Gospel of Sunday. The meetings will take place every Tuesday at 18.00 at Studentato Camilliano “Nicola D’Onofrio”, Via Camilluccia, Rome.
‘Eugenio Litta’ Village, Grottaferrata
The ‘Eugenio Litta’ Village was built by Valeria Rossi di Montelera in memory of her only son, Eugenio Litta, who died in 1948 at a young age. The Village was later entrusted to the Roman Province of the Camillian Religious Order. The Centre, which has an agreement with the national health system since 1974, provides Territorial Rehabilitation services in residential, semi-residential and non-residential settings. The Centre provides therapeutic services in the fields of neuro-motor, psychophysical and sensory rehabilitation. The healthcare providers and the collaborators here are aware of the importance of human relations based on dialogue and availability, towards the patients as well as their families. A new ward was inaugurated in November 2021, in the presence of the Vice President of the Lazio Region, the Mayor of Grottaferrata, and the Provincial of the Camillian Roman Province Fr. Antonio Marzano.
Solemn Profession of Antonio Ricci
Antonio Ricci, a professed religious of the Roman Province will make his solemn religious vows, on Sunday, December 12, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. The celebration will take place at the Cathedral Basilica of Orvieto, and will be presided over by His Excellency Msgr. Gualtiero Sigismondi, Bishop of the Diocese of Orvieto-Todi.
Christma Nee Afric – New Edition 2021 is available on Spotify from November 26
This is a collection of some of the most traditional Christmas songs, re-worked with African sounds and some added parts, sung in Morè dialect by Fr. Modeste Ouedraogo. It was an idea born from Mauro Spenillo and Fr. Sergio Palumbo, who visited several times Africa, where the Camillians have been present for over 50 years in the State of Burkina Faso.
Walter Vinci – The crib: A “parable” for our life
In this itinerary, I am called to contemplate on the crib, to look not only at the child or at the “novelty” of the theme it brings, but also at the faces, the looks and the attitudes of the individual characters who make it up. How do we imagine them? Unfortunately, the statues of the cribs often depict them in sappy and pious attitudes… Instead, let’s imagine them bewildered, silent, astonished, amazed, incapable. Let’s imagine them with the spirit that dwells in our soul at this moment, with the same feelings, even anger and weariness. Let’s imagine them, according to our point of view.
NORTH ITALIAN PROVINCE
We address the issue of the proposed law on euthanasia, a topic discussed with Marisa Levi, an expert in Bioethics, with Filippo Vari, Professor of Constitutional Law and Vice President of the Livatino Study Center, and with Fr. Danio Mozzi, MI, Director of the Camillian Center for Formation in Verona. With them in the studio are Marina Zerman and Stefano Filippi, journalist and President of Italian Catholic Press Union (USCI) of Verona.
Vocation Promotion Ministry for the Youth – North Italian Province
Marking the Centenary of Camillians in Brazil, an exhibition was inaugurated on November 8, 2021. The exhibition traces the most significant events in the history of Camillians and of St. Camillus University in Brazil.
A meeting of the Brazilian Formators and the young people in Formation was held in Granja Viana (São Paulo) from December 3 to 5, 2021. Twenty-one young people and six religious from the Formation team together with the Provincial Superior participated in the meeting.
PROVINCE OF THE PHILIPPINES
CAMILLIAN PROVINCE IN INDIA
St. Camillus Ashram, being a unit of Sneha Charitable Trust and one of the ministry centers of St. Camillus Province, India, does a marvelous mission of taking care of children with multiple disabilities. This is a new initiative of the province. We know that any disability handicaps a person. Here we are trying to take care of children who are handicapped in many ways. This is something challenging and at the same a blessing.
We want all those who enter this home experience the presence of God. That is why we have named the center Daivalayam which means “house of God”. This is a humble attempt to share and eradicate the pain in the society. This is a compassionate response to the cry of the poor and suffering.
There are a lot of children thrown to the street like lifeless objects only because they are disabled. Therefore it is an attempt from our part to respond to the need of the time.
Though this ministry is really challenging, there is an amazing joy that brings to each one of us who cares for these little angels. READ MORE
PRO.SA. FOUNDATION – 20 Years of Activity
A news arrived from Haiti on the day in which PRO.SA. Foundation celebrated its 20 years. The school in Aquin, rebuilt with the help of PRO. SA., opened its door to 320 children who otherwise would have been at the risk of dropping out of school that collapsed in an earthquake on August 14.
