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HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND A SERENE NEW YEAR 2015
WAKE UP THE WORLD!
Provocations of Pope Francis
On Saturday 29 November 2014, in the evocative context of the Roman Basilica of ‘Santa Maria Maggiore’, a place dedicated for centuries to the devotion to Mary of the people of Rome, all the men and women religious of Rome came together to celebrate the solemn prayer vigil for the opening of the Year of Consecrated Life which had been called by Pope Francis. Ever since the beginning of his pontificate the Pope has never stopped calling on consecrated men and women in a strong, clear and realistic way. His analyses – which are very often rather sharp – relate in a true way to our identity and our style of being ‘religious’. They do not want to be just a humiliating attack on a certain decay of religious life but also an honest diagnosis of its situation in order to proceed in a resolute way towards the adoption of an equally strong shock therapy, in order to return to being men and women who are capable of ‘looking to the past with gratitude, in order to live the present with passion and compassion, embracing the future with hope’.
Let us bring together some healthy provocations which are even more salutary if offered during the period of Advent and which invite us to reactivate our waiting for Jesus who entered our history not with the triumphal style of the Roman Caesars but with the style of someone who knocks at the door of our lives and asks ‘can I come in?’, dines with us, stays with is…to make us like Him!
Religious: sinners and prophets
‘The Church must be attractive. Wake up the world! Be witnesses to a new way of doing, acting, living! It is possible to live differently in this world. We are speaking of an eschatological outlook, of values of the Kingdom embodied here on this earth. This is question of leaving everything to follow the Lord. Religious follow the Lord in a special way, in a prophetic way. I expect this witness from you. Religious must be men and women who are capable of waking up the world’.
Avoiding fundamentalism and illuminating the future
‘To really understand reality we must move from the central position of calm and tranquillity and go towards the area of the outskirts. To be in the outskirts helps us to see and to understand better, to engage in a more correct analysis of reality, escaping from centralism and from ideological approaches. To understand we must ‘downshift’, see reality from a number of points of view. Emphasis must fall on being prophets and not on playing at being such. Naturally the devil offers his temptations, and this is one of them: playing at being prophets, without being such, striking poses. But one cannot play with these things. No: men and women religious are men and women who illuminate the future’.
A charism is not a bottle of distilled water
‘There is one charism but it has to be lived according to places, times and people. A charism is not a bottle of distilled water. It has to be lived with energy, reading it anew culturally as well. Thus there is also the risk of making a mistake, of committing errors. It is risky. Certainly! We will always make mistakes, there are no doubts about this. But this should not slow us down, because there is the risk of making greater errors, Indeed, we must always ask for forgiveness and look with a great deal of shame at the apostolic failures that have been caused by a lack of courage’.
Formation is craft work not police work
Formation must be directed not only towards personal growth but also towards its final prospect – the people of God. When providing formation to people, one must think of those to whom they will be sent: ‘One should always think of the faithful, of the people faithful to God. People must be formed who are witnesses to the resurrection of Christ. A person providing formation must think that the person receiving formation will be called to attend to the people of God. We may think of those religious who have hearts that are as acidic as vinegar: they are not made for the people. All in all: we must not form administrators, managers, but, rather, fathers, brothers, travelling companions’.
Living fraternity by ‘caressing conflicts’
‘It is true, at times we are very cruel. We experience the common temptation to criticise for personal satisfaction or to obtain a personal advantage. But never, never should we act as managers when faced with the conflict of a brother, We must involve the heart…Fraternity is something that is very delicate…Look, one should treat our brothers like this: with Eucharistic tenderness. One should caress conflict. There comes to my mind Paul VI receiving a latter from a child with many drawings. Paul VI said that on a desk where only letters with problems arrived the arrival of a letter like that did him a great deal of good. Tenderness does us good. Eucharistic tenderness does not cover conflict but, rather, helps us to address it as men’.
