XIV General Chapter
Consecrated for the Mission with Migrants and Refuges
“Walk humbly with your God” (Mc. 6, 8)
It is with great joy, faith and hope that on October 22, 2019, thirty-four delegate Sisters arrived at the International Spirituality Center of the Sacred Heart, Rocca di Papa – Rome to participate in the 14th General Chapter of the Congregation. That same day, Sr. Rosanna Costantini, FMA, facilitated dynamics for the integration of the group.
The 23rd and 24th of October were dedicated for sharing and communications on the process of internal reorganization carried out in the provinces done by the Provincial Superiors, 2014-2018 and the present Provincial Superiors and Delegate Superior of the Asia Delegation, the new configuration of the Congregation
In the morning of October 24, a very special moment, was the Eucharist celebration in front of the tomb of St. Peter, in the crypt of St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican, where the chapter Sisters requested the intercession of this great apostle for the success of the Chapter. Fr. Gianni de Robertis, Director General Fondazione Migrantes, who presided at Mass, reminded the Sisters to invoke the fire of the Holy Spirit, without this, which nothing can be done and referring to the words of Pope Francis said, “when you speak, do not say what the Superior General wants to hear, but say what the Holy Spirit truly suggests, with frankness and freedom.”
On October 25, celebrating the 124th anniversary of the Congregation, with the votive Eucharistic Celebration of the Holy Spirit, the official opening of the XIV General Chapter took place. H.E. Most Rev. Giancarlo Perego, Bishop of the Diocese of Ferrara – Comacchio, in his homily, recalled the words of Pope Francis of abandoning the pastoral of “always doing this”, and encouraged the Sisters to be bold and creative in rethinking, evangelizing with proper goals, structures, style and methods of communities; being a person of going forth, leaving one’s own comforts to go out to the outskirts, carrying the cross of Christ with so many brothers and sisters. He furthered talked about the commitment of Blessed Founder John the Baptist Scalabrini and the co-founders, Fr. Joseph and Blessed Assunta Marchetti, he underlined the demand for the “right to migrate” as an “inalienable right” of humankind.
The Superior General, Sr. Neusa de Fátima Mariano, welcomed the delegate Sisters to the Chapter and said that in the coming weeks there will be reflections, discernments and joint work on what has been lived and accomplished in recent years, looking at the future of the Church and the Scalabrinian religious life. Trusting in the Holy Spirit who calls and guides, Sr. Neusa declared the 14th General Chapter open.
Father Amedeo Cencini, CP, on October 25 and 26, presented some reflections and perspective as signs of the future and hope for the Consecrated Religious Life. He went on saying that the General Chapter does not have a duty to resolve all difficulties, but has its prophetic value where it will be pointing out new ways of convincing witness to the joy of consecrated life, and in living together. The ability to develop a culture of sensitivity that leads to compassion for the world in which we live and obedience to the discernment of God’s will. For this reason, ongoing formation is ordinary and not only extraordinary, in which the only model is that of Easter and the method is the integration of the death and resurrection of the Son in every moment of life through the power and action of the Holy Spirit.
In communion with the Church and the whole Congregation, we thank you for being close to us through your messages and prayers and we continue to count on your support and continuous prayers and in Eucharistic celebration. #MSCSGenChapter2019 #MissionariestotheMigrants
Il Servizio Itinerante vuole essere un’icona visibile della fede delle suore Missionarie Scalabriniane, che esprime l’amore a Dio e la decisone professata pubblicamente di donare la propria vita nel servizio evangelico e missionario ai migranti e ai rifugiati. Con gioia possiamo dire che abbiamo una adesione significativa di suore che si sono iscritte, ben come tante altre che sostengono questo Servizio, ciò mostra come la missionarietà è viva nel cuore delle suore e nella Congregazione.
