Rome, 1st June 2019
Prot. nº 834/2019
Reference: Celebration of the Feast of the Founder, Blessed John Baptist Scalabrini
Dear Sisters, Formands, Scalabrinian Lay Missionaries and Friends,
The celebration of the Feast of the Founder, Blessed John Baptist Scalabrini, this year is even of greater significance, for the reason that, we are at the rhythm of the internal reorganization of the Congregation and we are grateful to live it also in light of the theme of the XIV General Chapter: “Walk humbly with your God” (Mk. 6:8). All this motivates us to a path of inner renewal of our consecrated being and, at the same time, gives us a new spiritual force, a new courage and missionary impulse, whose goal of this path is marked by the action of the Holy Spirit. New frontiers open before us, new realities, other cultures, different needs, peripheries, new challenges to embody the Scalabrinian charism, in this changing time.
Insofar that we reflect on Scalabrini’s vision of migration and on the contemporary world’s condition, we realize how existent his understanding and pastoral activity was, and how profound his spirituality and its impact are, in the context in which he lived.
We can say that, Blessed John the Baptist Scalabrini was a man of intense life of faith and love of God, nourished by an ecclesial spirituality: he believed, hoped and loved. The legacy we received from our founder, Scalabrini, is the mission with the migrants, a present-day charism for our time and, therefore, I encourage you to treasure this gift that is expressed in the daily life of the Scalabrinian vocation, which is nourished by the renewal of a spiritual life that designs the Scalabrinian religious life towards our brothers and sisters in mobility.
For us, it is not enough to know some ideas or facts of the life of the Blessed Scalabrini because he is much more than a page of history or an exemplary figure for his time; he transcends his time. He walked humbly, undertaking humility as a way of life, letting himself be questioned and interrogated by migrant people for the reason that he was persuaded that God acts in history with through them and with them.
The human history is marked by the migration phenomenon. We, today, following the footsteps of our founder, we have also the opportunity, through the Itinerant Service, that we are living and is operative in different realities of the Congregation; in order to reach out to migrants, strengthening the itinerancy in the life of the MSCS Sister, being a supportive and prophetic presence in the world of human mobility, thus helping society, the Church and our religious communities to transfer the human person with the his unique dignity, welcoming the sending of announcing the universal love of the Father.
Therefore, to walk humbly with the Lord as Blessed Scalabrini did, is to live our earthly pilgrimage as “a constant movement, leaving ourselves to the other, to share with him the bread of our life as baptized and consecrated, to humbly wash the feet of the traveler, to perfume the unexpected guest with the precious nard, to and to look with loving eyes at the wounded or offended pilgrims in their own dignity, treating them with tenderness and with the determination of Jesus, the good Samaritan”.
Dear Sisters, formands, lay Scalabrinian missionaries, we are encouraging you to assume the legacy we received from our founder, Blessed John Baptist Scalabrini: radical thinking, speaking and acting in favor of the migrants. Even today, thanks to this great model of Scalabrini, we feel called to flourish once again our Scalabrinian creativity of serving the migrants and refugees who do not always find answers to their needs and their wounds, and through his intercession, we can accompany them in search of better conditions of life where faith, culture and life interweave.
In unity with the General Councilors and with the Secretary General, I wish you all a joyful Feast of our Founder, and that we may live in communion of mission and prayer with all the migrants, true bearers of good news and “hidden builders and providential of universal fraternity”.
Sr. Neusa de Fátima Mariano, mscs