Re: Our Treasure
My Dear Confrere,
May God the Holy Spirit unite us ever more with the Son to the Father.
On April 30, 1936 Fr. Justin wrote: “What is the religious Congregation? It is something made of body and soul. It is a creature simple in the soul, complex in the body, it is intelligent and loving and it was made by the Lord for his glory, in his love, with his will.
The esteem and love for the Congregation is its force of cohesion; it is the law of cohesion that keeps united the various individuals so that they may receive life from that soul.
Each member lives of the soul, but more particularly seems that its head lives of it; In each member there is the whole soul, but more specially the soul seems to live in its head. So the soul of the Congregation is in all those who are effectively congregated, but more specially in the head, in the superior, respectively the local, provincial and general superior. It is from the head that starts the flow of animation and direction to the whole body, to every external expression of life.
Every Congregation is immortal in its body and in its soul. In its body because they are so many individual, immortal souls, one by one. In its spirit, because either it is an angel, as I believe, or is the Lord himself.
It is not possible to identify the spirit of the Congregation with the founder or the superior pro tempore. They know that are not they to act, but they are moved and vivified by Another”.
I deemed convenient to quote these reflections about what it is, what should be the Congregation, because they help us to enter ever more in that soul, in that spirit and they enable me the understand the complementarity of its various members.
For the reflection that I would like to make in this letter, I find also useful to quote from Alcune Norme per i Superiori (Some Norms for the Superiors), probably written also in 1936 the following:
“For one’s dependence from the major superiors, our local superior shall be most faithful
1. in sending reports of himself, of his office, of the house and dependents;
2. in trying to constantly increase the financial contribution for the houses of formation in general, for the community central cash funds which will be used for the good of the works of the congregation and the welfare of foreign missions;
3. in inspiring all his dependents, to have esteem and reverence, love and desire for the major superiors and above all for the Roman Pontiff, the diocesan Ordinary and for the general superior and for provincial superior, if there is one;
4. in soliciting and afterwards thanking for the directive and informative circular letter which the major superiors must send periodically to individual houses and to the superiors, every fifty days;
5. in soliciting and prolonging the visits of the major superiors to every houses, aside from the so-
6. in spreading the knowledge, esteem and love to religious vocations, to religious families…;
7. in presenting (after first having searched) many good candidates to our houses of formation, without exaggerated forms of proselytism, but with the ordinary Vocationist apostolate.”
All of these points are important for all the past, present and future superiors because they are part of our patrimony and they guarantee stability and continuity to the Congregation.
If you are not willing to do something more and better for vocations, if you want to live as a fake religious, I advice you not to read this letter any further: you may only lose your unreal interior peace and your time. But I take this opportunity to tell you that I have written this just for you, with great love and full of trust and of great hope so that you may not be a sterile plant.
Let us go back to the source
Fr. Justin wrote for me and to you: The “good religious” and “holy priest” are the greatest need of souls, and, at the same time, the greatest gift that may be given. Thus, the primary and the focal work of the servant of the saints, his devotion and apostolate, is always the search for and nurturing of divine vocations to priesthood and religious life (Ascension Art. 749). Vocations are the reason of our existence; they must be the center of our preoccupations, our cross and our joy. When I professed my religious vows, I expressed them “In hac religiosa societate ad vocationes promovendas instituta” (In this religious society instituted in order to promote vocations). Younger confreres express them “according to the constitutions of the society of Divine Vocations” (Const. Art. 27).
With our Venerable Founder you prayed and pray: “I embrace this cross of fire which is the work of the Divine Vocations” (Dev. p. 1429). You and I know it well that lex orandi est lex credendi; one believes what he prays, and prays what he believes.
