Letter of the international team, Asian Assembly, october 2019

FRATERNITIES IN MISSION

« As they prayed, the house where they were assembled rocked. From this they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to proclaim the Word of God fearlessly. The whole group of believers was united, heart and soul » (Act 4, 31-32).

Dearly beloved brothers,

In solidarity with the bishops gathered for the Synod of the Amazon, we, your brothers of the international team, regretfully without Tony because he could not get the visa, are brought to this beautiful and quiet place called Sacred Heart of Mary of Mirinae Retreat House. Situated on a valley, surrounded by hills teeming with trees in colorful autumn, we are gathered together with 14 brothers from 4 countries of Asia in their continental Assembly from October 11-18. The beauty of the place speaks to us deeply of our longing for peace and rest to refresh our tired bodies laden with the noise and burdens in ministry. Our daily adoration, Eucharistic celebration, gospel sharing and desert day have become warm encounters with Jesus and with each other. During our stay we enjoyed the Korean food and the hospitality of the young vibrant community of the Sacred Heart of Mary sisters.

The Assembly of Cebu has entrusted our fraternities with some calls and challenges. These calls were felt in three areas of our life: our societies, churches and fraternities. Taking into account these calls and the results of our contemplating and discerning the realities of our fraternities, we would like to invite you to be makers of fraternity. We feel that building up fraternity and living it as a gift of God will lead us to live a mission of fraternity with our brother priests, in our churches and societies.

Gratitude and care for our aging brothers

« Planted in the house of Yahweh, they will flourish in the courts of our God.
In old age they still bear fruit, will remain fresh and green » Ps 92, 13-14.

As we were contemplating the reality of our fraternities in Cebu, we found that members of the western fraternities are diminishing or getting old. To get old is a process of growth, a gift of God. Our elder brothers are therefore precious gifts for our fraternities. They have aged in fraternity with faithfulness, they are veterans of fraternity. We would like to express to them our heartfelt and deep gratitude for their presence among us. You are the canals through whom Jesus has brought each one of us to the beautiful fraternities of Jesus Caritas.

As many of you were going around the world to proclaim the Good News of Jesus on the footsteps of Brother Charles and as fidei donum priests, you brought Jesus Caritas fraternities to America, Asia and Africa. In spite of the burden of your age, many of you are still making extraordinary efforts to attend fraternity meetings as much as you can. Your faithfulness is an example for us to emulate.

Dear elder brothers, we wish to assure you that we appreciate highly your presence among us. We desire to listen to you and learn from your wisdom and experience of fraternity. We also rely on your faithful prayers that we may be able to live fraternity. As your energies are diminishing, we join you in the prayer of abandonment of Brother Charles, asking for you the grace of a total surrender to God’s love.

We invite all of us, to pay more attention to our elder brothers: visiting them, keeping them informed about the life of fraternities, celebrating their birthdays and anniversaries of priestly ordination, sharing their joys and pains, etc. Many of us are already doing well in this regard and we encourage them to continue this caring service.

Enriched with the enthusiasm and vitality of young brothers

« Let no one disregard you because you are young, but be an example to all the believers in the way you speak and behave, and in your love, your faith and your purity » 1 Tm 4, 12.

In some many countries, mainly in Asia and Africa, our fraternities are receiving new members. Young priests are joining us to walk on the footsteps of Brother Charles. Their arrival fills our hearts with happiness and gratitude to God as our fraternities are renewed with their youthful vitality and enthusiasm. It is a clear sign that the spiritual experience of Brother Charles is still very relevant and fascinating.

This gift of new and young members is a great grace but also a challenge. First of all, we need to welcome them sincerely and open our hearts to their profound aspirations. We are also invited to let our fraternities become places where they can experience the brotherly support of elder brothers. We have the delicate duty to take care of them and help them to live the often difficult transition between the protected life of the Major Seminary and the great challenges of their starting priestly life. They need to find some gentle and kind mentors among us.

The coming of new members in our fraternities is a gift of God but our witness of life and desire to get new brothers matters. In Brazil, our brothers have organised many activities in order to let the major seminarians discover the beauty and relevance of Brother Charles’ spiritual experience. Such initiatives of sharing what we live and of inviting new members are to be promoted in our fraternities.

