WEND BE NE DO, Burkina Faso: December 2018 report

Report of the follow-up visit to the WEND BE NE DO (WBND) project in Burkina Faso, of the partners Carlos LLANO, Alberto HERNANDIS, Andrés Pedro MUÑOZ and Aurelio SANZ, of the Foundation Tienda Asilo de San Pedro of Cartagena (FTASP), Spain, in December 2018.

WBND already has a thirteen-year trajectory in Burkina Faso, being a benchmark as a project of care for the people affected by HIV-AIDS in this African zone stricken by poverty, corruption, and insecurity… 271 adults and 341 children, adolescents and young people are our concern as more than sixty volunteers in Spain, seven in Burkina Faso and the local team formed by five people. “To be with”, to accompany, to put ourselves in their skin, not to remain insensitive to the suffering of others, to partake in their joy: that is WBND.

Fraternity of Pakistan: National Asssembly 2018

November 12-16, 2018

Theme: Blessed Charles de Foucald and Eucharist

The National Get together of the Pakistan Fraternity of Jesus Caritas met in Pastoral Centre, Chak 7, Faisalabad from November 12 to 16, 2018. 15 members were present from Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi/Islamabad and Faisalabad Fraternities. There were a few more members who wanted to come but were unable to be present. The theme was Blessed Charles de Foucald the Eucharist. The printed prayers in English and Urdu and the banner (flex) with the theme and the Eucharist in the setting of the Faisalabad Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, with the Clock Tower of Faisalabad and the Minar-E-Pakistan of Lahore at the sides clearly displayed that the Faisalabad Fraternity had prepared well for the National event. Fr. Saleh Diego National Responsible welcomed all on November 12, 2018, after dinner.

Speaking in Faisalabad on November 13, 2018, Fr Emmanuel Asi the International Councilor explained the various dimensions of the Spirituality of Jesus Caritas. What are the important elements of Jesus Caritas. What type of atmosphere is needed, and how to create that atmosphere and live.

Explaining the Review of Life methodology he said that in this process each one present should get an opportunity to speak. It should be participatory and nobody should be judged in this process. The atmosphere should be joyful and spiritual. The meeting begins with a prayer and there must be enough silence and all reflections must be from the perspective of the Gospels. All this is possible with an atmosphere of faith and prayer.

There were two groups that tried this process one was the Lahore Fraternity with the addition of a member from Karachi and the other the Faisalabad Fraternity with the addition of a member from Rawalpindi/Islamabad Fraternity.

The time spent before the Holy Eucharist was the highlight of the National Week of Prayer. It was a time of silence and reflection.

Fr Bonnie Mendes speaking on November 14, 2018, on Blessed Charles de Foucald and the Eucharist recalled the two visits of Pere Rene Voillaum Little Brothers of Jesus Councilor to St Pius X Seminary, Quetta in the 1950s. He said he encouraged the seminarians at that time to visit the Little Brothers in their mud house behind the Central Jail in a poor area. The Seminarians spent time there in solitude and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. That experiential knowledge of a friend of Blessed Charles de Foucald gave great help to know how he spent time in solitude in Algeria and in contemplative prayer. Fr Bonnie recalled that he offered Mass in the Byzantine rite in Quetta for the seminarians to experience their liturgy.

Each Fraternity present shared the activities of their Fraternity and the problems they were facing in getting new members and retaining the interest of the old members. Every Fraternity seemed to have its ups and downs with a struggle to meet regularly and keep the Fraternity alive. The Pakistani participation in the Asian Assemblies was discussed especially how to make it more effective and to prepare people better before going for such Assemblies. It seemed in general Pakistan was weak in preparing its members going abroad for International events.

The desert experience or time in solitary prayer was experienced by each on November 14, 2018, afternoon.

Fr. Emmanuel Asi explained that the Month of Nazareth could be shortened depending on various circumstances, though the name remains Month of Nazareth.