Your actual identity
Now, you are a Vocationist. The Lord called you and you responded. There are many good Vocationists, both priests and sisters, who made a lot of sacrifices in order to help you and me; thanks to their sacrifices, not withstanding their inevitable weaknesses, they have helped us to be religious and priests, and now we are Vocationists! This is your identity. S.D.V. is your second family name; it indicates who you are and to whom you belong. I don’t like to see your name written without this common name; I don’t like to hear your name being mentioned without hearing S.D.V. or of the Vocationists. Your identity is not that of being parish priest, professor, superior, treasurer, etc. …; your identity rests in the name Vocationist. When you must introduce yourself, you must introduce yourself as a Vocationist. The same thing you must do when you introduce a confrere. The name Vocationist indicates who you are and what you should do.
It can be superfluous, but certainly it will not harm you; to remember that the suffix “ist” at the end of a word indicates that a person is specialized in and dedicates his life to that field of work. A specialist is one who exercises a specialty; Dentist is one who studies teeth and dedicates himself to curing them.
A Vocationist is one who studies, appreciates, serves, lives and dies for vocations; he is an expert in matters of vocation. As a Vocationist, I must be a specialist of vocations. To animate, to encourage, to accompany, to cultivate, to form, to educate and to sustain vocations must be the program of my life, aside from praying for them. Do you really feel suited to this title, this profession or it is just a title?
Fr. Salvatore Verlezza often repeated that the archbishop of Salerno, Msgr. Demetrio Moscati, used to say: “The Democratic Christians are christians as Scipione the African was African”. Remember that Scipione was named the African for having inflicted the greatest defeat against Carthageans, and for destroying a good part of what used to be considered beautiful and good in that continent. I hope and pray that you and I will not be Vocationists in the same manner.
Fr. Justin suffered, cried, and many times even got sick when a young confrere left the Congregation or betrayed his vocation. I will not deny that I suffer, I cry, I get sick when a confrere goes away, when a vocation is betrayed or abandoned. This suffering becomes a torment, a painful laceration when a candidate goes away because he has not been received well, or not properly cared, not loved, or even worse, for having been maltreated by a Vocationist! Lord, grant that it may never happen again that a candidate or a confreres abandons his vocations because not welcome, not cared for, not loved by a Vocationist! Lord free me and every confrere from such an abomination!
If we want to be true Vocationists we must make ours these words and sentiments of Fr. Justin: “Every time that one knocks at the door of our spiritual family, I feel a sweet knock at my heart and the heart opens up to the new comer well before the door does” (Spirit of Prayer, 225)
I ask myself and you: What would Fr. Justin have done with the many requests of admission that come to my desk every day from so many nations of the world? What should we do with them?
Hundreds of young men knock at my heart, at the heart of the Congregation! Once a candidate has been admitted: “The new comer becomes mine and all mine. More than a brother and a friend,he becomes flesh of my flesh and bone of my bones, and I am unable to separate myself from him without a physical and moral torment, the most cruel of all.
I cry, my Lord, because I would like to be for them a living proof and symbol of your love and relationship with them; Oh! How I would like to be for them an effective, irresistible stimulus to unite them to you, but I do not succeed.
These tears that I am shedding, my Lord, seem to be of blood! And those who could wipe them away have gone far away into abysses, those who cause them are not here any more (Spir. of Pr.225).
Lord, grant that none of those you have given me, may ever get lost; I beg you, in the name of the Church, in the name of every religious family, I pray for them as I pray for my own self, poor man and priest.
O my God, one Judas is enough, even one is too many!... I beg you, grant that nobody else may ever fall and retreat” (Ibid.226).
Fr. Justin has taught us and we often repeat it. Vocations are not lacking, what is lacking are the researchers and cultivators of vocations. As children are the joy and the glory of the parents, so our candidates, those who are called to our family, are the pupils of our eyes, our true treasure.
I am touched at the thought that notwithstanding our numberless deficiencies the Lord continues to bless and to enrich our family. Thank the Lord with me because today, we have in our vocationaries, novitiates and houses of formation 297 young people. For every active religious, we have at least two people in formation. I ask myself and I ask you: Are you really treasuring these treasures? Are our young confreres your treasure? Fr. Justin goes so far as to call our students “our Lords (Cfr. Dir. Of Obed.).
