Letter of Jean François and Aurelio, Vernon, March 2017


Dear brothers,

We have worked this week on Fraternity affairs and especially, in relation to those who are at the heart of our concern and who motivate us, that is to say, each one of you. In this little Nazareth that is Vernon, at the home of our brother François MARIN, who has hosted us as if we were his sons, we remember you and thank God that you are our brothers. Many thanks, François, for providing a resting place for the pilgrim and receiving your brothers.

We centred our work on reviewing pending Fraternity issues in a good climate of dialogue, sharing ideas, viewpoints and the concern to resolve outstanding matters and for the immediate future operation of the Fraternity: the questionnaires for the European Assembly this Summer in Poland, and for the World meeting in India in January 2019, the finances of the International Fraternity, the furnishing of a 2016 Fraternity report to be sent to the Congregation for the Clergy in the Vatican, the new fraternity in Haiti, preparations for the meeting of responsibles and delegates of the Charles de FOUCAULD Family in April in Aachen, echoes of the Centenary of brother Charles, which arrive from different countries, our concerns for the health of Félix, from Madagascar, and the recovery of Suso, from Spain, having undergone surgery, etc.

On Monday, 6th March we shared with the responsibles for the Regions of Île de France and Normandy (Yves de MALLMANN, Joseph JOURJON, Louis YON and Xavier CHAVANE) in an extended time of dialogue and encounter. It was wonderful to be able to meet each other in fraternity, in order to share in common the realities of our fraternities and our concerns. We believe that in Europe we are living through a time of transition which is a real Nazareth with the ageing of our Fraternities. There is a very serious call to live this moment with optimism and with of love for this Nazareth spirituality while we are ever older with few young members joining us. Living simply and at the same time the commitment of a universal brotherhood in an Europe that is very focused on itself, and inward looking, rejecting the stranger, the refugee, full of fears that give rise to an increase of populist politics and reactionary trends. Faced with all this, and in line with Pope Francis, we feel called to give witness to Brother Charles’ message of universal brotherhood and the missionary character of our charism as the Jesus Caritas Fraternity of Priests. Dialogue with Muslims in Europe we believe to be possible, and many expressions of rapprochement are to be found in a great many Christian communities. Prejudices must come down and the temptation to regard others as a threat. For example, in France, a third of working class areas are Muslim. We must learn how to enter into dialogue with this reality.

On Tuesday 7th we had a visit from Jacques GAILLOT, Titular Bishop of Partenia, a member of the Fraternity who came from Paris to share in our work in Jean François’ home. The time we spent together was a great gift from the moment we picked him up at the Vernon train-station until his departure. We could learn from the wisdom of the simple how to be more humanitarian, how to be priests in a difficult world, how to be open to hope and how to live without the securities and comforts of being Westerners. Thank you, Jacques, for coming to spend time with us and for all the testimonies throughout your life of a dedication to the cause of Jesus.

On Wednesday 8th we worked in the morning and in the afternoon, we approached Gouville, in order to be with Michel PINCHON, whom we found to be strong and sound. His home is open to numerous visits of the people of the locality or from further afield with whom he shares with generosity his experience and wisdom. We had supper with Jean Louis RATTIER and took part in the meeting of the Bible workshop of his parish in Damville, sharing on his pastoral activity and his day to day work. It is always rewarding to take part in each brother’s Nazareth, both exterior and interior. Nazareth is the lived experience of how we situate ourselves fraternally before all that surrounds us, in an ever-closer union with Jesus.

We highly valued the work of Fernando TAPIA, Jean Michel BORTHEIRIE and Manuel POZO in Almería, Spain, drawing up a basic outline on the Month of Nazareth. This document will be studied for approval at the Bangalore Assembly. Thanks to these brothers for having responded to this request from us in the International Team.

Let us remember that we must make an effort in all regions to support the International fund, especially as the next World Assembly in Bangalore in 2019 has a budget to meet and we need to cover expenses. As an International Team we try to save resources as much as possible. Our thanks to those fraternities who have already generously paid their share.

Our web-site iesuscaritas.org is open to the contributions of all fraternities. We await your articles, news and notices of forthcoming to publish them in our Diary. This is a means of communication that brings us closely together.

