Letter to Gianantonio, 28 August 2018

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Dear brother,
this morning you celebrated your Passover and the Lord has taken you into his arms as a most dear son. We have prayed much for you, and our prayer has not been in vain. You are in the best place among the blessed, you, who for 57 days were deprived of liberty while kidnapped in Cameroon, you, who did not lose hope in this past year of illness, you have given us every sign of peace and of confidence. “With boundless confidence…” You, who have made the Prayer of Abandonment your life, as did Charles de FOUCAULD. You, a brother loved by all those you have served, tended and worked for… I must thank you for the precious witness of your life, where you have not given up or left to others the mission the Lord entrusted to you.

Your goodbye pains me greatly, but I know that it is temporary. We shall meet in the fraternity of the Children of God and we shall recall the chain prayer campaign around the world for your freedom while kidnapped with Gilberte, whom I had the great joy of visiting in Montreal, and she showed me the objects she had during the kidnapping, and Giampaolo, your missionary companion in Cameroon. I remember with joy the news of your being freed. The bells of many churches in Spain, Italy and so many places rang out that Easter season 2014. Your kidnapping moved us to contemplate the lack of freedom for humanity, for oppressed peoples, for the poorest of the poor, the boot of the mighty that crushes the humble, the manipulation of the lives of human beings by commercial interests and the power that does not show its face, only by means of its hatchet bearers… Yet the human being and his rights, as Pope Francis so often repeats, is above all ideology.

Your Italian Fraternity, your family, your diocese of Vicenza, your friends in Cameroon, are going to miss you, and all the brothers of the Priestly Fraternity shall have you as a benchmark of missionary commitment, courageous, a man of God, who leaves a mark to encourage us to continue working for the Kingdom and its justice. Giampaolo, your mission companion in Cameroon, will continue sowing the seed of this Kingdom that grows from the small and insignificant of our world.

I had the great joy of meeting you personally in Castelfranco, Italy in 2015, and in Rudy, Poland, last Summer, sharing with you in the European Assembly of the Fraternity.

Something told me that you should take care of your health, and I said this to you. Over these past months we have been in touch and I have followed your case with concern. Today I thank the Lord for your life, for how you continued overcoming trials with that human quality of yours which teaches me to value the negative of life, knowing that if the grain of wheat does not die, it does not bear fruit. Like brother Charles, you have given everything for the most disadvantaged, and that fills me with joy, despite the pain of separation. From all that we consider painful, I am certain that something new, unexpected, positive and good for ourselves and for others emerges. Thanks for teaching me to have patience and peace.

Pray for us to God who today fills you with grace and love.

We will always remember you.

Aurelio SANZ BAEZA,
brother responsible, Priestly Fraternity Iesus Caritas,

Perín, Cartagena, Murcia, Spain, 28th August, 2018, The Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist

Biographical Note:

Gianantonio ALLEGRI, member of the Priestly Fraternity Iesus Caritas. Born 1957 in Pievebelcino (Vicenza, Italy). Ordained 1982. Curate in several parishes of Vicenza diocese. From 1991 to 2001 he worked as a Fidei Donum missionary in Cameroon. He returned to serve as Parish Priest of Magré di Schio until 2013. He returns to Cameroon and is kidnapped by Boko Haram for 57 days, with his companions, Sister Gilberte BOUSSIÈRE, from Quebec, and Giampaolo MARTA of the same diocese of Vicenza. Following his liberation, he returns to his diocese and serves as Parish Priest of Santa Maria Bertilla in Vicenza.

This morning he reached the arms of the Father after fighting cancer for a year.

PDF: Letter to Gianantonio, 28 August 2018, eng

Brother is to be responsible of the other one. Open Hands, June 2018. Aurelio SANZ BAEZA

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The fraternity us makes possible to live through the brother’s concept beyond the place of a family. Brother is to be more than friend or companion. In the religious life the expression is used very much ” brothers in Christ “. This can suppose a reality or a polite way of speaking. I like it more ” brothers as Jesus “. We are a part of he and he of we.

In the fraternity to be brothers is also to be a support in his mission, in his person as worker, that worries what it does, his illusions, his health, his problems, his happy moments … Not only we are brothers to pray together, or to celebrate the eucharist and to give us the embrace of the peace. We are brothers when the life does problem to itself and when the life flows with simplicity, in the small thing, in Nazareth.

In the review of life we have the space where we put on the table the book opened of our heart. It is important that the book is opened, that could read, that he does not lack pages, though the pages are old, or wrinkled, or spotted …

To be a brother is to be also responsible for the happiness of other brothers, in his life, because to live through the fraternity in the monthly meeting or in a retirement is not difficult. What makes us missionaries is to continue being a brother in every day of our lives. Because of it my mission is also the mission of my brothers, and my difficulties are an object of help of the others, and this way reciprocally.