We believe that our fraternities are precious gifts from God that we cannot keep for ourselves. Our conviction that Jesus Caritas Fraternity can help us to become good diocesan priests is to be shared.

In the Churches where priests are coming from different parts of the world to offer a pastoral care or to study, our fraternities are invited to show them a special hospitality. Among them, priests belonging to Jesus Caritas fraternities need to be integrated in our fraternities. Let us not miss this opportunity of living universal brotherhood with our brother priests. We invite you, brothers, to be the first to reach out to them and offer them our fraternal love.

“Jamais arrière”, never backwards but faithfulness and perseverance

“I know your activities, your love, your faith, your service and perseverance,
and I know how you are still making progress” Rev 2, 19.

The Cebu Assembly has revealed that in many of our fraternities, we lack faithfulness to the principal means of our spiritual growth. We cannot highlight enough the importance and necessity of daily Eucharistic adoration, monthly desert day, review of life, monthly meetings and Gospel sharing for our spiritual growth. We would like to thank and congratulate all the brothers and fraternities who are very faithful to these important means of spiritual growth. Dear brothers, we encourage you to keep going with such a faithfulness that is a blessing for all of us.

As for you, brothers, who are struggling to be faithful to these means, we urge you to never abandon the little you are doing. The motto of Brother Charles’ family was “Jamais arrière”, “never backwards”. He said that when we go out for something, we must never come back without doing it. With his spirit and his example of determination, we can one day come to full faithfulness. Therefore, let no one abandon what he is already doing!

Because of big distances, isolation and lack of financial means, many brothers cannot attend to fraternity meetings regularly. As it is difficult to use the means of spiritual growth without this regular attendance to fraternity meetings, we urge you, dear brothers, to be more creative about this situation. In areas where meeting priests is not possible, building fraternity with the other members of Brother Charles’ spiritual family is not only a fruitful alternative but a precious opportunity.

Fraternity urges us into mission

“The Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them out ahead of him in pairs,
to all the towns and places he himself would be visiting” (Lk 10,1).

As diocesan missionary priests on the footsteps of Charles de Foucauld, a specificity of our mission is building up fraternity, being experts in fraternal love, becoming universal brothers. Using the spiritual means available in our Jesus Caritas fraternities to foster our spiritual growth is also characteristic of our being missionaries. To take care of our spiritual life and grow in holiness is therefore necessary for the fruitfulness of our missionary endeavours.

As we have reflected widely and deeply about mission during the Cebu Assembly, we now wish to encourage you in your respective missionary commitments. We invite you, during your meetings and assemblies, to identify the many missionary activities in which you are already involved. Sharing and reflecting about your missionary practices, listening to your mission experiences and learning from each other’s stories, will certainly enrich you and enkindle anew your missionary enthusiasm.

Gratitude

Our gratitude goes to Philip and the Korean brothers for their warm hospitality, to Arthur Charles for his gift of service to the Asian brothers during the past six years and to the community of sisters for their contagious joy in taking care of our needs. We are also grateful to the little brothers and sisters and members of the lay fraternity for their visit and the gifts they have prepared for us.

Gongju Sacred Heart of Mary Merinae Retreat House, Friday, October 18th, 2019.
Eic LOSADA, Fernando TAPIA MIRANDA, Matthias KEIL and Honoré SAVADOGO
Your brothers in the International Team

PDF: Letter of the international team, Asian Assembly october 2019

Letter from Bangalore, international team, 17 January 2018

Dear Brothers,

we send you our fraternal greeting from Bangalore, India! And we want to share with you the work that we have done. It is our first meeting since Felix, our dear brother, has died, and we celebrate his memory. Indeed, he has helped us from heaven. We are happy to have achieved the goal of this meeting even through the various difficulties we have encountered. Emmanuel and Honoré have not been able to be with us because they could not obtain their visa for India. We have had lots of communication with both of them these days. Also, Arthur Charles, Asian Continental Responsible, has not been able to obtain his visa. Prakesh from India and Philip from Korea, members of the Asian Council, have accompanied us. All our work has been to prepare for the General Assembly of 2019, which was going to be in Bangalore, India; as it turns out it will be in the Philippines because of the problems many brothers have encountered in obtaining their visa.