Our time of reflection has also taken into account the call to live, as a Fraternity, our ministry as missionaries within the diocesan presbyterate, wherever we are based, be it a parish, a hospital, a prison, or with organisations that help refugees, or people displaced by war or poverty, or in places that care for the needy of our societies, with the call to go to the last, like Charles de FOUCAULD, because it is there that we meet Christ. As Pope Francis reminds us, there is no spiritual life without an open, generous and merciful heart.

Let us go forth, then, let us go forth to offer everyone the life of Jesus Christ…I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security… More than by fear of going astray, my hope is that we will be moved by the fear of remaining shut up within structures which give us a false sense of security, within rules which make us harsh judges, within habits which make us feel safe, while at our door people are starving and Jesus tirelessly repeats to us: Give them something to eat yourselves” (Mk 6:37). (Evangelli Gaudium, 49)

From Vernon, we wish you a holy Lent and a path to Easter with Jesus and the brothers and sisters as companions on the road.

A big embrace.

Jean François and Aurelio

Vernon, Normandy, France, 10 March, 2017

(Thanks so much, Liam, for translate to English)

PDF: Letter of Jean François and Aurelio, Vernon, March 2017, eng.

WEND BE NE DO, a project born in the fraternities


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



Carlos LLANO is a sportsman, economist, founder of the NGO Childhood Smile and a volunteer and co-worker with the Foundation Tienda Asilo de San Pedro of Cartagena, Spain, in the WEND BE NE DO project in Burkina Faso. He recently went as a volunteer to the island of Lesbos, in Greece, to work with refugees. We offer his valuable testimony. Thanks, Carlos.

We live at such a pace and so attached to our mundane first world needs that if we could to stand back and take a good look at ourselves, we would feel ourselves revolted. The world has serious problems to solve: it is estimated that there are 300,000 child soldiers and that already in 2016 some 5,000 refugees or migrants have drowned in the Mediterranean, but generally we are more concerned about our petty first world problems than that which may be happening beyond our borders, terrible and all as these events are.

We see them so distant that, since we think we can do so little, we end up doing nothing. The problems of the world are not solved by accepting them with resignation or indifference or by blaming governments. The world’s problems are mine, they’re yours, they are ours. The world changes affected and inspired by our day to day behaviour. If I don’t want to see any more drownings, I must make the firm decision to go and do my tiny bit, that no matter how small it is, it is gigantic compared to inaction or the hundreds of messages that we can post on our social websites.

Lesbos is a small Greek island in the middle of the Aegean Sea very close to the Turkish coast. There are two refugee camps there: Karatepe, which still retains a certain dignity, where there are entire families, mainly of Syrians, but which could even have families from the Dominican Republic. Yes, I repeat, from the Dominican Republic. When you have nothing, you will even risk your life, because you have nothing to lose besides it, and desperation can reach such a level that even life becomes worthless.

In Karatepe each family has its own UNHCR tent, they have blankets, mattresses and the REMAR volunteers assume the task of bringing them two meals daily delivered to the very door. The children play in the tent ‘estate’, and with hope for a better life it seems that not all is lost.

The other refugee camp is Moria. An old prison with capacity for 2,000 people where more than 5,000 are crammed into large field tents which float when it rains and the mud slides down the embankment. The tension is patent and one’s only desire is to get through those high fences full of barbs. Here there are no families, there are lots of young men and some women with young children. Each one with their own nationality, customs, language and culture. Nigerian youths who are fleeing because Boko Haram kills, kidnaps and tortures whoever they wish. Pakistani teenagers who no longer wish to live in a country where Isis comes to a village to slit the throats of all the women and shoot all the men until the village is left without a trace of life. These are true stories that they have recounted to me while I helped for hours carrying out the banality of cutting kilos and kilos of potatoes to allow those thousands of youths, women and children to eat united in desperation seeing no light at the end of the tunnel, seeing that the authorities keep them there forgotten and with the passage of time we remember them less and less in our thoughts. The dehumanization is such that criminal gangs have turned the problem into a profitable business where they charge between 3,000 and 5,000 euros per person for a boat journey without any security, overweight as a result of cramming more and more people without even room to move, where no individual is allowed carry any luggage, as it would take up space that another refugee could pay for, and with a few lifejackets filled with rubbish rather than air, which in case of need and for its lack of buoyancy, will cost another life, adding to the number of 5,000 people who have already drowned in the Mediterranean in 2016. Our disquiet or our indifference remain in the face of this human disaster that seems to be a total impasse. To change the world is in our hands.


