Letter for Advent 2017, brother responsible

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Dear brothers,

Advent over the next four Sundays draws us closer to little, fragile Jesus. This Jesus who is born in the hope of many people for a better, more humane world, where men and women can enjoy their rights. A world in need of dialogue, and equality. Pope Francis in his messages encourages us to leave oppressive structures, both inside and outside of the Church, and to open ourselves to the message of Jesus become man in different cultural and social ways.

Brother Charles, whose feast we celebrate on 1st December, 101 years after his death, is one of our references to open us from Nazareth to the world, faced with a long list of injustices which are kept up from the interests of the powerful. The mafias behind drug and human trafficking, the nuclear threat, political fundamentalism, the causes of climate change, terrorism… and so many Christmas counter-decorations that embarrass us, but are still present in everyday life. When information and consciences are manipulated, when one attempts to gain power, money and deceive people at the cost of human lives… I think we all know to say no to all that, but our mission includes helping others to be consistent with faith and the Gospel. May our prayer, pastoral activity and mission, born of love for the Lord and our neighbour, as Charles de FOUCAULD inspires us, be aligned to work for the Kingdom this Advent, where the poor teach us to share what is small and insignificant.

We have experienced with sadness the loss of Felix RAJAONARIVELO, our brother from Madagascar, Howie CALKINS, from the United States, -whom we have mentioned on the pages of iesuscaritas.org- and Dominic, from Myanmar. Other brothers have also died. They have all taught us by their faithfulness to the Gospel and to the fraternity that to be a follower of Jesus is worthwhile.

With the death of Felix, a member of the international team and African responsible, the team designated Honoré SAWADOGO, from Burkina Faso, to assume his place and responsibility. We will welcome him at our next meeting as a team in Bangalore, India, in January 2018, preparing the General Assembly of January 2019. Honoré, Jean-François, Mark, Emmanuel, Mauricio and I will work with enthusiasm to make possible an assembly where all the brothers throughout the world will be represented, with their concerns, the realities of their fraternities, calls to be faithful to our choice for the path of Jesus as missionaries and diocesan priests, following the charism of brother Charles. I am still awaiting from some countries their response to the questionnaire before the Assembly. The questionnaire is permanently to be seen on our internet page. Thank you. This will make our work easier in Bangalore.

In April I lived with great joy our meeting of responsibles and delegates of the Spiritual Family of Charles de FOUCAULD in Aachen, Germany. We shared the reality of being brothers and sisters marked by a Church style in communion with Pope Francis, with the difficulties of being imperfect human beings, but open to personal and communal change faced with the challenges of our societies, with the problems of people, with the joy of knowing that we are not alone in this mission. We feel and are family, and our priestly fraternity shares in many places of the world the life and closeness of the other fraternities in the charism of brother Charles.

The fraternity of Argentina held in June its annual retreat. I had the joy of taking part in it and sharing with many brothers on their pastoral life, the depth of their lives and their commitment to their people and to their communities. I only have words of gratitude for all that the Lord is doing through these brothers and the closeness and brotherliness with which they treated me. José María BALIÑA, auxiliary bishop of Buenos Aires, helped us share deeply by means of the Word of God on our lives and mission. (See the Letter of Aurelio to the fraternity of Argentina, on our website, archives of August 2017)

The fraternities of the United States also held their assembly in July in Camarillo, California. Our brother, Fernando TAPIA, Pan-American responsible, facilitated the meeting. Jerry RAGAN, our dear “Hap”, was reelected as national responsible. (Letter from Camarillo, in August 2017, on our website). One notes with great joy the closeness of the different fraternities of all America, especially in the preparation that is being done for the II Pan-American Assembly, in February 2018, in the Dominican Republic, with the coordination of Fernando and the Caribbean brothers, Mártires and Abraham. The new fraternity of Haiti will be present. Welcome, Jonas and Haitian brothers.