FROM THE CAMILLIAN WORLD
THE VICE-PROVINCE OF INDIA
Taken from The Times of India
While the world is distancing itself from the populations afflicted by Ebola, four Camillian religious volunteers from India are making their preparations to serve the civilian community in Sierra Leone in western Africa. This team at the present time has the aim of reactivating the Holy Spirit Hospital in Makeni which was closed because of the lack of volunteers over the last six months and the death of a nurse.
The Camillian professional nurse Fr. Antony George, aged 41, the director of Snehasadan, a home that takes in children who are HIV-positive in Mangalore, and Br. Madhu Babu, aged 42, are making their preparations in Rome to leave in a few days time for Sierra Leone. Next February Fr. Siby Kaitharan, aged 36, and Fr. Teji Thomas, aged 39, both of whom are professional nurses, will leave for Africa.
INDIA – Bangalore
The opening of the Year of Consecrated Life in the Vice-Province of Italy was celebrated on 30 November last. Fr. William Eronimoose, the Superior of the community of Snehadaan, emphasised the importance of this event during the ceremony. The Holy Mass was celebrated by Fr. Matthew Perumpil together with Fr. Baby Illickal, Fr. Babychan Pazhanilath and other religious brothers. After the homily the new logo of consecrated life was given to Fr. Regi, the master of novices.
The ‘Vitae Camilliani’ was presented on this day – a book on the life of St. Camillus and the Vice-Province of India. On this day of celebrations that community also wanted to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversaries of religious Camillian life of Fr. Babychan Pazhanilath and Fr. Matthew Perumpil and to express its gratitude.
Fr. William Eronimoose blessed the new chapel dedicated to St. Camillus in Bangalore.
On Saturday 29 November 2014, our Camillian religious brother Bon L. ARIMBUYUTAN, of the Province of the Philippines, was ordained a priest in the church dedicated to ‘St. Camillus and St. Lorenzo Ruiz’ in Quezon City. The Archbishop of Pasig, Msgr. Mylo Hubert C. Vergarad presided over the Holy Mass.
Twenty-seven members of the Great Camillian Family of Benin (10), Togo (2) Burkina Faso (15), Camillian religious, daughters of St. Camillus, the Lay Camillian Family, Union Catholique des Agents de Santé de l’Action Sociale de Ouagaa (UCASO) and the Torch of Charity took part in the workshop (seminar) of five days’ duration on the subject of the management of emergencies and risk reduction which was organised at the National Centre of Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso).
Cardinal Philippe Ouédraogo, the Archbishop of the capital of the country, was also present at the meeting.
This workshop sought to teach those taking part various instruments for the organisation of afflicted communities and to help the development of action plans in local settings in a specific situation of emergency. This was an event organised with the aim of contributing to preparations for the imminent threat of the Ebola virus. So far cases of this disease have not been registered in Benin, Burkina and Togo. However, the probability is very high because of the proximity of the two countries that have had confirmed cases of Ebola. The workshop ended with a visit to one of the refugees camps in the city of Sagniogniogo (Donsi) where the participants and selected refugees implemented the techniques that had been learned during the seminar.
PROVINCIA ITALIANA – Fondazione Pro.Sa
From the site www.fondazioneprosa.it
‘11 November witnessed the availability in all bookshops of the book Le strade del Sorriso (‘The Streets of Smiles’) published by Mondadori in partnership with Mediafriends. The proceeds from the sale of the book will go to the PRO.SA Foundation to support the Camillian Home project in Thailand.
In recent years Mediafriends Onlus, through the event ‘Smiles Factory’, has engaged in projects of solidarity which have allowed many children to smile again or to smile for the first time. Amongst these projects there is ‘The Streets of Smiles’ Project.
This year had a rather different character. This time there was an authentic reportage produced by the long visits of Anna and Fabio Stojan to the places where associations funded by Mediafriends have operated over the years. Amongst these there is the PRO.SA Foundation. Just one book to restore hope to a very large number of children!
Every year at the beginning of Advent the ceremony of the putting up of the Christmas tree is held. This is a moment of prayer to remind everyone that Jesus came to bring the true light that illumines every creature.