The fraternity is not only a group of companions priests, with a spirituality, that of the brother Charles, who guides us and gives us a pastoral style and the liturgy. The brothers in the fraternity we must have the freedom to say to us with clarity the things. If not with a perfect communication, yes with a sincere, transparent word, where we could listen to ourselves and some to others. Because of it the review of life is the way where we look in the mirror of the others, where we remove ourselves weighed in our lives that it us paralyzes often, or that provokes his fears or prejudices. The review of life is a space of harmony, where they look at the eyes of the heart, since Jesus was looking.

Charles de FOUCAULD taught us in the complexity of his searches, his changes, to find the God’s will, which is what God wants for the world, for the Church, for our fraternities, for each of us. It is not a medical recipe or psychological consolation. It is to be able to listen to God in the silence, be able to live through the style of Nazareth with the persons of our environment, be religious or not, be Christian or of other confessions. When we help ourselves as brothers to living through this, leaving the theory aside, we are helping to the world to be happier.

We have many challenges in our lives, as priests with many responsibilities, and as missionaries. The Gospel is the way of every day, and it is necessary to fight, as Jesus, against our forces, which we have. The style of mission of the brother Carlos calls us to answering to this challenge. The company us demands to be effective and efficient, and imposes on us a pace that does not do us well. Our spirit, life of prayer, our integral being, is sometimes wounded, damaged. The brothers help us to recover the wounds, to transform, to be new men.

In January, 2019 we will celebrate our General Assembly in Cebu, Philippines, and this topic of the mission like diocesan priests inspired by the charisma of Charles de FOUCAULD is going to be studied, treated, with many calls to our personal lives and to the fraternidades of the world. Let’s not leave it for the last moment …

Spirit and force in the next Month of Nazareth also in Philippines. The Month of Nazareth is the space and time of a great privilege to live through the fraternity in all his extension, finding the others, to the brothers, finding Jesus, living through the desert as the God’s gift that looks for us to give us all his love and they are call us his children.

A big and brotherly embrace.

Aurelio SANZ BAEZA, brother responsible

Perín, Cartagena, Murcia, Spain, 10 June 2018

(Sorry my bad English!)

PDF: Brother is to be also responsible of other one, Open Hands, June 2018

Our brother Silvio GUTERRES DUTRA, new bishop

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The nomination by Pope Francis of our brother Silvio as bishop is a great joy for the Fraternity and for the Church.

I had the joy of sharing with him the retreat for the fraternities of Braziil in Florianópolis, and last February the II Panamerican Assembly of the fraternity in Santo Domingo. His close and fraternal style has always been for all a good, a reward of the many that God gives us without earning them.

Silvio was born June 6, 1966 in Encruzilhada do Sul (Rio Grande do Sul). He studied philosophy and theology at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome.

He was ordained priest on December 18, 1993 in the Diocese of Porto Alegre, and after various pastoral missions in parishes and the seminary, since 2013 he has been Rector of the Seminary of Viamâo.

He is a member of the fraternity of Porto Alegre and is the national responsible of the fraternities of Brazil, in succession to Gildo.

His episcopal ordination will be held in the Charqueadas Sports Arena, which adjoins the church of Cristo Rei (Christ the King), at 3.00 pm on Sunday, July 22, 2018, and he will beginhis ministry as Pastor of the Diocese of Vacaria on 5th August at 10.00 am, in the Cathedral of Nossa Senhora de Oliveira.

Let us add our joy, and prayers for Silvio and his diocesan community, for the simple people who teach us the path of Jesus in its steps, in its hopes and in its just struggles.

Aurelio SANZ BAEZA, brother responsible

PDF: Our brother Silvio GUTERRES DUTRA, new bishop, eng

Asian Month of Nazareth: Letter from Baguio

Theme of the Month of Nazareth in Baguio: “Following Jesus of Nazareth in the foot steps of Charles de Foucauld”

The Filipino Fraternity played host to the 6th Asian Jesus Caritas Month of Nazareth at Mt. Peace Retreat Center, Baguio City. Priests/Brothers from 6 countries responded. While most of them arrived on time safe and sound, a few joined in between. Two members from India had a gruelling 12 hrs taxi ride from Manila to Baguio and had a tough time finding the exact location. Another Brother was so busy emailing at the airport lounge that he missed the scheduled plane and had to take another flight to Manila. But thanks be to the providence of Almighty, all those who were expected did arrive.

Read the entire document (PDF): Letter from Baguio 10 10 18

50th aniversary of the Cominitat de Jesús, family of Charles de FOUCAULD

Dear friends,

September 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the consecration of the first brothers and sisters to the Community of Jesus. The first commitments were made in the hermitage of Santa Creu in Montserrat (Barcelona) on 29th September 1968, our official birthday, in the presence of founder layman Pere Vilaplana who died thirty-five years ago. Today, accompanied by you all, relatives and friends, we celebrate 50 years of community life.