Our Mexican brothers held their first ever Month of Nazareth in July and August, also guided by Fernando, close to Puebla. The experience has been a seed of true fraternity in this country where the fraternity is growing and is being enriched by brothers who are very socially and pastorally committed to the people. The work of Nacho, previous responsible, his tireless dedication to the fraternity, and now the work of José RENTERÍA is appreciated. Thank you for being as you are. One can read an extensive pdf with a report of the Month of Nazareth also on our web page.

In July we held our European Assembly of the fraternity in Rudy, Poland. In the Letter from Rudy you have a broad resumé of the contributions of the fraternities of Europe, the result of our work coordinated by John McEVOY, from Ireland, our European responsible, and the Polish brothers especially Andrzej ANDERWALD and Rafał who went to great lengths to host us, warmly welcome us and offered us in parishes at the weekend their hospitality and contact with the people. We elected Kuno KOHN, from Germany, as new European responsible, until the next Assembly in England in 2020. Many calls come to us faced with a European Church that is ageing, in a society that is daily more godless and secular, with a changing demography reliant upon a great number of immigrants and refugees. These should not remain outside our mission.

Our brother Jean-Michel BORTHEIRIE led the retreat of the fraternity of Chad, in Bakara, in the month of August, and with great joy he shared this African experience of fraternity with me. He is a good connoisseur of the African scene very well from his missionary work on the continent. The fraternity of Chad is growing and Corentin AGDE is striving to coordinate the meetings as the responsible with great difficulties because of the distances as happens in many countries where brothers must to travel many hours to meet. Thanks, because this effort makes the fraternity possible.

The Spanish fraternity had our summer retreat the last week of August, in Galapagar, Madrid, with the contributions of our brother Mateo CLARES along the lines of the spirituality and mission of Charles de FOUCAULD. The Adoration, the Review of Life, the Desert and an evening assembly, coordinated by our responsible, Leonardo, tempered our hearts and helped us to go deeply into our lives.

The Chilean brothers have held their retreat and assembly these last few days, led by Matías VALENZUELA, a Sacred Hearts missionary, specialist in themes related to Charles de FOUCAULD. What a joy to see our Mariano PUGA again in this family photo! He and other “historic” brothers whose years and experience give us a living testimony of following Jesus as pastors and missionaries, reflecting by their lives that God loves them and that they do everything for Him.

This last week in Pakistan the Asian Week of Spirituality, centred on the message of Charles de FOUCAULD, took place with the participation of brothers of nearly all the Asian fraternities and with the coordination of Arthur CHARLES, Asian responsible and Emmanuel ASI of our international team. I hope soon to be able to give a resumé of information from them on our fraternity website.

Today I travel to Italy to take part in the retreat and assembly of the Italian brothers in Loreto. Secondo MARTIN is completing his term as responsible and a new brother must be chosen. We will have ever present in our hearts Giuseppe COLAVERO, a great warrior for the fraternity and for the most abandoned. Also, Giovanni, the old brother loved by all.

Let us keep in prayer our sick brothers. I think especially of Aquileo, from Mexico, who is due to be operated on following an accident; of Gianantonio, from Italy; of some of the Spanish brothers who are closest, with their health problems. They are the presence of Jesus, who was always alongside the suffering. Our prayer is also with the brothers in countries of political instability and insecurity, terrorism, organised crime, etc. With them and on behalf of their people may we pray that Jesus be born in those humans who do not have the means we have for living. This is one of the intentions we can have as a fraternity this Advent.

Forgive this long Letter for Advent, that looks like a family album and news-sheet. I do it with affection that we may get to know the faces of our brothers across the world, their joys, their concerns.

A good Advent to all with the hope that the work here or there, on the missions, in neighbourhoods, hospitals, prisons, parishes, manual labour, those excluded by reason of their condition, may be all for the glory of God and to build a world of brothers.

A big embrace.

Aurelio SANZ BAEZA, brother responsible

Perín, Cartagena, Murcia, Spain, 19 November 2017,
World Day of the Poor, promoted by our Pope Francis.