Sia in Africa, come in Asia, in America o in Europa, il Servizio Itinerante sarà presente a nome di ciascuna suora della Congregazione delle Suore Missionarie Scalabriniane. Tanto quelle che sono presenti nelle diverse missioni come quelle, che nella preghiera offrono i propri dolori e sacrifici e stanchezze, tutte partecipano alla missione di accogliere, proteggere, promuovere e integrare i migranti e i rifugiati che Dio ci ha affidati.
Ci anima la convinzione che “strada facendo” il processo contribuirà a migliorare e ad adattare il Servizio alle circostanze dei tempi e dei luoghi. Osiamo comunque iniziare, partire, metterci in cammino come “Chiesa in uscita”, verso i migranti e i rifugiati.
Le suore hanno organizzato un servizio itinerante, nei prossimi tre mesi, al confine italia francese di Ventimiglia, per portare assistenza ai migranti e per contribuire ai progetti di sostegno organizzati della Diocesi.
Tre mesi a Ventimiglia, al confine tra Francia e Italia, a sostenere i migranti. E’ questa la nuova sfida che oggi ha portato lì il Servizio itinerante delle suore missionarie scalabriniane.
Rome. On September 5 – 20, 2019 at the General Headquarters, Rome, the General Government joined together with the preparatory commission, composed of Sr. Giuliana Bosini, Sr. Elizangela Chavez Dias and Sr. Roschelle Isada, to share the process in the preparation of the XIV General Chapter with the help of the Chapter moderator, Sr. Michelin Tremblay, osc.
Recognizing that journeying together is the key that led us towards a new expression of reliving the congregational story, it is with the great desire to walk with God, as Sisters in the service of migrants. With the several moments and days of reflection, study, discussion, as methods in the preparation for the XIV General Chapter, the commission come out with a synthesis that was born from the contributions received from the communities, provinces and delegations.
With greater ardor and commitment of the journey towards the Chapter, the commission and the general government heads toward Congregational synodality and to “walk humbly with God.” The grace given was both a gift and a responsibility. As the a path of synodality, it opens a new horizon of hope, beauty and joy in living anew as a fruit of the congregational internal reorganization. It was an experience of renewal calling each one to live a new spell of the Goodnews dynamism and coherence, together with the migrants and refugees.
Three months in Ventimiglia, on the border between France and Italy, to support migrants: this is the new challenge that today has led the Scalabrinian Missionary Sisters to be present through their itinerant Service. Until December 20, three religious (one Italian, one Filipino and one Brazilian) will intervene on the spot to support projects of help and support of the Church.
The initiative was born in collaboration with the Dioceses of Ventimiglia-Sanremo and Imperia, in coincidence with the next World Day of the migrant and refugee, Sunday 29 September.
The project is part of the activities already put in place by the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo (Scalabrinians), who since their foundation in the late nineteenth century have been dealing with assistance to migrants. The Sisters, with the Itinerant Service, an emergency response group, intend to be present on the most “hot” borders in the world to help refugees or those who, more generally, find themselves forced to emigrate.
“It is a challenge to accompany, to be traveling companions with those in difficulty, explains Sister Neusa de Fatima Mariano, general superior. We are aware of the large number of borders that are places of emergency for migrants. We have chosen to implement this new project to help migrants who, after crossing Africa and the Mediterranean, ask to go to France. Borders are always walls: they must be torn down because the hope of a better world cannot be translated into a document, a certificate. The will to build the city of God and of man, as Pope Francis says, is nourished with bridges of dialogue, and with hope in a more beautiful and serene future, which is a universal human right”.
The General Direction of the three Institutes of the Scalabrinian Family (composed of the Fathers, Sisters and Lay Consecrated) met in Villabassa (Bolzano). The goal was to focus attention on the most pressing needs in the migration sector. “We are living in a time when old and new conflicts uproot thousands of people from their homes and their land and force them to seek security elsewhere”, said Father Leonir Chiarello (Superior General of the Scalabrinians), Sister Neusa de Fatima Mariano (general superior of the Scalabrinians) and Regina Widmann (general manager of the Scalabrinian Seculars)
“We are living a time in which the exasperated search for one’s own comfort exacerbates the inequalities among people and between nations – they continue – and forces many to look for opportunities in another country, where access to those opportunities is often denied; a time in which to have hope one must buy it illegally and end up buying the probability of failure or death; a time in which rhetoric against migrants prevails and is utilized as an easy tool to obtain consensus while giving in return uncertain and short-term solutions. These are not abstract considerations. Just think of the many borders where so many tragedies are taking place every day”.