Mrs Alishba Javed and Ms Nargis Hira from the Sadhuke (Lahore Lay Fraternity) and Multan Lay Fraternity respectively came to share their experiences not only of the International Assembly in Lebanon meeting but also how their groups are doing in Multan and Lahore. Karachi Lay Fraternity had gone slow after being active for many years. The members at the Assembly were happy to see two young lay people from Pakistan. Most of the others were senior citizens.

All priests expressed their desire and determination to strengthen the Lay Fraternity in their areas. The new book, “Strength of the Laity” (Momineen KI Akhuwat) in Urdu was launched at the Assembly, by Fr. Saleh Diego and Fr Bonnie Mendes. It was priced at Rs 230/- 65 copies got sale immediately.

Fr. Saleh Diego dwelt on the life of Blessed Charles Eugene de Focauld, he said the details  of his life given by Fr. Asi is a great help. Fr. Saleh gave the quote loving people we love God. Charles said, “I want all the people here, be they Christian, Muslim, Jew or whatever,  to see me as their brother, a universal brother. They have started calling my house the ‘fraternity’ and that gives me pleasure.” To give another quote, “I want to be so good that people will say ‘If this is what the servant is like, what the Master  must be like?” Fr. Saleh said, He was a true Christian, he reflects Jesus in his life.

All were informed that October 2019 there will be the Asian Fraternity in South Korea. Next year in different Fraternities Pakistani members will reflect on the life of Blessed Charles de Focauld. Themes from the life of Blessed Charles will be given to each Fraternity in the country.

Fr. Inayat gave a quotation from the late Cardinal Cordeiro, prepare for Mass as if this is your first Mass, offer it as if it is your last Mass, reflect on it as if it is your only Mass. Besides preparation, he stressed celebration, proclamation and giving witness.

Fr. Bonnie preaching at the final Mass on Friday, November 16, 2019, emphasized love as stressed by The letters of St John. He asked the priests to be patient with the young priests and guide. He requested the senior priests to remember that times have changed and with it values. Try to sympathize and empathize with others.

The help given by Fr. Shafique Hidayat to Jesus Caritas was greatly appreciated.

Next November 4 to 7, 2019, the National Assembly will be in the Pastoral Centre, Rawalpindi. That Fraternity will play host. The theme will be decided later.

Fr. Bonnie Mendes

November 16, 2018.


Advent Letter 2018, brother responsible


Dear brothers,

On this feast day of our brother Charles we begin Advent: the weeks of hope that are a reflection of the hope of all humanity. Our humanity, in permanent crisis, a humanitarian crisis with many aspects, pains all of us, and we cannot hide it in our Church or remain indifferent. May celebrations with our communities, personal prayer, life in fraternity, be of closeness to that part of humanity with whom we live in our places and in those who are far away. Advent motivates us to listen to the voice that cries in the desert of all those who raise their voice for survival, in their desire for peace, work, and freedom. Humanity keeps hoping for liberation; the poor who hope for salvation, those threatened by war, the displaced searching for a secure place… There are millions of people in this situation. For them too Jesus is proclaimed and we, as missionaries, ought to proclaim him.

The Church is living through a difficult moment because of the crisis caused by the allegations of the abuse of minors, and Pope Francis is responding with humility and courage to the world. This is a testament to the search for the truth. Francis too is a witness to the truth.

We are preparing our World Assembly 2019. We are called to reflect on our identity as diocesan missionary priests in the charism of Charles de FOUCAULD. This is a task for all the brothers, supporting the regional responsibles, praying for all the brothers of the world, for the fraternities that are beginning and those that are ageing.