(Thanks so much, dear Liam, for the English translation)

PDF: Letter for Advent 2017, brother responsible, eng

Félix

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Our brother Félix RAJAONARIVELO

Member of the international team and continental responsible of Africa

Felix has gone with the father after his illness of liver cancer.

He was being treated at a hospital in Bangalore, India, with the help of many Brothers of the fraternity and his family. He returned to Madagascar on 8 may, and on the eve of Pentecost, at 14, 50, in the Carmelo of Amborovy, where we had our meeting the international team in 2014, gave his spirit to God and began the life of the blessed.

Today, 5 June, held his mass of resurrection in the Cathedral of Mahajanga.

I am sad and happy at the same time. This dear brother leaves a void, and also hope. Felix has given a lot to the fraternity and the Church in Madagascar, and his life we must encourage to continue announcing Jesus attended Nazareth-style. He is going to continue to help before the Father with his intercession and indestructible smile.

The international team and all the brothers of the priestly fraternities Iesus Caritas in the world, along with the family Charles de FOUCAULD in Madagascar have the aching heart; Felix will change us sadness in joy, as risen Jesus to your friends.

Thanks, Felix, for everything you have given us. Thank you for your welcome and your Nazareth. You will always be with us.

Aurelio SANZ BAEZA,
brother responsible

5 June 2017

PDF: FÉLIX, engl

WEND BE NE DO, a project born in the fraternities

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WEND BE NE DO was born of a united spirit between Burkina Faso and Spain by means of the Charles de FOUCAULD fraternities. To go to the last, to be with them, to work for them, to place ourselves on the periphery of the comfortable world in which we live day by day, is a challenge which the Tienda Asilo Foundation of San Pedro de Cartagena has taken on seriously since 2005 and, likewise, all the people, organizations, institutions and parishes who have helped and continue to help us to carry on the project that charms, that makes you feel that it is worthwhile working for the people of Burkina Faso and especially for the children, adolescents, youths and adults of WBND in the area of Bam, who are affected by HIV-AIDS. We can see that the project is spreading, that it is growing that the people are getting better, that it is like a big family that leaves nobody out. It is a human space where you don’t feel foreign even if our skin betrays that we are Westerners.

PDF: WBND Report January 2017, eng

Fernando TAPIA. SECOND MEDITATION: NAZARETH

The second mystery of the life of Christ that marked deeply the spirituality of Brother Charles was Nazareth. It is a coherent way of life with the mystery of the incarnation among the poor: “Jesus went to Nazareth, the place of the hidden life, of the common life, of the life of family, of prayer, work, darkness, silent virtues, practiced having as witnesses God, his friends and neighbors. Nazareth is the place where the life of the majority of the people passes. We have to respect infinitely the smallest of our brothers…And mix with them. Let us be one of them in the measure that God wants…And treat them fraternally so as to have in the end the honor and the joy to be accepted as one of them”

Read the entire document in PDF: SECOND MEDITATION

Fernando TAPIA. FIRST MEDITACION: THE LAST PLACE

Charles of Foucauld was a passionate searcher for God after his conversion at 28 years of age. At around 15 years of age he had lost the faith and had a very disorderly youth. He was expelled from the Jesuit school for bad behavior, later was expelled from the Army for not respecting the military rules. He wasted his money on wine, women and parties, studied little and wandered without a goal in life. This lifestyle left him a deep emptiness. He says it in a meditation several years later remembering this stage of his life: “The bad that I did, I did not approve it, nor wanted it. It was a sadness that I have not experienced more than then. It returned every night when I was in my accommodation. I was dumb and overwhelmed during these so-called parties; I organized them, but, when the moment arrived I spend them in complete silence, loathing and disgust”

Read the entire document in PDF: FIRST MEDITATION

Lettera di Aurelio ai fratelli italiani, 10 dicembre 2017

Carissimi fratelli,

sono stato molto contento di aver condiviso con voi, fratelli della fraternità sacerdotale italiana, e i fratelli di Jesus Caritas di Sassovivo e Limiti, alcuni giorni di ritiro, di assemblea e di vita fraterna nel silenzio, nella preghiera e nel riposo… tutto concorre al bene del mio cuore pieno di gioia per l’accoglienza riservatami da parte di tutti.