The hidden treasure – the precious pearl
“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field; a man finds it and hides it again, then filled with joy, he goes, sells all his belongings and buys that field.
The Kingdom of heave is like a merchant in search of precious pearls; having found a very valuable one, he goes, sells everything he owns and buys it” Mt 13, 44-
According to holy Scriptures and the principles of Fr. Justin, we believe that the Lord has elected and called us before creation ever existed. Each one of us has received more than one vocation. Every vocation, a tangible sign of God’s predilection, is a real treasure. The more vocations we have, the more treasures we possess!
Vocations are not always found at the surface; If we do not work in depth, often they remain undiscovered. The idea of the Vocationary, as place of discernment has its origin in this image of the hidden treasure. A vocation requires always a lot of work and a lot of commitment. In order to get hold of this hidden treasure, of this precious pearl, it is necessary to invest everything, to get rid of any other burden. This means that we cannot do a vocational ministry as a sport, as if it were a game, it cannot be taken lightly. If we are not capable to free ourselves of everything and of everybody in order to accompany and form the ones who are called, we cannot call ourselves true Vocationists.
Most of the times these precious vocations come in big, unshaped, ruff mass of stone, only the patient, meticulous and constant work of an expert educator may bring them to the light of the sun and enable them to shine in their beauty and greatness. As a sculptor can see a certain image in a shapeless mass of stone and then he is capable to bring it out of that stone, so the Vocationist must be able to conceive, see the vocation in a young person and be able to discover it and perfect it too.
Being sure that in every human there is one or more vocations, Fr. Justin, does not expect the security of a specific vocation before accepting a candidate.; it is enough that there is a possibility; some signs are enough. He was sure that not all the students in our Vocationaries would be priests or religious, he was happy to think that they would be at least good Christian, even if they do not become saints to be canonized.
Let us begin to make around us seriously this work of search or vocational discernment. Let us approach the young people, let us be surrounded by young people, let us fill our houses and our churches with young people, let les enkindle in them the fire of God’s love, and we shall discover so many vocations. If around us there is but emptiness, certainly we cannot inspire, animate, encourage any vocation. Certainly, to attract young people and keep them interested in God’s work it is not easy because it is needed on our part a big and open heart, it means giving up our own comfort and to allow to the young people to eat alive.
Consequently to be a Vocationist is not enough to welcome the young people and accompany them with a big heart and matherly and fatherly care. When they come to us, we must go out to look for them, compel them, enchant them and put them afire with the fire of love. As it is true that our only glory is to leave behind us a quantity of plants-
It does not hurt to remember that even if a young man had all the talents and good qualities of this world, he cannot, he must not be a Vocationist unless he is madly in love with God Trinity, if he is not ready to give up his life for vocations and does not identify himself with the Congregation. Upon whom can the young people model their vocationistality unless they model it upon you?.
Our candidates, aspirants, postulants, novices and professed brothers are our true treasure that must be well maintained, appreciated and made ever more precious. These precious treasures of ours rich of heroic enthusiasm and high ideals, come to us in vessels of clay! Yes, they are fragile, and they come to us to be defended, protected and strengthened. They come from different parts of the world in a marvelous gamut of colors, languages and cultures. Their presence enables us to experience and be part of the universality of the Church, that embraces all, loves and accompanies all on the way to Christian perfection. That is way the Vocationist must be “integral soul, universal soul”.
Many of our students come to us with some kind of instability and insecurity, at times they come with deep wounds not totally healed, with scars that may be more or less visible. They all ask a remedy to their shortcomings, light to come out of any confusion, strength to continue the journey. They all want to be healed and are eager to grow and to improve. They want to become saints, even though some time they want to do it in their own way and at their own pace. They all need help, which is not always readily available.