Montserrat saw the birth of our community after ties of communion and friendship with several monks of that abbey, especially with hermit monk Father Estanislau Llopart. He presided over that celebration and was during all the early years a spiritual counselor and guide in our personal growth and in that of the young community.

It was three years since the closing of Council Vatican II and renovation could still be felt in the Church. We, students, workers, young men and women who were making our way in life heard the call to commit to the Gospel in our daily lives. Our country was then under a dictatorship, after a fratricidal war of painful memory. However, cultural and social changes were underway, and a number of trade and students’ unions as well as cultural and spiritual associations were emerging. With some more permeable Pyrenees that allowed us to look beyond, especially towards France, we got to know movements of spiritual renewal. We were drawn by the message of Charles de Foucauld and Albert Peyriguère: living Nazareth, being Christians “at the heart of the world”. Contemplative and missionary at the same time. A maybe too ambitious objective but one which has been essential to us all the way through the years and still is today.

All of you children, parents, friends, companions in faith, neighbours of Tarrés know we have tried to lead dedicated lives. Each of us in different ways, according to our ages, jobs and personal and family situations. The gift of God has brought us here with the help of caring counsellors, your generous love and the contribution of all our brothers and sisters who have devoted part of their lives to the Community of Jesus. Inevitably, and due to our fragile human nature, we have gone through difficulties, crises and split-ups. However, there have been joyful times of sincere inner research, of gratuitousness in our commitment, of risk, growth and maturation.

Our community, a gift of God. Living the Gospel in community, a gift of God. Friendship, a charisma that identifies us, has knotted us and given us the strength to be faithful to God’s project: “Love”. Jesus and his disciples have shown us what spiritual friendship is: both demanding and respectful, always loving.

Before finishing, we would like to say thank you to those we have met along our long journey.

First of all, we would like to thank Claretian Father Antoni Andrés who has accompanied us during all these years, discretely, humbly, always there for us. He has been a great example to all of us and a devoted friend for whom we feel the deepest affection.

We are profoundly grateful to the monks of the Benedictine abbey of Montserrat, wise counsellors and beloved friends, already departed: Father Abat Cassià Just, Father Estanislau Llopart, Father Vilanova, Father Oriol Diví and, lately, Father Joan Carles Elvira. They will always be with us.

We would like to thank the diocesan bishops of Barcelona, Tarragona, Lleida, Valencia and Jaca for their support, and all the priests, monks and nuns from these and other dioceses. Most especially, Cardinal Narcís Jubany, who firmly believed in our project and promoted it.

We cannot forget the religious order of Hieronymite nuns at Sant Maties Monastery in Barcelona, a community of contemplative nuns who have offered us counsel and unconditional friendship along these fifty years.

Our most sincere gratitude to fraternities, communities and groups of the Spiritual Family of Charles de Foucauld in our country and abroad. They have been and are an example of commitment for us, and most of all, friends in the Friend.

We are particularly grateful to the people of Tarrés. The community of Jesus would not be what it is today without that first warm welcome 50 years ago. You are the reason why we are celebrating our anniversary here, today.

Finally, it would be unfair not to express our gratitude and love to our families: to our parents, most of them already departed, to our children and grandchildren. They all carry with them a trace of the spirit of the Community of Jesus. We humbly and joyfully believe that, with the help of God, we have instilled in them some of the values that guide us, like True Friendship.

Thank you very much to all of you on behalf of the brothers and sisters of the Community of Jesus.

Tarrés, 16th September 2018

PDF: 50th aniversary Comunitat de Jesús, family Charles de FOUCAULD, eng

Newsletter summer 2018. Fraternities United Estates

In this issue:

  • Priests with Current Dues … 2
  • Everywhere is Our Monastery – Days of Rest and Renewal in Detroit … 4
  • A Change of Culture/A New Book/Universal Brother Award … 6
  • National Fraternity … 7
  • Upcoming Dates … 8

From the Responsible

Dear Brothers,

I write this letter to you on the Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Before I knew Blessed Charles, I knew St. Ignatius. Blessed Charles helped me to see the importance of being committed to prayer with a monthly desert day and a daily holy hour, but it was St. Ignatius who gave me the spiritual resources to fill those times.

Long before it came into vogue, Ignatius taught anyone who would listen how to have a personal relationship with Jesus. His concept of conversing directly with Jesus through the use of the imagination is now a time-proven method of deepening one’s faith. His insights into the spiritual life in his Spiritual Exercises are unparalleled in helping to bring people into closer relationship with God.

As Diocesan priests we are more or less left to find our own path to a solid spiritual life. Led by God’s grace and guided by wonderful mentors like Mike Smith (for Charles) and Chuck Gallagher (for Ignatius) I found a spirituality that works; that intimately connects me to Jesus and the Father’s will for my life. I know the life of an eccentric French priest living among Moslems in the Sahara is not an easy “sell” for many Diocesan priests, but I think trying to understand how and why Blessed Charles lived out his deep love for Jesus can give spiritual strength to our priestly ministry.

Read the complete document