A European Assembly in the horizon!

Many unfortunate adventures have marked our European Responsible Team since it was set up during the last European assembly of the Fraternity held in Rudy in Poland in July 2017. A brother from Germany, Kuno KOHN, was elected as European leader and he decided to invite two other brothers to form a team: Gianantonio ALLEGRI, from Italy and Alain FOURNIER-BIDOZ, the author of these lines.

In August 2018 Gianantonio died and Joe Deegan, a brother from Ireland, was invited to succeed him.

A European Assembly was planned to take place in July 2020, at Douai Abbey, in England, but due to the COVID pandemic it was cancelled. A date was chosen for another European Assembly to proceed in July 2021 in a new location, Annecy, in France, but faced with the uncertainties that remained on the possibilities of travel within Europe, a decision was taken to cancel once again.

Following the wonderful occasion of the Canonization of Br. Charles and our mini-Assembly in Rome last May, we have decided to proceed with the next assembly which we hope and pray will take place from Tuesday July 11 to Tuesday July 18, 2022, at the Diocesan House of Annecy in Annecy, a city well served by train and close to the airport of Geneva.

Each assembly allows us to take stock of the situation of our fraternities in Europe, to have a beautiful spiritual experience of encounter and to discern together through the necessary openness of our sharing. In a letter sent to National Responsibles in preparation for the proposed Assembly in 2020, Kuno proposed as the theme of this assembly: “Living transformation in the spirit of brother Charles” and he explained it thus: “Following the International Assembly of Cebu we propose to remember that the most important thing is to experience Transformation”.

Éric Lozada, following his election as International Responsible, in his inaugural letter invited us to; “go to the geographical and existential peripheries, to be missionary priests: this is the way to grow every day in a dynamic of death and resurrection with Jesus, our Brother and Lord” and to; “learn to live according to a transformed lifestyle, not only with the poor or for the poor but as poor priests in a poor Church: this is the way for us to let go of the need for control, which is the opposite of faith, of trust in God.”

We invite you to allow yourself to be imperfect, to be, as St. Paul writes, “a fool for Christ.”

We propose 2 questions that could be used for reflection by all the fraternities and we invite you to bring some feedback from the groups to share during the assembly:

  1. How can people recognize that we are on the way to experiencing a transformation in the spirit of Brother Charles?
  2. How can we try to live with a mentality of “beginning” so as to become more and more the “Universal brother”?
    To these two questions, a third should be added in connection to the the letter from the International Team regarding the promotion of Jesus Caritas Priests Fraternity;
  3. What experience do we have to share in terms of initiatives to promote the Fraternity and attract new members among our confreres.

It goes without saying that to these questions must be added, on the one hand, a re-reading of the ordeal of the pandemic, which affected all the countries of Europe and had a significant impact on the life of our fraternities and on the other hand to experience again the graces of the event that was the Canonization of Brother Charles.
Thank you in advance to all for contributing to the reflection and thus feeding the work of the delegates to the Annecy Assembly.
In support of the chosen theme, our English brothers who were to receive us in 2020 had suggested Cardinal Newman’s very moving poem “Lead Kindly Light”:

Lead, Kindly Light, amidst th’encircling gloom,
Lead Thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home,
Lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene; one step enough for me.

In Annecy it will be rather St. Francis de Sales who will come to reinforce the intercession of Brother Charles, for the smooth and successful flow of our work!

Fraternally in Christ Jesus,
Kuno, Alain & Joe (European Continental Team of Jesus Caritas.)


PDF: European Assembly Letter 2023



Summer Retrait July 2023, UK and Ireland

A 5 Day Retreat July 2023

Organised by the Jesus Caritas Priests’ Fraternities, under the patronage of St. Charles de Foucauld, but open to all Clergy who wish to enjoy a time for Adoration, Reflection & Prayerful Fraternity.

  • DATE: Monday3rd July (registration and tea: from 4pm) to Friday7th July 2023 (depart after lunch)
  • BOOKING DEADLINE: Please book by 1st June 2023
  • Organiser: Fr. Barnabas Page
  • Speaker: Mgr. Pat Kilgarriff

Complete info and booking form in DOCX format:Summer.Retreat. 2023 Booking Form.Final

Christmas Letter to the Brothers around the World

Day of Mary’s visitation to Elizabeth
Christmas Letter to the brothers around the world

“Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign: the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son and will call him Emmanuel” (Isaiah 7:14, NIV)

“It is not necessary to teach others, to cure them or improve them; it is only necessary to live among them, sharing the human condition and being present to them in love.” (a quote from Brother Charles)

Dear brothers, I greet you all with great joy and hope-filled peace from the Emmanuel!!!