PROVINCE OF THAILAND
‘Sharing for life-Care for the poor Korat’ is a private non-profit charitable organization. It was started on February 22, 2012 by a group of people who wanted to live the spirit of merciful love taught by Jesus Christ. The central office is at Camillian Pastoral Center in Lat Krabang, Bangkok, and there is a coordinating office for the Isaan Region in the Ratchasima Retirement Home complex.
The purpose of this project is to help the poor, the disabled and children of Korat. Giving them love and care makes them feel not alone or abandoned.
DAUGHTERS OF ST. CAMILLUS
On December 5th is the first anniversary of the violent death of Brother Leonardo Grasso, a Camillian religious killed in the very house he founded and animated, dedicated to the support of AIDS patients.
ACTS OF THE COUNCIL
On November 17, 2021, Fr. Laurent Zoungrana, vicar general of the Order, with the consent of the Consultors admitted to solemn religious profession, three temporarily professed religious of the North Italian Province /Kenyan delegation:
Wekesa Juma Evans
Kamau Njoronge Paul
Musyoki Mulinge Pius
Gabriel Mauricio da Silva: Born as an instrument of God to alleviate the suffering of his children with a maternal heart, he works in the healthcare field since 1971 following the directives of St. Camillus de Lellis. He deeply believes in his being just an intermediary between the divine will and his hands.
Any proceeds from this collection of poems written by Gabriel Mauricio da Silva will be donated to the Foundation “Dopo di Noi Insieme” for the realization and management of houses for people with severe disabilities. If you want to know more about the organization, visit the website of the Foundation.
This book presents in a simple and detailed way Counselling, a helping profession that arose in the middle of the last century in the United States of America and is now becoming established in Italy as well.
To make it easier and more attractive to the readers, the authors have adopted a particular literary style, illustrating the theory of counselling through the narration of a counsellor who traces her experiences of training in this profession, showing its beauty and fatigue, enriching the theoretical data with a considerable number of interviews.
The way in which the material is presented and the counsellor’s actions are illustrated gives a new character to the book, facilitating the understanding of the nature of this profession and the identity of those who practice it: a guide who accompanies people through the labyrinth of life. In a subtle and dynamic balance between values and needs, counselling helps to recognize the deep and original sense of one’s own Self.
It is a psychology book on loss and bereavement. If the experience that makes us suffer the most is the death of a loved one, there are many other losses, small and large, that we are called to face. Life is about relations and separations, loss and grief. These are experiences that deserve to be explored in order to cope with and overcome them, either personally or helping others. The perspective of the book is psychological, but is with references to other disciplines, to look at the wholeness of the person and the variety of his or her relationships. Even the spiritual dimension, differently interpreted, is fully part of the experience of those who live a bereavement, and must be taken into serious consideration by those who want to help, either as a friend or as a professional.
DECEASED BROTHERS & SISTERS
You who are walking. Life is a journey, all of us are on a journey. All of us, if we wish to do something in life, are on a journey. It is not a stroll, nor is it a labyrinth, no, it is a journey. On the way, we pass in front of many historical events, in front of many difficult situations. And also in front of cemeteries. The advice of this cemetery is: “You who are passing by, halt your step and think, and of your steps, think about the final step”. We will all have a final step. Some may say to me, “Father, don’t be so mournful, don’t be so tragic”. But it is the truth. The important thing is that that final step finds us on a journey, not strolling around; in the journey of life and not in an endless labyrinth. To be on a journey so that the last step finds us walking. This is the first thought that I would like to say and that comes from my heart.
JESÚS ARTEAGA ROMERO
(1941 – 2021)
Jesús Arteaga, son of Segundo and Leona, was born on May 26, 1941 at Ázqueta in the diocese of Pamplona (Spain). He entered the Camillian Religious Order in Navarrete (La Rioja) on September 28, 1951, at the age of 10.
He began his novitiate on September 7, 1956, in the Camillian community of Vic (Barcelona), and there he made his temporary profession on December 8, 1957. After completing his formative and academic studies, he made his solemn profession on December 8, 1962. He was ordained a priest on June 1, 1965 in Vic (Barcelona).