Every day we receive bad news of men and women, children, young people and the elderly, who suffer from causes that are not always clear to public opinion and the media. We know that it depends often on the hidden interests of economic powers and governments who hide very harsh realities in their countries, even if they belong to the “First World”. Victims of wars, of violence, of drug-trafficking, of the male domination over women in many cultures, the victims of poverty, cry out in this wilderness, where voices demanding justice abound. Voices that intermingle with others that seek vengeance, or those of “nothing is going on here” or “Go back to your country”. We too have a voice, the voice of Jesus, the one announced by the prophets. A voice that should emerge from our faith, our missionary vocation, in the style of Nazareth which is to be with the people of our town or city, with the most humble among them, because only the humble teach us to be humble. Brother Charles discovered Jesus in the midst of the simple people: may we learn from him.


This Advent time is an invitation to listen, to stop the clock and, in a contemplative attitude to listen to the Word, the silence of God in adoration, and to listen to our brothers: our brothers of the Fraternity, brother priests of our diocesan presbyterate who, sometimes, are hard for us to listen to and accept because prejudices kill dialogue and encounter; the people who come to us seeking answers to their problems, or who share in pastoral, social, work with us, or, simply, are our neighbours. Let us open the door, let us leave the best place in our house for whoever seeks, and not accustom ourselves to a dynamic of good advice and easy words. To show our poverty, our limitations for fixing “damaged machines”, wounded hearts, is to allow God to act. He is indispensable. It is he who heals. Jesus is not indifferent to anything, and this Advent he encourages us to open our hearts and to allow ourselves to be inundated by the love of God and the love of the people. Let us recover the joy of following Jesus and help many sad people to transform their failure into triumph, to love themselves a little more.


We are all suffering the consequences of child abuse hidden in many dioceses of the world. The Church is losing credibility, influence, etc. We could just say that this has always happened, that it was inevitable… We would not be faithful to the truth. We know that this open crisis has not yet ended. Pope Francis is also suffering for all of this, and is facing the music, asking forgiveness on behalf of those who did harm, listening, opening paths for a solution that offers justice for the victims, and this man deserves our support. Let us live in communion with Pope Francis, with enemies in his own Church, but with the support of all good people, whether believers or not, who see in Francis a prophet of our time, a consistent man who, despite being “head of State”, is a human being, sensitive to the suffering of humanity. I am sure that, from all this crisis, something very positive will emerge for the life of the Church and the proclamation of the Kingdom. Let us unite our prayer for fraternity with the Pope, wherever we may be.


102 years ago, Charles de FOUCAULD definitively placed himself into the hands of the Father. Today is a day to give thanks to God for him, for what he transmitted to us with his intuitions, for the mission he carried out with the people who were his neighbours, for his crazy dreams. Brother Charles has helped us in our vocation and our spirituality to live in friendship with Jesus and with people, in the Nazareth that we each live, with our age and desire to live, in silence and in proclamation. It is a gift from God that deserves our continuous thanks. Let us take time to value this gift: let us place in this day’s adoration before Jesus all that has come to us from Charles de FOUCAULD which, probably, are not so much his spiritual writings as his testimony of life, of love, of abandonment, of trust and generosity.

Let us make the prayer of abandonment even if it is hard to accept that we still have much left to make it completely ours.


From the 15th to the 30th of January 2019 we will celebrate our World Fraternity Assembly in Cebu, Philippines. The central theme is to deepen our character as diocesan missionary priests in the charism of Charles de FOUCAULD. Everything concerning the Assembly is announced on our web-page iesuscaritas.org

On the site’s green Home Bar is the preparatory questionnaire, the Assembly program, the registration sheet… So far there are few inscriptions received and only one continent (America) has presented the answers to the questionnaire, as well as some regional fraternities. It is advisable that we do not leave these tasks to the last moment. Courage with everything. I know that we are all very busy and we have little time. Let’s make an effort. It fills me with joy to receive emails with inscriptions and answers to the questionnaire, and I understand the difficulties that this implies for some fraternities.