The brothers of Bangalore have cared for us in every moment of our stay which began at Shanti Sadahna Trust, a Franciscan Center for Spirituality run by the Capuchins and concluded at the Jesuit House, Ashirvad. Our brother Alphonse, Regional Responsible for India, has been a guardian angel for the International Team, constantly preoccupied for our transportation, contacts, needs and arrangements. Thanks, Alphonse, for everything and thanks to the brothers of India.

In our daily work to prepare for the assembly we have appreciated the realities of all the continents– how the fraternities are doing, the continental assemblies, the Month of Nazareth–the joys and problems of so many brothers throughout the world. Mark has presented a financial report and has made a budget for the 2019 Assembly. We will send this to all the responsibles. We hope all regions will help with the assembly so that we can offer assistance to brothers all over the world with their trip to the Philippines.

We have completed the schedule for the Assembly, hour by hour and day by day including the methodology and responsible persons for each moment. It has not been difficult work because we have worked as a team with clear objectives for the assembly, whose them is to Deepen and update the missionary identity of the diocesan priest in the light of the testimony of Br. Charles de FOUCAULD, contemplative and bearer of the Good News of Jesus.

The Questionnaire for Bangalore, given out more than a year ago, has not had many responses; many countries have not responded and we think it will be the work of the continental responsibles to motivate all the brothers in this preparation. For this reason, in March, we will again send out the questionnaire so that we can work with the responses in continental groups in the Philippines. Thus it will be the fruit of many responses and not just the thoughts of a few.

We are motivated even more strongly that the message of universal fraternity of Brother Charles is a guide for us on our way given the great social and ecclesial differences in various continents. The great challenges presented by fundamentalists both inside and outside the church, the lack of political and inter-religious dialogue, the threats of nuclear war, a deepening poverty in many countries because of government corruption, multinational exploitation with degradation of the planet, the reality of women mistreated in so many ways in so many parts of the world, the ordeal of refugees, all of this won’t allow a person to sleep (or at least it will leave us indifferent!) Charles de FOUCAULD and our Holy Father Francisco are animating us to assume a serious and prophetic posture in this wounded and suffering world. Our Assembly in the Philippines is a collaboration with this call to be a Church which goes out of itself, sent to the peripheries. From there we can deepen the missionary essence of our ministry which gives preferential treatment to the culture of hope.

We have spent time with the family of Charles de FOUCAULD, sharing moments of prayer and encounter with the Little Sisters, with the secular fraternity, with a Little Brother of Jesus and another Brother of the Gospel. We have felt like a family of men and women who share a common journey. We visited the Archbishop of Bangalore, Bernard MORAS learning more closely the problems of the diocese as also we have done with the clergy of some parishes. Our meeting with the priestly fraternities of Bangalore at Joseph’s parish was important for us as we celebrated Eucharist and shared dialogue following dinner.

As an International Team we have practiced fraternity in prayer, adoration and Eucharist. Mark has coordinated this liturgical aspect. For us, sharing the work of preparing for the assembly, which has taken most of our time, is a sign of fraternity: being ready to listen to one another, to assist and support one another, and we have done this with joy as a service to all our brothers. Bangalore’s six million people, its noise, its pollution and impressive traffic all make us appreciate even more Alphonse’s work with a million details. All this has caused us to go out of our comfort zone; it has been our Nazareth.

Thanks to our Philippine brothers for saying “yes” so that we can have our next assembly in the Philippines. In the month of March, all will receive the revised Questionnaire for the Philippines (it is also on the website) with the convocation letter calling all delegates to the Assembly, along with the registration form. Throughout this year there will be a lot of communication with the responsibles so that our assembly in the Philippines will achieve its proposed objectives.

We want to share with you that, after a two year process, the new fraternity in Haiti has been accepted as a Priestly Fraternity. Welcome Jonas and brothers from Haiti! Also we are in contact with priests from Venezuela about the possibility of forming a fraternity in Venezuela.