On 20-30 November the Eucharist was celebrated at the new church dedicated to St. Camilllus at the St. Mary Hospital and at the centre for the elderly – this was a moment of prayer that involved the whole of the local population
TAIWAN – ECUMENICAL ACTIVITY
Every year in the Province of Ilan at Christmas an ecumenical celebration is organised. This year this celebration was held here in Lotung on 6 December. More than 2,000 Christians took part.
On 8 December the birthday of Fr. Antonio Didonè was also celebrated: this event involved the religious and the workers of the ward where he has been for very many year: this was a testimony to the esteem for the great work that Fr. Antonio engaged in as a Camillian and as a medical doctor.
SHIRAK – ARMENIA
Fr. Mario Cuccarolo of the Camillian Delegation of Armenia has informed us of the visit of Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, the Archbishop of Genoa and the President of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, to the Redemptoris Mater Hosputal on 6 September 2014.
THE PROVINCE OF ROME
Pope Francis, by his letter n. 3.669/P of 18 November 2014, signed by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, confirmed for another five-year period Fr. Felice RUFFINI, a Camillian religious of the Province of Rome, as Consultor of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints
On Sunday 7 December the Advent retreat was held, an event for the Camillian family, volunteers and solidarity workers entitled ‘Sharing with Joy the Gifts of Life’. The meditation was offered by Fr. Luciano Sandrin.
ROMA – TAVOLO VOCAZIONALE alla MADDALENA
On Saturday 29 November 2014, the day when the Year of Consecrated Life was opened with a solemn evening vigil in the Roman Basilica of S. Maria Maggiore, (SEE HERE THE VIDEO OF THE CEREMONY ), our generalate house was the setting for a ‘table for the animation of pastoral care for vocations’, with the involvement of Camillian religious from three Provinces of Italy, women religious of the women Ministers of the Sick, the Daughters of St. Camillus, the Handmaidens of the Incarnation, and the secular institute of women Missionaries of the Sick – Christ the Hope.
In his introductory greetings Fr. Leocir Pessini, the Superior General of the Camillians invited those present to persevere in this inter-congregational cooperation, above all between consecrated men and women who are animated by, and share, the charismatic fire of Camillus de Lellis, and above all at a time in history which in Italy is marked by a contraction of human resources, but when we are asked to have greater synergy, above all to achieve a more credible witness of unity, communion and fraternity.
Thursday 4 December, at our generalate house, two other volumes published by the series of historical research on the oldest Camillian Provinces were presented: Storia dell’Ordine di San Camillo. La Provincia Spagnola (‘A History of the Order of St. Camillus. The Province of Spain’), by Raoul Antonelli, Isabella De Renzi and Giovanni Pizzorusso, Rubbettino Editore, Catanzaro, 2014, 168pp; and Storia dell’Ordine di San Camillo. La Provincia Tedesca (‘A History of the Order of St. Camillus. The Province of Germany’) by Gerhard Kuck, Rubbettino Editore.
This is the latest stage of a project that emerged some years ago and which was entrusted by the General Consultor to a group of scholars and researchers. This is a project that was designed to fill a hole in the historical recognition of the life of our Order, that is to say a systematic in-depth analysis of its foundation, its development and the charismatic interpretation of the Order offered by the individual Provinces over time.
ROME – Renewal of Religious Vows
On Monday 8 December, the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, Camillians throughout the world renew their religious vows with a special celebration. In the Church of St. Mary Magdalene (Rome), Fr. Leocir Pessini presided over the liturgical celebration which witnessed the participation of numerous Camillian religious of the Roman communities and women Camillians of the Daughters of St. Camillus and the women Ministers of the Sick.
ROME- The Magdalene community
In the late-afternoon of Tuesday 9 December Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, the Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, visited the Camillian community of the generalate house. He met the Superior General and the Consultors present in Rome and stayed in fraternal fashion to have dinner with the religious brothers and the guests of the community.