Innanzitutto a Roma Andrea MANDONICO mi ha accolto come fratello e mi ha ospitato presso la casa delle Missioni Africane. Poi mi ha accompagnato alla casa di Giovanni, in Salci, con il quale sono andato a Loreto. Anche al rientro Andrea mi ha riaccompagnato all’aeroporto. A Loreto ho incontrato i fratelli italiani: che gioia grande ritornare ad incontrare gente così buona e aver potuto conoscerne altri ancora. I fratelli di Jesus Caritas mi hanno accolto nell’Abazia di Sassovivo come un fratello in più… A Sassovivo sono andato con Francesco e insieme abbiamo visitato nel cimitero di Spello la tomba di Carlo CARRETO. E’ stato un tempo contemplativo che ancora rivive nel mio cuore. Per me tutto è stato un grande dono che non merito.

Grazie a tutti voi per lo stile di vicinanza, stile mediterraneo, così simile al nostro spagnolo. Grazie per avermi trattato come fratello.

Ho sofferto per l’assenza di Gianantonio. Con lui ho avuto un ottimo scambio fraterno tutti i giorni attraverso gli strumenti mediatici a disposizione. Ancora mi comunico spesso con lui e accompagno ogni suo momento, il suo Nazaret.

Del ritiro mi porto la testimonianza del nostro fratello vescovo Giuseppe ANFOSSI e dei fratelli più anziani della fraternità che seguono le orme di fratel Carlo de FOUCAULD, come quelle di Gesù, nella vita quotidiana e nel loro instancabile lavoro per il Regno.

Voglio ringraziare Secondo per il suo costante impegno nella fraternità italiana come responsabile in tutti questi anni; grazie, Secondo, per essere così come sei, per la tua trasparenza e servizio generoso, per la tua pazienza e per essere fratello di coloro che pongono fiducia in te. Grazie anche a Gigi TOMA, per aver accettato il servizio alla fraternità come nuovo responsabile dell’Italia. Sono certo che non ti mancherà l’appoggio e l’aiuto di tutti nei prossimi sei anni. In particolare la sfida di organizzare il Mese di Nazaret, un tempo di grazia molto proficuo per i fratelli che vi parteciperanno. Altro impegno assunto è quello di intensificare le relazioni con i sacerdoti dell’Albania, se Dio vuole, sarà tra gli obiettivi in questo spazio di amore fraterno e lavoro gratuito e disinteressato. Avanti con tua dedizione: sai che hai il sostegno della fraternità internazionale.

Nei giorni trascorsi a Loreto ho costato l’importanza e l’attualità del messaggio e del cammino di fratel Carlo. Nel giorno di deserto mi sono sentito pellegrino insieme a voi. Avrei preferito un silenzio completo dalla notte anteriore, ma rispetto il ritmo della maggioranza: siamo preti diocesani e non monaci di clausura. Ma sarebbe bene organizzare un deserto di quasi 24 ore, in cui il silenzio e il non fare nulla ci aiutino a lasciarci incontrare dal Signore.

Mi è piaciuta moltissimo la testimonianza e il servizio dei fratelli diaconi, Michele e Sergio; non solo per i loro servizi nell’eucarestia, ma soprattutto per i loro contributi, la loro vita come padri di famiglia e lavoratori nella vita. Grazie per il vostro grande contributo per il Regno a partire dalla vostra vocazione di cristiani consacrati nella vita matrimoniale e nella Chiesa. La fraternità è sempre aperta a coloro che incontrano nel fratel Carlo un referente per la propria vita, non solo spiritualmente, ma anche nel lavoro e nella propria famiglia. Questo ci arricchisce tutti e ci libera dal clericalismo che a volte ci può convertire in una ‘casta’ speciale tra gli uomini e le donne delle nostre parrocchie e comunità.