After his priestly ordination, he was sent to the community at Navarrete as a music master and teacher. Two years later, in 1967, he was appointed ‘prefect’ of studies and confessor of postulants.
In 1969, he was appointed director of the Fraternidad Católica de Enfermos of the diocese. He held this position for 19 years. In May 1974, he became the superior of the community at Navarrete. Later, in July 1977, he was re-appointed superior of the same community, and was appointed provincial councillor, head of the Formation department, and bursar of the house; these positions he held until 1988. READ MORE
Fr. Antonio Paladino
Antonio Paladino was born at Centuripe (Enna, Sicily, Southern Italy) on August 21, 1936, to his father Angelo and mother Maria Senfett. He entered the Sicilian-Neapolitan Province at Aci Sant’Antonio (Catania) on September 21, 1948. He entered the novitiate at the OASI at Aci Sant’Antonio on September 7, 1952; he made his temporary profession on September 8, 1953, on the day of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the Camillian community San Giuliano (Verona), and his solemn profession on Sunday, December 8, 1957, the day of the Immaculate Conception, at Acireale (Catania).
He was ordained a priest on July 31, 1960, at the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, commonly known as St. Camillus of Acireale, by His Excellency Monsignor Francesco Ricceri, prelate of Santa Lucia del Mela (Messina). READ MORE
RENZO RIZZI (al secolo Igino Lorenzo)
(1933 – 2021)
Nasce il 16 dicembre 1933 a Cavizzana (TN), da Cesare e Celestina Ceschi. Entra in seminario minore di Villa Visconta, a Besana Brianza (MI), il 24 settembre 1946. Nel settembre 1948 passa al seminario di Marchirolo (VA) per i due anni del Ginnasio. Entra in Noviziato il 7 settembre 1950 nella Casa di S. Giuliano a Verona, dove al termine, l’8 settembre 1951, fa la Professione temporanea dei voti. Riprende lo studio del Liceo classico. Fa la Professione solenne 19 marzo 1955, sempre a Verona S. Giuliano. Quindi passa a Mottinello di Rossano Veneto (VI) per lo studio della Teologia. Lì riceve l’ordine del Diaconato l’8 dicembre 1958, e quello del Presbiterato il 21 giugno 1959.
Riceve l’incarico ministeriale di cappellano il 21 luglio 1959 all’Ospedale di Borgo Trento di Verona, il 6 febbraio 1960 al “San Matteo” di Pavia. Il 2 ottobre 1962 è nominato Vice-Maestro ed insegnante degli studenti di teologia a Mottinello. L’1 ottobre 1965 è chiamato a Verona S. Maria del Paradiso come segretario del Provinciale e cappellano a Villa Lieta. Il 13 luglio 1974 ritorna all’Ospedale pavese. Il 3 maggio 1980 entra nel Consiglio provinciale di cui diventa segretario, e il 16 giugno riceve la nomina di superiore della Casa di S. Maria del Paradiso, confermata nel triennio seguente. Il 23 giugno 1986 è nominato superiore e cappellano all’Ospedale veronese di Borgo Roma; il triennio seguente è confermato con l’aggiunta della nomina di economo locale. L’11 luglio 1992 si trasferisce all’Ospedale di Borgo Trento come cappellano al Geriatrico. Il 27 settembre 1993 passa all’Istituto Assistenza Anziani di Marzana. Il 9 luglio 2005 entra nella comunità di San Giuliano, a disposizione per ministero vario, fra cui fa una sostituzione a Marzana nel periodo di agosto-ottobre 2007 e fa ministero alle Piccole Figlie di S. Giuseppe della Casa Betania dall’ottobre 2007 al luglio 2009. Il 7 luglio 2009 è inserito nella Parrocchia di Padova. Il 20 settembre 2019 passa a Mottinello di Rossano Veneto, dove svolge ministero in parrocchia e alle Suore della Provvidenza di Belvedere (VI). READ MORE
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.
“This will be a sign for you: a baby lying in a manger” (Lk 2:12).
That manger, poor in everything yet rich in love, teaches that true nourishment in life comes from letting ourselves be loved by God and loving others in turn. Jesus gives us the example. He, the Word of God, becomes an infant; he does not say a word, but offers life. We, on the other hand, are full of words, but often have so little to say about goodness.
From this night onward, “God’s residence is next to mine, his furniture is love” (EMILY DICKINSON, Poems, XVII).