Today, when our life is affected by the globalization process and our own world has become “a little village”, in every seminary and formation house, it is necessary to open ourselves to all youngsters, to all vocations. We cannot lack ourselves in our backyard or in our own villages! I see each one of our students as a gift from the Blessed Trinity, a treasure that has been discovered but not yet fully appreciated. No young man, called by God, must be discriminated because he comes from this or that town, this or that continent, speaks this or that language, his skin is of this or that color. Every new candidate is an enrichment for us and a real blessing. Every vocation that fails or is betrayed causes the loss of endless other vocations to our family. Every vocation that is lost or aborted on account of our negligence makes us guilty and accountable for all the good that they could or should have accomplished.
All our esteem and affection is due to our students in formation. To them we dedicate our time, our talents and our resources. Certainly, discipline, austerity, abnegation to some many little things of life are a necessity; our candidates will accept all these things joyfully and lovingly if they see them in us. We cannot pretend from our candidates a level of religious observance or discipline higher than ours.
Our younger brothers should never be threatened by the menace of expulsion. To them we must constantly present the highest ideal of consecrated life, instructing them continuously, correcting patiently, making them aware of the fact that the Lord does not want the death of the sinner, but that he converts and lives. God and the Congregation do not want the death of a vocation, but that this should convert and live according to the dignity of the call and the divine predilection in order to accomplish all the good that God expects from every vocation. Errors and admissible and possible, but one cannot accommodate himself in them and live in a state of lukewarmness.
And you, my brother in formation, do you appreciate what the Congregation is doing for you? How do you repay it? Even now you can start being an apostle of the Congregation, presenting it in its best light by the way you live. Whenever you hear negative remarks about your religious family, defend it and renew your commitment not to mortify it in the opinion of others with your examples of shabby manners, disinterest and lack of enthusiasm. Remember that others (erroneously and unjustly!) judge the entire Congregation by your way of life. In the way you act, dress and carry on, in the way you perform your duties, even externally you must present yourself with propriety, elegance, dignity and as a true witness of the Gospel values. From you they judge the entire Congregation! Remember also that usually an excellent young seminarian becomes a good priest, a good seminarian becomes a mediocre priest and a mediocre seminarian becomes a terrible priest. From what you are today, you may anticipate what you will be tomorrow.
Superiors and educators must accompany, sustain encourage and foster the growth of those in formation, they must prevent their falls and heal their wounds, they must suffer their pains and rejoice for their joys without ever getting tired of correcting, exhorting and igniting them of divine fire. Thus the superiors shall share the merits of the good that those in formation today will accomplish tomorrow, and of the glory that they will render to the Blessed Trinity.
Our candidates, future ministers of sanctification, may forever be, o Jesus, true angels for your people; angels of purity, angels of charity, angels of light, angels of sacrifice, angels of counsel and comfort, angels of grace and angels of peace! (Pious XII).
Our guardian angels are also our confessors and spiritual directors, that divine providence places on our way to accompany and guide us on the tortuous journey that leads to perfection. They are for us the Teacher made visible, the Spirit that inspires and sustains us on our way; they are the image of the Father, standing ever before us with outstretched hands, that invites us and welcomes us uniting us to himself.
Fr. Di Marino, a well known professor at the Pontifical faculty of St. Luigi in Posillipo, used to say: “If you want to know a devout priest, see if he hears confessions and hears them with love”. The same can be said about spiritual direction.
Each and everyone of us, even the most burdened by heavy work, must be able to make time to hear confessions and offer the service of spiritual direction. We can measure the effectiveness of our priesthood by the time we spend hearing confessions and doing spiritual counseling.
Often I ask myself: why is it that the majority of our confreres goes out to non Vocationist priests for confession and spiritual direction? Let us think about it!