PDF: The Island of Lesbos, a Refuge of Hope, eng


Monsignor Howard Calkins
June 11, 1940 — April 14, 2017

Fr. Sammy Taylor has reported that one of the giants of our fraternity, Howie Calkins, has died. Howie had been an early leader of the fraternity on the East Coast and had served as our National Responsible from 1979 through 1985. For the past few years, his Good Friday and participation in the Paschal Mystery have been experienced through the fog of Alzheimer’s. Praise God his Easter has come and it is time for him to now enjoy new and everlasting life.

Msgr. Howard Calkins, who had served as pastor of Sacred Heart parish, Mount Vernon, beginning in 1996, retired on November 1, 2012. Howie had also served as regional vicar of the South Shore Vicariate from 1997 until 2010. He was pastor of St. Joseph of the Holy Family parish, Harlem, 1982-1995 where his Funeral Mass will most likely take place. He was co-pastor of St. Jerome’s, the Bronx, 1980-1982. He also served as parochial vicar of the following parishes: St. Charles Borromeo, Harlem, 1996; Corpus Christi, Manhattan, 1976-1980; St. John’s, Kingsbridge, the Bronx, 1971-1976; and St. Matthew’s, Hastings-on-Hudson, 1967-1971. He was ordained in 1967 and named a monsignor in 1990.


Letter from Jean François and Aurelio, Vernon, March 2017, in Dutch

Lieve Broeders,

we zijn deze week samengekomen om te werken voor de Priesterfraterniteit die ons allen verbindt.

We hebben de personen opgeroepen die in het hart staan van onze bekommernissen en die ons motiveren voor de dienst die we samen aannemen: namelijk elkeen van jullie.

In dit kleine Nazareth Vernon, in het huis van onze broeder François MARIN, die ons ontvangt als een vader, brengen wij God dank voor de broeders die jullie voor ons zijn.

Dank, François voor de gastvrijheid die je broederlijk aanbiedt aan de pelgrims die wij zijn.

Dit werk hebben we toegespitst op het herlezen van het leven van onze fraterniteiten.

Wij hebben gedialogeerd en onze meningen en bekommernissen gedeeld om te pogen een antwoord te brengen omtrent de vragen die het leven van onze fraterniteit aanbelangen in de onmiddellijke toekomst:

– de Europese bijeenkomst van de fraterniteiten in Polen deze zomer (Rudy)
– de Wereldbijeenkomst in Indië januari 2019 (Bangalore)
– het bilan van onze activiteiten in 2016 voor de Congregatie van de Clerus in het Vaticaan
– het lanceren van de Fraterniteit in Haïti
– het project om de verantwoordelijken van de verschillende takken van de spirituele Foucauldfamilie te ontmoeten in Aachen, april 2017
– de echo’s van het Jubileumjaar t.g.v. de Honderdste verjaardag van de zalige Charles de FOUCAULD die ons bereiken uit verscheidene landen
– de zorgen omtrent de gezondheid van onze broeder uit Madagaskar Felix
– onze vreugde het herstel te zien bij het verlaten van het ziekenhuis van Suso (Fraterniteit van Madrid, Spanje) na zijn chirurgische ingreep

Maandag 6 maart hebben we een uitwisseling gehad met de verantwoordelijken van de regio Île de France en Normandië (Yves de MALLMANN, Joseph JOURJON, Louis YON en Xavier CHAVANE).

Het was goed elkaar te ontmoeten om de werkelijkheid van het leven en de zorgen van onze fraterniteiten centraal te plaatsen.

Wij erkennen dat wij de ‘doortocht’ in onze Europese Fraterniteiten die steeds maar verouderen, beleven als een echte ‘Nazareth’-tijd.

Het weze een krachtige oproep om deze ‘passage’ hoopvol door te maken om in liefde de tijd van verouderen te beleven in de spiritualiteit van Nazareth. En dit terwijl wij met realisme vaststellen dat er nog weinig jongeren tot onze fraterniteiten toetreden.