These are three guidelines launched by the Scalabrinian Family. Narrating through facts and witnessing because there is a lot of “repetitiveness in stigmatizing migrants as a threat to national well-being, to the security of citizens, to the cultural heritage of a society”. Therefore narrating migrants, because “the migrants especially are silent, because nobody wants to hear their voice. It is our duty to create opportunities for migrants to speak and for someone to listen, for us to listen”. Finally, “narrating to God”, because “precisely before God the migrants will not accompany us, but we must create opportunities to narrate together our stories that intertwine to become the history of salvation”.
The Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo will be holding the General Chapter with the theme:
“Consecrated to the Mission for migrants and Refugees”
and with its logo:
“Walking humbly with your God” (Mc. 6:8)
from 22ndOctober until 17thNovember 2019 at the
International Spirituality Center of Sacred Heart of Jesus, Via Campi D’Annibale, 137, 00040-Rocca di Papa, Rome, Italy.
A General Chapter is an event of grace, a gift that God gives to all the members of the Congregation and to the Church; as such it must be welcomed by all the Sisters, as being responsive part of it from its preparation to its realization, welcoming the call of the Lord at this present moment in our history.
(Sr. Neusa di Fatima Mariano, mscs, Convocation Letter of the XIV General Chapter)
We prepare our hearts and welcome with openness this privileged hour, the great Kairósof our God, with the awareness of being responsible for the charism, in an attitude of listening, discernment and availability to the will of the God, the Father and the motions of the Holy Spirit.
Let us accompany the XIV General Chapter as it is being prepared and lived in all our communities, “with prayers and Eucharistic celebrations, with reflections and study of the specific and dedicates subsidies, letting ourselves to be led by the Holy Spirit, allowing Him to enlighten us, guide us and accompany us where He wants, so that the will of God may be realized.”
Congregational Ongoing Formation Course
Manaus, July 27 – August 9, 2019
We are a group of sixteen (16) Sisters, coming from different continents and countries, working in different realities and cultures, with the aim of “Strengthening the joy of self-giving in prayer and in serving migrants, to strengthen the religious missionary Scalabrinian identity “.
We are grateful to God and to the Congregation for having received the opportunity of these days to deepen, learn and reflect on various aspects of our consecrated life. The topics addressed in this first part were: “Humanization of our relationships and the importance of non-violent communication, to get to know each other better and relate in a balanced and harmonious way in our communities and also in the society. We also reflected on some significant aspects of our founder, Blessed Scalabrini and co-founders, the Venerable Fr. Joseph Marchetti and Blessed Assunta Marchetti, highlighting their missionary spirit, their self-giving and holiness of life, which today motivate us to follow and enthusiastically take on our mission together with migrants and refugees.
We are in Manaus, the heart of the Amazon, and we are being hosted in the Mornese Retreat House of the Salesian Sisters. The meeting is taking place in a pleasant atmosphere of prayer, reflection and integration of all participants. The cultural tour, was realized in the first day, which allowed us to see and admire the natural and cultural beauties of this small earthly paradise.
We had the opportunity to meet, share and celebrate with Bishop José Albuquerque, Auxiliary Bishop of Manaus, with the Scalabrinian Sisters, priests and lay missionaries of the community of Manaus, together with the Sisters and Salesian formands.
A fraternal embrace,
Sr. Fátima Pereira, mscs and Sr. Clarice Barp, mscs
Via di Monte del Gallo, 68
00165 – Rome, Italy
Tel: +39 06 39 37 73 20
Tel: +39 06 63 49 77