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

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

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

Easter Letter of Jean-François and Aurelio, Perín, 23 march 2018

Dear brothers,
We write to you from Perín, Spain, where we have met to prepare for the World Assembly of the Priestly Fraternity Iesus Caritas in Cebu, Philippines.

We are near Easter, still cold, but in spring.

We have completed the Letter of Convocation for the Assembly, and together with the 56 delegates or responsibles who will take part, all the Iesus Caritas brothers are involved. Taking into account the situation of the life of the world and of the Church, which high-lights the relevance of the spirituality of Charles de FOUCAULD, on the one hand developments in the world: the five continents are increasingly inter-dependent, the great movement of migrants, degradation of the planet is aggravated, the gap between rich and poor is greater, local conflicts with international repercussions (Syria, Yemen…), the god of money with such sway…We see many countries turned in on themselves, with protectionism and at the same time a mistrust of one another.

The development of the life of the Church: Pope Francis looking at this world situation, presents us with the challenges for the Church’s mission. In his apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, he calls on the whole Church to take up once more a dynamic of evangelization, centred on Christ, and to go out to meet people, particularly the poorest, on the periphery. In Laudato Si, once more, he asks us to mobilise around the figure of Francis of Assisi in order to practise a happy sobriety and solidarity with the most fragile of our world. We see the resistance in our communities and dioceses to this movement of conversion to which we are called by Pope Francis. We, priests in fraternity, disciples of brother Charles, must commit ourselves in this situation motivated by the intuitions of Charles de FOUCAULD: to cry the Gospel with our life, to be the presence of the Gospel in the heart of the world that does not know Christ; the calls to be universal brothers and make possible in our communities a dynamic of going out and of dialogue; called to live the spirituality of Nazareth, namely, poverty, prayer and closeness to the poor. Therefore, not to be a narcissistic Church that gazes only at itself.

At our Assembly in Cebu, Philippines, we will keep present this triple fidelity: to Christ, to Brother Charles, and to Pope Francis. That’s why it is so important that each brother contribute to this meeting, by assiduous prayer asking for the intercession of Charles de FOUCAULD, by the brotherly communion with each other, by the communication of each of our fraternities of all our countries… To that end we have a means of communication which is the website iesuscaritas.org We invite you to send your articles, reflections and news items…

Thank you for all the efforts to prepare well for our World Assembly, working on the Philippine Questionnaire, and for collaborating economically to assist in the journeys of brothers who cannot meet the costs.

In these working days we have shared the lives of many people, pleasant human situations and other more complicated ones. We have lived prayer and the Eucharist interceding for all of you and especially for Gianantonio [Allegri], from Italy, operated on these days for cancer.

May the joy of Easter go out from us from a deep conviction that Jesus is alive in the people and situations that surround us, in the movements of the world in favour of the rights of men and women, and from the so many good hearts that we encounter daily.

With a warm brotherly embrace.

Jean-François and Aurelio

Perín, Murcia, Spain, 23 March, 2018

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

PDF: Easter Letter of Jean-François and Aurelio, Perín, 23 march 2018, eng

Letter of Aurelio to the american brothers, 2 March 2018

Dear brothers,

has been a great pleasure to take part in the II Panamerican Assembly of the fraternity in Santo Domingo and to share the life and worries, the hopes and realities of the present brothers and of the absent ones. Together with Mark, as international team, I have felt the spirit of the universality in the life of the fraternity of Charles de FOUCAULD, both in the distances of lives and in the answers to the challenges of our time.

Thank you for everything what one has worked, before and during the assembly. I value the effort of all: the responsibles of every country preparing the answers to the questionnaires, Fernando’s work with the coordination, the Dominican brothers with the preparation of the assembly and to do that we were like in house … Our brother Francisco, archbishop of Santo Domingo, with his hospitality and nearness … Our brother bishop Rafael, with his testimony of loyalty to the fraternity and to the people … Are great the motives for being grateful.

From every person, the brothers, the community of Carmelite sisters and the workers of the house where we were, the work of Raisa, the people that we knew in the parishes and communities, a gift is received. He is the human being who gives us the better thing of yes same. When we go for the life of pilgrims, when we go out of ours “I” to meet “other one”, and our attitude is not to be to the defensive, but of receiving and being received, without judging, without prejudices, one makes possible the fraternity, and one believes this contemplative moment of between the persons, that it is deeper still when some time ago that we have not met. Because of it, the great happiness of finding again brothers and to be fused in the fraternal embrace.

Thanks to Carlos Roberto and Eleuterio for his two so interesting presentations and interpeelers. They have helped us to have a more just opinion, to penetrate into the calls from the Bible and the Laudato si of the pope Francis towards the reality of the world of the migration and of the ecology, into the care of the common house. This has supposed a capture of conscience on the challenges that they present not only in America but in the whole world. Our brother Charkess had this conscience from his trip to Morocco, as scientist, and learned of the simple people how to value what is had, how to value abroad; why his faith, his culture, his color or thought interrogates us, since it is different from us. The message of universal fraternity of Charles de FOUCAULD stays once again in the present, in our pastoral and personal “budgets”.