Deze tijd dienen wij in eenvoud te beleven en in trouw, om ten einde toe te getuigen van het geloof dat ons bezielt. En dit in een Europa dat de neiging heeft zich terug te plooien op zichzelf, dat weigert vreemdelingen en vluchtelingen te onthalen en dat bang is. Deze angsten vertalen zich in het stijgen van populistische en reactionaire bewegingen.

Vóór alles, in de lijn van paus Franciscus, zijn wij geroepen om door ons leven de universele broederschap te manifesteren die broeder Charles ons nalaat en het missionair charisma van onze priesterfraterniteit Jesus Caritas.

Wij geloven dat de dialoog met de moslims in Europa mogelijk is! Wij beleven die ook in verschillende christelijke gemeenschappen door concrete acties waarbij we elkaar ontmoeten en nabij zijn. De vooroordelen en de bekoringen om in de andere een bedreiging te zien, moeten een voor een vallen. Bijvoorbeeld, in Frankrijk, in sommige volksbuurten, zijn een derde van de inwoners moslim. Wij dienen te leren om samen te leven en om te dialogeren met de werkelijkheid zoals ze zich presenteert.

Dinsdag 7 maart hebben wij in het logement van Jean-François bezoek gekregen van Jacques Gaillot, bisschop van Partenia, lid van onze fraterniteit. Hij is van Parijs gekomen om te participeren aan ons werk. De tijd die we met hem mochten doorbrengen vanaf zijn komst in het station te Vernon tot aan zijn vertrek is een echt geschenk geweest. In de uitwisselingen hebben we kunnen profiteren van zijn wijsheid om te verdiepen hoe we priester kunnen zijn in deze moeilijke tijd, hoe we kunnen blijven openstaan voor hoopvolle dingen en hoe we ons bereid kunnen maken ons te bevrijden van onze zekerheden en van ons Westers comfort… Dank je wel, Jacques dat je er was om jouw levensgetuigenis en je gegeven zijn aan Christus met ons te delen.

Woensdag 8 maart in de namiddag zijn we naar Michel Pinchon getrokken in het pastorij van Gouville. We troffen hem sterk aan, in goede gezondheid. Wij hebben kunnen vaststellen dat zijn huis open blijft voor heel veel bezoeken van mensen uit zijn dorp en verder en dat hij op een edelmoedige wijze zijn ervaringen en wijsheid deelt. We hebben ’s avonds in Dammier het avondmaal genoten met Jan-Louis Rattier, lid van de fraterniteit met Jean-François en de hebben deelgenomen aan een bijeenkomst met mensen uit zijn parochie om na te denken over het Woord van God. Zo konden we delen in zijn dagelijkse pastorale ervaringen. Het is altijd een genade te mogen delen in de Nazareth-ervaring in een christelijke gemeenschap met een broeder van de Fraterniteit, om het leven te beluisteren van de christenen en hun gemeenschap met Christus.

We hebben ook het werk gewaardeerd van Fernando TAPIA, van Jean-Michel BORTHEIRIE en van Manuel POZO in Almera, Spanje, om een document te maken over de ‘Nazarethmaand’. Dit document zal bestudeerd worden en goedgekeurd in de Bijeenkomst van Bangalore. Dank aan deze broeders die op die wijze beantwoord hebben aan de vraag van de Internationale Equipe.

Wij herinneren er meteen nog eens aan dat wij rekenen op de bijdrage van alle regionen om het budget te spijzen voor de internationale Equipe en dit vooral met het oog op de Wereldbijeenkomst in Bangalore, januari 2019. Voor wie het aangaat, wil de Internationale Equipe deze ontmoeting voorzien tegen een betaalbare prijs.

Heel veel dank voor de fraterniteiten die hun bijdrage met edelmoedigheid reeds hebben in orde gebracht.

Onze webstek iesuscaritas.org staat open voor alle fraterniteiten. Wij hopen dat jullie artikelen sturen, nieuws en het aankondigen van de toekomstige initiatieven om ze in de ‘agenda’ aan te plaatsen. Het is een manier om elkaar wederzijds nabij te zijn. Wij vinden het belangrijk dat onze fraterniteiten plaatsen zijn waar wij vernemen hoe we missionair kunnen zijn binnen onze diocesane priestercorpsen.