With much joy and hope we, the International Team, will work to make this preparation for the General Assembly a shared work for the good of all in the fraternity, the church, and for those with whom we live. It is our mission to announce and encounter Jesus in the style of Nazareth, contemplative and missionary.

From this time on, all brothers need to commit themselves to this work, our older or infirm brothers with their prayer and the more active with their contributions. Thanks! Let us remember that all learn from all and no one is a master of the other… We have only one teacher, who is Jesus.

Thanks again to our brothers from India and thanks to our brothers from the Philippines for saying yes to celebrating our next assembly.

Finally a fraternal embrace from

Mark, Mauricio, Aurelio and Jean-François

Bangalore, India, 17 January 2018

 

 

PDF: Letter from Bangalore, international team, 17 January 2018, engl

LETTER FROM KANSAS CITY, INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL

LETTER FROM KANSAS CITY
INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL

JESUS CARITAS FRATERNITY OF PRIESTS
27 OCTOBER 2016

Dear brothers,

We began our meeting of the International Council with a special remembrance of our deceased brothers, Tony PHILPOT, former International Responsible, and Giuseppe COLAVERO and Hermann STEINERT. All our brothers have been in our prayers, our thoughts and our hearts.

kansas-2016-001Our first theme was to do a review of our lives, that is, how we have lived and been since our last meeting in Aurelio’s house in Périn, Spain. These days in Kansas City have been very rich in contacts with and in time spent with the people of Mark’s three parishes and other religions–multi-ethnic and varied, diverse lay groups, religious, students of various schools, the simple people for whom Mark is a good shepherd. Thank you Mark for all the work of welcome and for facilitating things.

kansas-2016-002We also met brothers of the fraternities of the United States, gathered as the National Council in Kansas City on 25 October; we shared prayer, Eucharist and dinner with Jerry, Joe, Greg, Ron, John and Bob. We felt friendship and closeness. And we have been touched by the pain of our brother in fraternity, Mark’s housemate Tom, 82 years old who was attacked and robbed at the entrance to his house during our stay and who is recovering in the hospital.

kansas-2016-003The place where we worked, the Sanctuary of Hope, has helped us to be a fraternity and to work on the diverse topics that we brought as our agenda. The house has helped us live in a climate of work and prayer. Liturgy of the hours, adoration and Eucharist, and even a half-day in the desert, have made it possible for us to be close to God and to you.

The objective of our meeting has been to take our pulse as fraternity and to study the diverse realities on the continents and the questions that inter-religious and inter-cultural dialog pose to us, challenging us as persons, as a Church and as fraternity. We see a world threatened and attacked by fundamentalists, terrorism, political crises in many countries, the lack of a response by governments and the increase of populist movements—all this causes our societies to be more closed and fearful of those “outside.”

kansas-2016-005Reviewing the two continental assemblies held this year, the First Pan American Assembly in Cuernavaca, Mexico, and the Asian Assembly held in Cebu, Philippines, and looking to the next European Assembly in Poland in July 2017, we received and studied the calls given to the International Team. These included especially the development of the fraternities and of our personal lives as diocesan priests who follow the charism of Charles de FOUCAULD, deepening in the missionary character of going to the peripheries, which Br. Charles showed us in the last stage of his life and before his death. From all our reflections, studies and dialogues etc, we are able to say that the theme of the next General Assembly in Bangalore, India, 15-30 January 2019 will be:

MISSIONARY DIOCESAN PRIESTS TODAY INSPIRED BY THE WITNESS OF CHARLES DE FOUCAULD.

kansas-2016-006We have elaborated a questionnaire for all local fraternities of the world to review and answer; it will be sent to the regional responsibles and published in our web site www.iesuscaritas.org. We heard and considered the proposals of the Pan American Assembly which have shed much light on all this.

kansas-2016-004We believe that Charles de Foucauld has been compartmentalized in a monastic model, and it concerns us how we identify with his charisms as diocesan priests. For this we want to re-identify with his missionary spirit, both as contemplative and as a man of the street, toward Muslims (in his case) and with the people with whom he lived his Nazareth. This reflection points to a response to the call to be missionaries along the lines of the intuitions of Brother Charles, to be a Church in Mission, a Church like the Good Samaritan, that gets off its donkey to attend to those most in need, to a wounded world, to an abandoned humanity, a people without hope, and to be a Church in dialogue and encounter with other religions, cultures and societies.