The star guided the Wise Men to Jesus; Our superiors guide us to Jesus. The star was the instrument chosen by God to guide the Wise Men in discerning and following their call to faith;
Our superiors are the star chosen by God to guide the elect of the divine vocations to follow their vocation to consecrated life, to the priesthood and to holiness. The stars that are closer to our planet seem to be more radiant of those more distant; likewise the luminosity of our superiors depend from their closeness to God and to their community. They cannot and should not try to enlighten us with their proper light, since they do not have any! They must first absorb and then transmit to us the light of the true Sun, Jesus Christ, who has revealed himself as “the light of the world”.
On the feast of the Epiphany I felt the need to thank my stars, those who have been light and guide to me. This desire brought me first on the tomb of Fr. Justin and then to our Chapel in the cemetery of Pianura, to say thank you to my stars for their talents and goodness and with the hope of becoming to others what they have been to me.
How brightly shine before me: Fr. Giuseppe Di Fusco, Fr. Oreste Anella, Fr. Nicola Verde, Fr. Vincenzo Angiuoni, Fr. Egidio Porrino, Fr. Raffaele Palomba, Fr. Hugo Fraraccio and so many others! Everyone of them has touched my life and helped my growth; through their examples, their dedication and their advices, they continue to shine as true stars for me, and they continue to lead me to Jesus.
Naturally even our angels and stars come with their baggage of positive and negative experiences, successes ad disappointments or betrayals, with their ups and downs, at times they come with their negativity hidden under the appearance of caution or prudence. They come aiming to help, willing to build a better world, an ever more perfect Congregation, without being always successful!
How painful it is to see narrow-
It may be a Lapalissian (self evident) truth, but it pays to recall it: Priests who are motivated inspire new vocations; demotivated priests will discourage vocations.
Lord, grant to our educators the necessary light to cultivate the tender plant of your vocation in the heart of our young brothers, till the day in which they, filled with holy fervor, may ascend with pure mind and heart to you altar (Pious XII)
Nurturing the fire
Generally speaking, young people are idealists and easily get enthused by desires of heroism for Christian and religious life. It is our duty to nurture this fire, and not to extinguish it. “True kind-
“We deal with the elect of the divine vocations, who can and need to be driven, with determination and strength, to become a more perfect likeness of Christ, since they must be the light of the world, not an eclipse, the leaders of the chosen people, the princes of the kingdom of heaven” (Asc.905). As we must keep ignited and nurture the flame of divine fervor in our young brothers, so we must do in our own selves in order to transmit it to others.
Fervor, zeal and enthusiasm are not only characteristics of the beginners or novices: they must be part of us, every day, hour and moment, and in an ever greater level.
The popular sayings: “Tell me whom do you go with, and I will tell you who you are” and “He who keeps company with a lame person learns how to be lame” express a profound pedagogical principle, which is extremely valid with young children and considerably valid with young people: Those who are being formed or educated respond to the expectations of their masters. If young people really know what is expected of them, they respond to such expectations.
Unfortunately it is not always easy to know what is expected from us, since often there is some incoherence between what our educators say and what they do. Our Lord says: “Do what they say, but do not imitate their acts”. Facts and events, especially the negative ones, remain deeply impressed in our minds, deeper than any other abstract teaching.
In my life I have often disapproved some actions or ways of my superiors (And…how sorry now I am!) I have criticized, complained and condemned, promising myself never to do such a thing myself! And, Oh, how many a times, I have done the same and even worse! When in a young person disappears the ideal, the bad examples of the past come back to his mind and with them he tries to justify himself or lessen his guilty feelings, seeing that we are not worse than some of our superiors. It happens, at times, that one criticizes a confrere that does not move from one place to another, and then when his turn to move comes, he will say: “If so and so does not move, I will not move either!”
The superiors should be very careful not to introduce abuses or dispensations from the observance; once introduced certain abuses rarely go away. By way of example: some good superior in the past has so much stressed the fact the “Night Prayer” must be done at the very end of the day, that now in many of our communities, whenever there is something in the evening, no one prays, because Night Nrayer must be done only at the very end of the day! Even if really such a principle were so binding, why don’t we do the examination of conscience and the prayers from the Devotional? Who is responsible for the fact that prayer life is reduced to a very minimum on feast-
The weaknesses of a superior, his personal interpretations, or even his vices tend to become pious practices, affirmed traditions and then may even acquire the importance of real laws. This is why Fr. Justin insists that our superiors “must be living lessons in this steadfast obedience, always faithfully following all the general and special norms of the liturgy, Canon Law and our constitutions, even in cases in which we are not really bound to do so…” (Asc. 884).