Op deze plaatsen waar we parochies, hospitalen, gevangenissen, onthaal voor vreemdelingen (verjaagd uit hun landen door oorlog of armoede) en plaatsen van solidariteit met de meest bedreigden van onze samenleving terugvinden, bewaren wij de geest van het appel van Broeder Charles om de ‘laatsten’ te vervoegen. Want het is met hen dat wij de Christus ontmoeten. Er is geen open spiritueel leven mogelijk zonder een edelmoedig en barmhartig hart.

Paus Franciscus nodigt er ons dringend toe uit: « Laten naar buiten treden om aan allen het leven van Jezus Christus aan te bieden… Ik verkies een gehavende Kerk, gekneusd en vuil omdat ze de straat is opgegaan, eerder dan een Kerk die ziek is omdat ze in zichzelf zit opgesloten, gehecht aan het comfort van haar eigen zekerheden. … Meer dan de vrees ons te vergissen, hoop ik dat we bezield blijven door de vrees opgesloten te zitten in structuren die ons een valse bescherming geven, in normen die ons tot onverbiddelijke rechters maken, in gewoontes waarin we ons comfortabel voelen, terwijl er buiten een uitgehongerde menigte wacht en Jezus maar voor ons blijft herhalen: “Jullie moeten hun te eten geven” Mc 6,37).” (De Vreugde van het evangelie, nr. 49).

Vanuit Vernon wensen we jullie een heilzame vasten en een mooie weg naar Pasen toe met Jezus en met je broers en zussen waarmee je tocht bent.

Jean-François en Aurelio

Vernon, Normandië, Frankrijk, 10 maart 2017

PDF: Brief van Jean François en Aurelio, Vernon, maart 2017, neer

General orientations for the month of Nazareth

Fernando Tapia Miranda, priest
Responsible for the Pan-American Fraternity of JESUS CARITAS

The Pan-American Assembly of our Priestly Fraternity was realized in Cuernavaca, MÉXICO, in February of 2016, at which time was proposed the formation of an international Team “to convoke a team of four persons to realize a specific study about the identity, finality, contents and manner of realizing the Month of Nazareth, that will permit writing a document with the Common Orientations, respecting the particular cultures of each country. This document will be presented for approval in the next General Assembly” 1.

The International Team accepted this proposal and in their meeting of October of 2016, decided to solicit Manuel Pozo (Spain), Jean Michel Bortheirie (France) and Fernando Tapia (Chile), to form this commission and write a document about the Month of Nazareth.

The three accepted this charge and worked from our places of origin, studied the articles from the bulletins JESUS CARITAS about the Month of Nazareth, collecting experiences and materials elaborated for former Months of Nazareth from the different countries.

Finally we united in Almeria, Spain, from February 20-24, 2017, to realize our work. Manuel Pozo received us in his parish Our Lady of Monserrat, with a great spirit of fraternity. We initiated our daily Workshop with Eucharistic Adoration and Lauds and finalized the evening with the Eucharist, together with the parish community.

We three have had experiences in receiving and giving (directing) the Month of Nazareth, so that the work was very fluent, participative and very awarding. The principal Inspirational reference was for us the text approved in the International Assembly realized by our Fraternity, in Algeria, in 1982, titled, “The Month of Nazareth” and that has been incorporated in the last editions of our Directory.

The principal destination of our work is for the Regional Responsible Persons and their Teams, as well as the Coordinators of the Months of Nazareth and their teams. The First Part contains the general Orientations in relation to what is the Month of Nazareth, its Objectives, the criteria for the realization, the profile of the Coordinator of the Month, the levels of its realization and the development of a typical day.

The Second Part also (the longer part) contains the themes of reflection, questions for the personal and group work, and the themes for the meditations of the week of retreat, with some exercises for the personal prayer. They should be a help for the speakers at the hour of preparation of the reflections as well as the meditations of the retreat.

We give thanks to God for the possibility of collaborating in this work that is so important for our Fraternity and we place it in the hands of the International Team that charged us with the work.

Almeria, February 25, 2017.


1. Pan-American Assembly, document “Building together our future. Proposals of growth for our Fraternities”, February 2016.