The times of prayer, in the adoration, in the celebration of the eucharist, I think that they have helped us not to think only, but to be employed at team and to do between all a good work that helps all the brothers of America.

We miss to the brothers of Mexico, but we value his contributions for the questionnaire. We feel near Douglas, in Venezuela, that it is trying to announce the fraternity in his country, contacting priests motivated by Nazareth and the missionary style of the brother Charles .¡Bravo, Douglas! And very much good spirit to the fraternity of Argentina in the preparation of the Month of Nazareth in the next July.

Today I write with the pain and the worry for the terrorist attacks in Burkina Faso. The whole day I am dependent on news. There hurts me much that stuffs itself to any person, and even more to a country that I love so much. I ask for prayers.

And I ask God and his Mother to bless us, that illuminates with his Spirit our lives, our communities, our families. That we can look at Jesus in the adoration with friend’s full confidence, that we listen to the Lord in the desert, with his long silences and waits – them of Him, to the search of us-, that we put our heart in the review of life, as an opened, royal book, not of science fiction or of history, which there are most left those who motivate us in the way of the Gospel.

A great transoceanic hug.

Aurelio SANZ BAEZA, brother responsible

Perín, Cartagena, Spain, 2 March 2018

PDF: Letter of Aurelio to the american brothers, 2 March 2018, eng

Letter from Santo Domingo, February 2018

II PAN AMERICAN ASSEMBLY – 19 TO 24 FEBRUARY 2018

Dear Brothers,

in a climate of prayer, joy and shared fraternity, national responsibles and delegates from Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Haiti, Dominican Republic, United States and Quebec-Acadie have gathered. We thank God and all who have collaborated through their prayers, work and financial contributions so that this meeting would be possible, especially our brothers from the Dominican Republic and also those priests and deacons who covered for us in our parishes.

We reviewed the path of our fraternities the past two years and verified that many of the proposals elaborated in the last assembly were put into practice. We would like to spotlight the celebrations of the centenary of Brother Charles’ second birth realized in all our countries through symposiums, Eucharists, retreats, publications, posters etc. This permitted us to introduce his person and spirituality to many brother priests, deacons, lay persons, religious and seminarians.

During our assembly we focused our attention on two relevant facts in our countries: migration and the mistreatment of our Mother Earth. These are true signs of the times that we want to examine in the light of the Word of God and the social teaching of the Church, especially as given by Pope Francis, and as seen in the spirituality that we have received from Brother Charles de Foucauld. The goal of this communal discernment was to discover the will of God and to more deeply commit ourselves to a true ministry for migrants and a caring for our Common Home.

Listening attentively to the reports from each country we heard that in one way or another we are committed in these two areas, but that we need to do much more because we are dealing with people’s lives, with families, and with vulnerable communities. They are victims of a savage capitalism that destroys without mercy as it worships the god of money.

The two presentations of our brothers Eleuterio Ruiz and Carlos Roberto Dos Santos: “Strangers and Refugees, Reflections on a Challenge of Our time in the Light of the Scripture” and “Biblical and Pope Francis’ Reflections on the Environment” enlightened us.

It has been clear to us that the Lord asks us to “go in search of the most abandoned,” as Brother Charles did in his time, who are in this case migrants who arrive in our countries in situations of great vulnerability. The Word of God is specific: “You shall treat the alien who resides with you no differently than the natives born among you; have the same love for him as for yourself; for you too were once aliens in the land of Egypt. I, the Lord, am your God.” (Lev 19.34) And Pope Francis shows us a very concrete way to express this love: Welcome, protect, promote and integrate our migrant brothers and sisters.

We have also felt a strong call to care for our Common Home and to make ours the question Francis offers to humanity in his encyclical “Laudato Si”: “What kind of a world do we want to leave for those who will come after us, to children who are growing up?” (160).

We want to reflect more on this theme in our fraternities and with our presbyterates so as to have a prophetic stance; we also want to network with church and civil organizations to protect the environment and preserve the beauty and integrity of creation, which is God’s gift to all humanity. Charles’ non-consumer lifestyle encourages us to live in simplicity, in austerity and in harmony with nature.

We are happy and hopeful regarding the calling of the Synod for the bishops of the Pan-Amazonian Region. We will collaborate actively in its preparation and afterward put it into practice.

During our assembly we visited the communities of a local parish in Santo Domingo. This visit put us in contact with the holy people of God, who, from their poverty show us the urgency of being authentic with the obligations that God has shown us in this assembly, which were taken up in our Desert Day and in the Review of Life which we did in small groups.

We ask the Holy Spirit to make us more faithful each day to the charism of Brother Charles, so that we can share it with many members of the people of God and continue developing a “Church that is poor and for the poor.”

Your brothers of the II Pan American Assembly,

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, 24 February 2018

PDF: Letter from Santo Domingo, february 2018, eng