ROME – CTF MEETING
On Wednesday 11 December and Thursday 12 December, at the generalate house, a course of training was held organised by the central commission of the Camillian Task Force to support Fr. Antony George, Br. Madhu Babue and other religious brothers about to leave for emergency areas. The skills and advice of certain professionals of the world of health and health care were also utilised.
AGENDA OF THE GENERAL CONSULTA
On 20 November, at the Villa Sacra Famiglia (Rome), the Superior General together with the General Consultors met Fr. E. Blasi, the Provincial Superior of the Province of Rome and his council.
On 24 November at the Generalte house Fr. Leocir Pessini, together with the General Consultors, met Fr. V. Paleari, Fr. E. Blasi and Fr. R. Mauriello, the Provincial superiors, respectively, of the Province of Italy, the Province of Rome and the Province of Sicily and Naples.
On 26-27-28 November the Superior General took part in the annual meeting of the Union of General Superiors, which was organised this year at the generalate house of the Salesians in Rome.
On 29 November Fr. Leocir Pessini went to Ireland to meet the religious brothers of the Province of England and Ireland and in particular Fr. Frank Monks, the former Superior General of the Order.
On 5-7 December the Superior General visited the Camillian religious brothers who live and work in Turin: the ‘Madian’ community, the St. Camillus Hospital Centre and the chaplaincies of Turin. On 10 December the Superior General left for a fraternal visit to the Camillian religious brothers of Burkina Faso, Benin and Togo. This visit has been shared by the Provincial Vicar, Fr. Laurent Zoungrana, who had already left a few days previously.
ACTS OF THE GENERAL CONSULTA
The Superior General with the agreement of the General Consulta admitted to the perpetual profession of vows the religious Marco MOIOLI of the Province of Italy.
The Congregation for Religious Institutes and Societies of Apostolic Life received the revision of our Constitution – which was revised by the fifty-seventh General Chapter celebrated in Ariccia (Rm) in May 2013 – for its final approval.
It was agreed to have a meeting of the General Consulta on 22-23 January 2015 to plan and implement the Camillian Project. This meeting will take place at the generalate house of the women Ministers of the Sick of St. Camillus (Rome). This meeting will end on Saturday 24 January 2015 with a meeting of Fr. Leocir Pessini, Mother Zelia Andrighetti and Mother Lauretta Gianesin – respectively the newly elected Superior Generals of the Camillians, the Daughters of St. Camillus and the women Ministers of the Sick of St. Camillus – and their general councils. This first encounter between men and women religious who share the same mysterious fire will involve a celebration of the Eucharist, an exchange of views on possible cooperation projects and a lunch.
‘See, now they vanish, the faces and places, with the self which, as it could, loved them, To become renewed, transfigured, in another pattern’ (T.S. Eliot)
Our Camillian religious brothers of the Province of France have told us of the death of Fr. Jean TAGLANG which took place on Friday 21 November 2014. Fr. Jean Taglang was almost a hundred years old and was born in 1915.
Our Camillian religious brothers of the Province of Austria have announced the death of Fr. Anton GOTS which took place on 24 November 2014
The death of our religious brother Fr. Johannes DAMMIG took place in Neuss/Rhn (Germany) on 29 November 2014.
Sr. Valentina MATTEI, a woman religious of the Congregation of the Daughters of St. Camillus, aged 90, with 65 years of religious profession, took place on 10 December 2014 at the Casa Sollievo San Camillo Bucchianico (CH).
Il 14 dicembre è deceduta prasso la “Clinica Padre Luis Tezza” di Lima, sr. Camila La Hoz, di anni 86 dei quali 51 di professione religiosa, spesi al servizio di Dio e dei nostri fratelli ammalati.
‘Now they live in Christ whom they met in the Church, followed in their vocations, and served in the sick and the suffering. Trusting that the Lord, the Holy Virgin our Queen, St. Camillus and our deceased religious brothers will welcome them in their midst, we commend them in our prayers, remembering them with affection, esteem and gratitude’.