All the regional responsibles or delegates, previous international responsibles and the continental responsibles will be coming to the Assembly. Some of our brothers cannot pay for their trips, because of the situations in their country. The world fraternity takes care of these expenses as far as possible, but nowadays it is very difficult to be able to cover all the necessities. Some fraternities of Europe and America have responded by paying the bill of a brother from Africa, or from America itself… Thank you. I am asking fraternities for your readiness to help in their journey brothers from Haiti, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Cameroon, Rwanda, Madagascar, Pakistan, India and Bangla Desh, who still do not have their plane ticket. It is an important effort that will make possible the presence and participation of these brothers in the Philippines.

Thanks to the Filipino Brothers for all the work in Cebu to make the assembly possible. Let us trust in the goodwill of all the brothers in the world to demonstrate that the Fraternity is more than a group of priests, a form of spirituality: It is sharing what we have. Thank you.

Our next brother responsible, who we will elect in Cebu, and his new team will help us to continue making fraternity possible out of our realities and dreams.


In these weeks of preparation for Christmas we will arrange the best place of our life for He who comes to stay. The Angels announced the Good News to the shepherds, and they announce many joys to us. There are angels who call to us at the door, or on the phone, or on the street, and who tell us, sometimes without knowing it, that God is with us. There are faces that make us see Jesus in the hospital, in prison, in reception centres for refugees. Angels in the persons of our sick or very old siblings, who have given everything for the Church, for the fraternity, for the poor. Faces of anonymous people who do good without expecting anything in return. The Angels of the simple people of our parishes who help us in pastoral action, or with their presence in the celebrations, or offer us the best they have of their closeness and friendship. They are angels without wings, but with a voice that no one can silence.

With hope this Advent for a better world, a Church free from the sorrows of the past, a fraternity of brothers working in the tasks of the Kingdom, a world renewed by efforts for peace, for human rights, against all inequalities, my desire is for a Christmas full of God, of Jesus brother and friend. A big embrace.

Aurelio SANZ BAEZA, brother responsible

Perín, Cartagena, Murcia, Spain, 1 December 2018,
Feast of Blessed Charles de FOUCAULD

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

PDF: Advent Letter 2018, brother responsible, eng

Fraternity of England: Be Brothers! uk November 2018

Despite this I felt I really couldn’t condense my report on Sr. Kathy’s retreat any further, as she provided us with such an incomparably rich analysis of the meanings inherent in Brother Charles’ life and letters. And we were gifted with the most pleasant and outgoing of personalities to convey them! But your national Team, supporting Peter Stodart as our National Responsible, does freely admit that we didn’t quite have our act together when the application forms went out to the fraternities far too late; the giving of the dates in a single-liner of the November 2017 “BB’s” really didn’t cover. We were left with a viable but quite select attendance! The annual January mini-retreat will hopefully be better attended as the booking forms have already been e.mailed to local Responsibles and thus hopefully put in the hands of all brothers.

Then there’s the plethora of “emails to the editor” this time, updating us on many goings-on among our fraternities; great!

Stephen Squires is working wonders for us all, not only in the website he has established for the British fraternities (DO have a look at https://www.jesuscaritaspriests.org,uk ) but is now organising a “mini-Month” to offer an easy 1-week taster of a full “Month of Nazareth,” that real-life living of some of Brother Charles’ ideals that many find so helpful for making us better priests. Do check out the “mini-Month” at its lovely Midlands venue on page 11 of this issue.

Oh, and by the way, if your fraternity doesn’t feature on the “Fraternities” page of the website, do send the details up to Stephen, as given under his Birmingham fraternities on that page. (Otherwise one is not allowed to bemoan a dearth of new members in your fraternity!)

Please keep the flow of contributions coming– especially if you’d just drop a very few lines (and a picture?) on even the ordinary things you do in your fraternity, on who’s involved, etc. It can en- courage the others! With some good material in too late for full publication this time, may I set a press deadline of mid-April and mid-September for the June and November issues, with very small “stop press” additions possible until the start of May and October.

Finally, don’t miss John Carter’s subs. appeal on page 13; we must keep the show running.

Open the full document (PDF) Be BrothersA4Nov2018