More than teachers, our young people need models of religious life. What do our young people see in me and in you? You by your way of life and I by mine, we can condition for many years the life of the Congregation. The future generations will remember us by what we do.
A study about the effects of some ways or conditions of living, one system of education or another, whether living in one region or another, on the future behavior of people has demonstrated that in formation the most important element is consistency or stability. Changing values, systems or ways according to the whim of the superior or according to the seasons, changing things in such a way that what is not permissible today may be permitted tomorrow confuses young people today and make them unbalanced adults tomorrow.
In our communities, at times, it happens that things are changed according to the mood of the superiors. I notice substantial difference of uses and traditions from one community to another; unfortunately the same thing happens in the parishes, where the new pastors insist on doing things their way with no respect for the local traditions or the stability of the parish; and little by little we end up alienating people from the Church instead of attracting them. What can we say about those who resent others because they are more religious or more observant than they are?
Whenever an educator takes the freedom to change some devotional acts, dispositions of the major superiors, ordinances or other, he sends the message that nothing is important and that the only valid principle is: “Only what I like is really important”. Doing so we deform instead of forming; we confuse people instead of enlightening them; we demolish without constructing!
Dispensing from some religious observance, should be something really exceptional, a rarity and not something of ordinary administration.
Paraphrasing the well known epitaph: “I was what you are; you will be what I am”, our superiors and educators should never forget that they have been in formation and that some day those who are now in formation will be in our place as superiors and educators.
Let us bow down before every vocation, let us see in them not only a reflex, but the incarnation of the divine mercy and love. Let us see and venerate in them our masters and our precious treasures.
When Mons. Cafaro asked Fr. Justin “What are you doing in Pianura?” Without any hesitation Fr. Justin answered: “I am making priests”. When we are asked: what are you doing? Can you and I answer: “I am making priests?” Amen!
I conclude with Fr. Justin’s words: “It is impossible to improve the good we are already doing unless we do it through the desire of a greater good. In spiritual life (as in our intellective, moral, apostolic and social life) we do not have on earth a status of perfect maturity, but a perennial youth, a perennial amplification of our horizons, a perennial ascension to new heavens, under the impulse a holy desires” (Epiphany of Light, 5). This applies to you, my treasure, student in formation, it applies to you, my vigorous angel; it applies to you my star, my confrere, rich of years and of merits, even while you continue to enlighten us on our journey.
You, my young confrere in formation, are only at the beginning of your formative journey and there is a long way to go; you, my mature and healthy brother, must continue to grow offering to others what you have received and assimilated. You, my elderly confrere, must complete your service, reassuring and sustaining with your example those who come after you. In the Novena to Christmas, addressing Jesus himself, Fr. Justin says: “You are all my treasure”! Of you, my beloved confrere, I say: “You are my treasure”. May the Blessed Trinity, a God of love and a community of love, grant that each and everyone of us may honestly say of each and every confrere “You are my treasure”. Let us help one another by faithfully fulfilling our duty while intensely living our vocation and our charism.
Paraphrasing the liturgical admonition of Ash Wednesday “Convert and believe in the Gospel”, in this year in which we celebrate our XIII General Chapter, from the bottom of my heart I say: “Convert and live your charism; study it, implement it every day. Every night before going to bed, ask yourself: What did I do today for vocations? Only thus, will the General Chapter be a moment of grace, conversion and growth.”
Let us Pray
“ O holy family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph! Grant us an abundance of vocations to the Seraphic-
Wholeheartedly I wish that your lent may be holy and sanctifying.