Il mio incontro a Limiti e Sassovivo con i fratelli di Jesus Caritas, con una accoglienza fraterna e familiare, mi ha permesso di conoscere questa congregazione dal di dentro. Fino a questo momento conoscevo soltanto Piero e Giovanni Marco; ora ho avuto l’opportunità di passare un pò di tempo con Giancarlo, Leonardo, Wilfried, Paolo Maria e Jhonatan. Mi hanno accolto come uno di famiglia e ho avuto la possibilità di pregare con loro, celebrare nella parrocchia di Limiti l’eucaristia domenicale con Piero. Avevo un grandissimo desiderio di tornare ad incontrarlo. E’ stata una grande gioia per lui e specialmente per me. Ho potuto dedicare molto tempo alla preghiera nell’Abbadia di Sassovivo e contemplare la bellezza della montagna che la circonda. Come con i fratelli della fraternità italiana così anche con questi fratelli di Jesus Caritas ho assaporato Nazaret e lo stile missionario e di servizio alla Chiesa sulle tracce di Carlo de FOUCAULD. Grazie a tutti di cuore. Grazie perchè so che in tanta gente c’è tanto amore che mi fa sentire figlio di Dio e fratello di tutti.

Un grande abraccio.

Aurelio SANZ BAEZA, fratello responsabile

Perín, Cartagena, Spagna, 10 diciembre 2017,
seconda domenica d’Avvento e festa della Madonna di Loreto

(E grazie, caro Mario MORICONI, per la traduzione italiana)

PDF: Lettera di Aurelio ai fratelli italiani, 10 dicembre 2017

Liam O’Cuiv: NEWS FROM IRELAND

BISHOP BRENDAN KELLY TO BE NEW BISHOP OF GALWAY

(Monday 11th December 2017)

A member of the Irish Jesus Caritas Fraternity for nearly all of his priestly life, Bishop Brendan Kelly has been asked by Pope Francis to be the next bishop of Galway. He succeeds Bishop Martin Drennan who has also been a member of the Jesus Caritas Fraternity and who resigned as bishop in 2016 for reasons of health.

Brendan Kelly (71) has been bishop of the small diocese of Achonry (39,000 Catholics) since 2007. His new Diocese of Galway and Kilmacduagh has over 110,000 Catholics. In 1995-96 he spent a year ministering to the sick and disabled of the l’Arche community in France.

On Monday congratulations were sent to Bishop Brendan on behalf of the Irish Fraternity wishing him blessings and good health. Bishop Kelly is due to begin his ministry in Galway in February 2018.

NEW BISHOP OF RAPHOE A MEMBER OF THE IRISH JESUS CARITAS FRATERNITY

Alan McGuckian, a member of a fraternity in the Diocese of Down and Connor and a Jesuit priest was named as the new bishop of the Diocese of Raphoe on 9th June. He was ordained bishop on 6th August, the feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord. A gifted preacher and noted ecumenist, Bishop Alan had for many years been a visitor to the Irish language speaking areas of County Donegal which are now in his new Diocese. Bishop Alan has two brothers, Michael and Bernard who are also members of the Society of Jesus. He is the first ever member of his order to have been appointed a bishop in Ireland.

Irish Fraternity to meet at the beginning of 2018 to elect new national responsible

Members of the Irish Fraternity will gather at Mount St. Joseph’s Cistercian Abbey at the beginning of 2018 for their annual post-Christmas sharing. This time they will also have to choose as new responsible as the 6-year term of Liam Ó Cuív comes to an end.

The gathering will begin on 1st January and continue until 4th January.

PDF: Liam-OCuiv-NEWS-FROM IRELAND