How is everything with you? What realities and concerns are you holding these days? Are you radiating the Christmas message to the people around – your brother-priests, your bishop, the margins in the parish, your immediate neighbors? Are you attending to your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health while you do multi-tasks in ministerial work? What spaces are you creating in community for the Emmanuel to come into your lives together? What invitations from the Spirit are you responding so that you may journey together as a synodal community? And how is the life and charism of our dear Brother Charles making a difference in the way you live your call and in the quality of your response to these invitations? These are big questions that I wish to contemplate with you. Let our life in fraternity and our doing missionary work be deepened by the questions we hold.

What a joy to write to you a letter at this season of Christmas. More than just a mere tradition in the Fraternity, I am writing to you with a heart of a brother who longs to be in communion with you and who has a great admiration for all your creativity, fidelity, hard work and passion for Jesus and the Gospel in the footsteps of Brother Charles. I am holding your stories and faces – those whom I have met in person and those of you whom I have heard living Nazareth in the peripheries. (While writing this letter, I am told about the passing of 2 senior brothers, Alvaro Gonzalez from Chile and Antonino from Madrid fraternities. While we grieve their losses, we equally rejoice over 2 of our brothers who come home to the Father as faithful disciples of Jesus. May they now enjoy eternal peace).

Christmas is a “Kairos moment,” the most appropriate time to take a long, loving look with new eyes at all of creation in different levels and forms– the human community, natural ecology, politics, economics, culture, religion, blended social relationships– in the light of the loving plan of the Creator. Through the mystery of the Incarnate God, all of creation, including natural ecology is radically transformed as a meeting place with God. What used to be radical opposites in the eyes of the world are now bridged and restored to their original setting in God’s great design. Everything now is in God. Everything belongs to God. It is an inclusive universe after all.

But the world seems to be not ready for this God. It insists in a world where God is edged out and humanity creates an idol of the egoic self with self-serving, self-referential, delusional views, assumptions and ideologies. This was made prominent during the pandemic. The way we regard ourselves in relation to the Other, be it from within the family, parish community or among nations, we wear the masks of mistrust and deception concealing a lie that the egoic self is the reference point and the other a disposable entity. With globalized market, everything has been commodified. Notwithstanding the benefits of technology and social media, they have become “faithful servants” of the market. The poor, including Mother Earth as the new poor is crying for help. Power, authority and wealth could be used to restore, rehabilitate, serve and care but it seems that greed, apathy, indifference has gained the upper hand. It blinds the mind and numbs the heart from taking responsibility. So, it’s a dark world after all.

Precisely, this was the spirit of the original Christmas – the world was not ready (there is no room in the inn) that the Emmanuel has to be born in the periphery, at the dead, quiet night, without fun fares. This is the wisdom of Pope Francis’ invitation for us to go to the peripheries and meet God there. We just need to ask the Spirit to give us new eyes to capture the signs, ordinary and insignificant they may be but they are gifts from God leading us to new light. In our scripture readings at Mass, we have been listening to stories of insignificant personalities as the path ways of the Emmanuel. They all seem to be facing moral dilemmas – in their barrenness, where is the light? In following their own plan, where is the divine plan? In their loneliness, helplessness, fear, shame, where is the way out? Precisely, in these very moments, God decides to come and live amongst us.

The only path that the Emmanuel chose to come into the world seems to be that of ordinary people in the peripheries, facing realities of suffering and pain and struggling to make a fundamental choice, either for hope or despair, for violence or for peace, for darkness or for light, for God or against Him. The Spirit through an angel has to overshadow them in order to free them from everything that makes them unfree so that may freely submit to the bigger divine plan. When in our lives and ministries, we choose to collaborate with others than to be self-sufficient, to listen to the other than to do our own self talk, to care than to incapsulate ourselves in our own comfort, to understand the other patiently than to insist that we be understood, to serve rather than be served, we become little path ways of the Emmanuel present in our world, one moment, one person at a time. Our is little and small, a daily choice to make but precisely it becomes the sacred path of the Emmanuel when we do it very well. Brother Charles is our icon of hope. Pope Francis has recognized him in Fratelli Tutti as our path to dialogue and universal fraternity. Ours is to do our daily and monthly practice of the spirituality with resolve and determined action that we become joyful signs of the Emmanuel in our world today.

So, rejoice, dear brothers, Christmas is after all, a season of glad tidings and hope.

Here is a path for us so that we may deepen our practice and devotion to Bro Charles especially now that his life and charism has been recognized by the universal church. After the canonization, I received 20 relics of Bro Charles from the dicastery through Bishop John MacWilliams of the Sahara. These relics are available for us. We, from the international team, wish to hand carry them to you after you have written a letter of request addressed to ericlozada@yahoo.com. First come, first serve. The only requirement is that you organize a public devotion to his honor, most especially in seminaries and parishes named after him. Thank you very much.

May the Emmanuel empower us to capture the signs of our times, listen to their invitations in prayer and discernment and act on them in collaboration with God’s people as pathways of the Emmanuel becoming present in our world today.

With my fraternal love and embrace,
Eric, your servant-brother

PDF: Christmas Letter to the Brothers around the World