Rome, March 1, 2006
Fr. Louis M. Caputo, S.D.V.
P.S. I remind you and dispose that:
a) Fr. Sarnataro and Fr. Greco are the Vocation Directors for Italy;
b) Fr. Hreno is Vocation Director for USA, Fr. Escobal for the Philippines and Fr. Johnson for India;
c) Fr. Reginal and Fr. Lawrence are Vocation Director for Nigeria;
d) Fr. Herrera, Fr. Carandente, Fr. Paredes, Fr. Fuguereido are respectively Vocation
Directors for Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador and Madagascar;
e) Any request for information, admission, vocations school camps, or vocational experiences should be addressed to them;
f) Designated houses for vocation discernment are: Foligno, Roma, Pianura, Ribera, Florham Park, San Juan, Medellin, Vilcabamba, Thalore, Mati, Oparanadim, Ibadan and Antananarivo;
g) Every Vocation Director should organize at least two Vocation camps every year:
h) In every nation there should be atr least one school of formation, every year;
i) The Vocation Directors with the cooperation of the local superiors will prepare some depliants to promote vocations;
j) On December 31st we officially closed the community of Anagni;
k) The General Council in its January 10th meeting the new Vocationist Community of: St. Patrick – Owode – Ibeshe, P. O. Box 1088, Ikorodu, Lagos State Nigeria; the new community is this stuffed: Fr. Benneth Pnyeulor, SDV, Superior and Parish Priest, Deacon Januarius Iwuji, Vice Rector and Parish Assistant, and Bro. Nnaemeka Nwogu, Regent;
l) On the same date it was also approved the canonical opening of the community of: Our Lady of Fatima Vocationary, Izhcayluma, Vilcabamba, Loja, Ecuador, phone: +593 9166 7629. Fr. Efdoarda da Mota, SDV, Superior and Vocation Director, Fr. Marcelo Paredes, Vice rector and treasurer;
m) We have received standing requests for opening Vocationist missions : In England by bishop Edwin Regan Wrexham; in Madagascar by Bishop Antoin Scopellini of Ambatrondrazaka; in India by Bishop John Kattrukudyil of Itanagar;
n) Fr. Taliano has received the obedience to explore the possibility of an opening in Indonesia;
o) We have purchased 10.000 square meters of land in the Philippines and we have started the building of a new novitiate house for the Philippines in Maasin:
p) Our house in Ecuador is being restructured;
q) Our deacons Benito Arcieri Costantino Liberti and Massimiliano D’Auria have been admitted to the priestly ordination and will be ordained in Pianura on April 29; Deacon Arley Tobar has been admitted to priestly ordination and will be ordained in Medellin on April 1;
r) In Argentina 5 novices have been admitted to the first profession and 3 postulants to the novitiate; In Columbia two novices have been admitted to the first profession and 3 postulants to the novitiate; in Brazil 1 novice has taken his first vows;
s) We have distributed posters with the pictures of our 13 deacons to be ordained in 2006. Display them in our communities, and in our churches, pray and ask other to pray for them;
t) In order to be able to complete our financial, disciplinary reports and our new directory for the year 2006, you have been informed that the first semester of 2006 will cover only January through May; all financial reports by email or otherwise must be in the hands of Fr. Fasano no later than June 10; the second semester 2006 will cover the months June through December;
u) A complete description of all properties of the Congregation must likewise be send to Fr. Fasano, no later than March 30. Any correction in our 2005 directory, updated email addresses, phone number, faxes and cellular phones must be send to Fr. Saturno no later than March 30th;
v) I remind each and everyone to do daily the prayer for the success of the General Chapter, the adoration of the first Friday and the fasting of the third Friday of each month;
w) Deacon Jimson Alukkal was our first priest ordained in 2006 on January 22 in India;
x) Every religious priest and brother must attend one week yearly retreat as planned by the community. The delegate to the General Chapter must attend the retreat prior to the Chapter.