We have seen the necessity of creating a Directory for the Month of Nazareth that will better serve the development and life of the fraternities. For this we asked the collaboration of three brothers who have accepted this job, reuniting and forming a small fraternity in February 2017 in Spain: Manual POZO (Spain), Fernando TAPIA (Chile, and Continental Responsible for America) and Jean Michel BORTHERIE (France.) Thanks to them for this service to the Fraternity. The document should be approved in the General Assembly in Bangalore. It is necessary to gather material of concrete experiences, some of which were expressed in the last assembly in Poissy.

kansas-2016-008We have heard the echo of different world events on the occasion of the Centenary of the Easter of Brother Charles in local fraternities, countries and in communion with the Spiritual Family of Charles de Foucauld—lay, religious, communities… What we hear fills us with joy and peace. As does the naming by Pope Francis of two members of the Fraternity of Priests as cardinals, in Myanmar and Malaysia; we are joyful and strengthened.

Mark presented us the financial report of the worldwide Fraternity. Thanks to the fraternities that help economically each year. We also invite the fraternities that do not collaborate that they would make an effort to strengthen the common good of the Fraternity no matter how small your financial contribution may be. Thank you. From this moment we need to reduce our expenses and save money for the General Assembly in India.

The next meeting of the International Council will be in Bangalore in January of 2018, one year before the General Assembly, to prepare, concretize and become familiar with the meeting site and to give flesh to an assembly that expresses all that the brothers of the world want to say, propose and support; our intention is to be very concrete in the activities, reflections and conclusions that are made.

kansas-2016-009We want to say to all that today, in the present moment in our world, with its great questions and challenges, with the situations that get out of hand and those we can handle, in this present moment of the Church, with Francis in front, as pastor and man of God, with varied pastoral and spiritual lines that are sometimes opposed, Charles de Foucauld, through his Family of Fraternities has much to say and contribute with his message of encounter between persons and different societies, and with his call to be the presence of Jesus without fear, without reserve, without evading responsibility, and with boundless confidence.

For all this, we trust in you and in your great and sincere hearts and we send you our sincere and brotherly affection.

kansas-2016-010Emmanuel, Jean François, Félix, Mark, Mauricio and Aurelio
Sanctuary of Hope, Kansas City, Kansas, United States, 27 October 2016

PDF: letter-from-kansas-city-27october2016-engl

INTERNATIONAL TEAM, KANSAS 2016

kansas_2016_01Between 17 and 27 October our international team of the Fraternity for Priests Iesus Caritas will be assembled in Kansas City, United States, hosted by Mark.

We are going to work the themes of the fraternity we carry on agenda and have all brothers and fraternities at our desk, our prayers and our heart.

Pray also for us, and for the sick brothers or with difficulties; by the brothers from all continents; the new fraternities and the projects that we have to face. Thanks to each and every one of you. Jesus bless us all and brother Charles illuminate the way.

kansas_2016_02PDF: international-team-kansas-2016-en

ISSUES FRATERNITIES OF CHARLES DE FOUCAULD RESPONSIBLES MEETING, CASTELFRANCO, ITALY, APRIL 2015

Fraternity of Priests Iesus Caritas

Fraternities of Charles de FOUCAULD responsibles meeting

CASTELFRANCO, Italy, April 2015

Theme: CHARLES DE FOUCAULD, WHICH READS, THE WORKER, HOW ARE US QUESTIONS TODAY?

ISSUES: (send your answers to Aurelio before 1 January 1015, thank you)

1.- Each group and each person has a way of live the work… How do we live our group the work in different contexts? In what sense?

2.- (Optional) Who am I when I leave my profession, when I’m retired, unemployed, sick…?

3.- For us, what is the link between the work and prayer?

4.- How the prayer and the work make up our fraternities or communities and how to make up to each of us? In what sense the prayer and work are expression of our incarnation?

PDF: Castelfranco_2015_esp_fr_deut_por_eng_ital

INTERNATIONAL TEAM, SEPTEMBER 2014

Dear brothers,

Manahoana? (How is it going?) Salama! (Greetings!)

madagascar1We want to share our joy in being fraternity, coming from different cultures, welcomed by Felix in Madagascar, and we share our experience of work in Antananarivo and Mahajanga through what we have lived with the Little Sisters of the Gospel in a pmadagascar2oor neighborhood on the outskirts of the capital, in our visit with the Malagasy priest fraternity in Amborovy, and in our sharing in the closing of the National Assembly of the Spiritual Families of Charles de FOUCAULD.  Adoration, celebration, and opening our hearts to be read by others and being able to read the hearts of others– all this has made it possible for us to feel like a fraternity in the Carmel of Amborovy where the Carmelite sisters have treated us as family.

madagascar3Thanks to Felix we have been able to live these days as “a Nazareth,” close to the people, who each day have gifted us with a smile and a greeting.  The message of Pope Francis has been present in our meeting and has helped us value the Word of God as the animator of our fraternity, remembering the 50th anniversary of Dei Verbum in 2015.

madagascar4We have reviewed the fraternities in 5 continents—the priest fraternity is present in 43 countries– where Br. Charles’ charism and message of universal brotherhood is like the gospel that we breathe.  We appreciate the impulse of the fraternity in Asia toward an ever-improving  coordination and communication; the Month of Nazareth in France, Brasil, Chile, Cameroon and Ireland this past year, great news that we can’t hide in a box; the call to dialogue with Islam in Europe, Africa and Asia–one Father who desires understanding between his sons and daughters and doesn’t desire to be the cause of separation and conflict; we trust that the upcoming meeting in July 2015 in Viviers, France madagascar6for priests who live and work with Muslims will be a great help in uniting us in mutual respect and not separating us; we observe new problems in communication due to long distances or due to being overworked and we wish that our website www.iesuscaritas.org would be a point of communication for all so that we can communicate in a fast and practical way, and we hope that each document about Charles de FOUCAULD would be known among us; we celebrate all that has been lived in the assemblies of the United States, in Colorado Springs, Colorado,  of Africa, in Kribi, Cameroon, and of Europe, in Verona, Italy, receiving from the brothers their impressions and happiness.

The recognition of our priestly fraternity as a Pontifical Right is getting closer and has received a good response and we await good results from the actions that are being taken in the Congregation for the Clergy through brothers close to the Fraternity.

madagascar5For the 100th anniversary of the Easter of Brother Charles we don’t propose general criteria for the celebration; we know that in each continent, country, diocese, parish or local fraternity the event will be organized as Family.  All of these should be celebrations in the style of Nazareth, far from expressions of triumphalism and showiness.

madagascar7We have reviewed our finances.  The balance of our international account is fragile.  We remind each country that fraternity is also sharing our financial goods, especially to help develop the Month of Nazareth and assemblies in Asia, Africa and America,  to help the international team to be present when requested and also to support our annual council meeting. Misaotra betsaka, thank you very much, for your generosity.  We appreciate greatly your efforts for this sharing.

madagascar8There are three important calls that we perceive in our lives as priestly fraternities:  the day in the desert, as a monthly priority, as a time of listening, leaving everything behind; the review of life as a time spent with the brothers, reflecting on their feelings, projects, problems, their interior life, their processes, and how they also would reflect and help us; the promise in each fraternity to make progress in mutual support, as a family helps its own, in the practicalities of life, without becoming spiritually detached, to know how to share in a project, work as a team or take a stand on a social or human issue.  We believe that this is part of the dream of Charles de FOUCAULD, seeing the living Jesus, crucified and risen, in each man and woman, the living Jesus who contemplates and loves us as we contemplate and love him in daily adoration of the Eucharist.

madagascar9We decided that our next meeting will be in Spain, in Aurelio’s home from the 20th to the 29th of October 2015. We are already beginning to prepare our hearts and our backpacks.

A big fraternal embrace from the team, trusting in your help in prayer,

 madagascar10Jean-francois, Emmanuel, Félix, Mark, Mauricio and Aurelio

Amborovy, Madagascar, 11 September 2014, the day of our return

PDF: LETTER FROM AMBOROVY, international team, 2014, english