February 04, 2016
TO ALL PROVINCIAL SUPERIORS AND THROUGH THEM
TO ALL OUR DEAR CONFRERES!
FRATERNAL GREETINGS FROM THE LAND OF POPE FRANCIS!
The New Year (2016) started with a flurry of activities starting with the return of our priest student boarders from the various parochial ministries during the Christmas break. On the 2nd of January Fr. Silvano Marisa with Fr. Alex Valummel left for Angola. Fr. General presided over the Provincial Chapter and Fr. Alex met with the various Treasurers to explain the financial record keeping of the Congregation and other requisites for their office as provided for in our rule. The election of the new Provincial Leadership was communicated to all by our beloved General Secretary. Both returned on the 12th of January very happy with the mission accomplished.
Meanwhile, Fr. Joseph Bachand, left for France on the 4th of January to officially begin his mission of Superior of the International Community at the La Salette Shrine. He continues to be a member of the General Council and will come to Rome occasionally for meetings of the Council. He will certainly remain connected and will be well informed about the activities of the General Council. He has now embarked on a serious deepening of his mastery of the French Language.
Also in the month of January, the Region of Argentina had its meeting “Ad instar capituli” and elected their Regional Leadership. The new leadership was communicated to you on January 26. On January 28-30, the Indian Matha Province also had a chapter and elected their provincial leaders. The Chapter was presided over by Fr. Thomas Vellappallil, M.S. as delegate of Fr. Superior General. Results of the election were subsequently communicated to you.
Here in Rome, we have had some wintry days….with temperatures at times going down to freezing. Fortunately not for long….and not enough to have snow. During all this, Fr. Adilson Schio was basking in the Brazilian summer heat in Marcelino Ramos where he was vacationing with his family. In the latter part of January he also joined the provincial gathering of the Province of Brazil and gave a retreat to the Province. He will be back in Rome, Februay 5. Welcome back Fr. Adilson.
On the 30th of January, the Most Rev. Paolo Selvadagi, D.D. the Auxiliary Bishop of the Western Section of the Diocese of Rome officially presented to the Parish Fr. HENRYK PRZEZDZIECKI, M.S. as Administrator of the Parish of Our Lady of La Salette here in Rome. He too remains a member of the General Council. After this, one of his official acts was to organize a special Mass for all the religious in the parish to mark the annual day for Religious and the closure of the year of Consecrated Life. The Mass was attend by approximately 35 relgious sisters and our La Salette religious, after which all gathered in our community dining hall for a fraternal breakfast, roman style. (Coffee, bread, butter and jams and some cheese).
In the afternoon of the 2nd February, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, the five of us, Frs. Silvano, Alex, Belarmino, Neil and myself along with two La Salette Sisters from Basilicata (Sounthern Italy) Srs. Balbina and Veronica, went to St. Peter’s Basilica to Concelebrate and assist at the Closing Mass of the Year of Consecrated Life with Pope Francis. The Mass was attended by more than five thousand Religious Priest, nuns, members of Secular Institues and lay people. I had a special privilege of being designated as one of the priests to give out Holy Communion to the faithful gathered on the Piazza outside the Basilica. It was a particularly inspiring experience for me, I am most grafeful. In his homily, the Pope spoke about “meeting”, reflecting on the meeting of Simeon and Anna with the Lord, and the Holy Family. A similar encounter with the Lord is essential to our life of consecration, and all of us are enjoined to achieve and deepen this in our lives.
January marked the last month of schooling in the Italian language for two La Salette sisters: Sr. Clotilde (Fara) Rasoamampionona and Sr. Ja Khawng (Maria). They have been going to language school since October, in preparation for the new mission they will have in the Shrine of Our Lady of the Guard in Marseille, France. The shrine is frequented by many Italians….thus the importance of the ability to communicate in Italian. The two sisters have marvelously acquired this capacity in their months of studies, during which our Generalate was their home. They returned to France February 1. Thank you for your presence with us dear Sisters…and we wish you a fruitful ministry in Marseille.
Finally, we give a hearty welcome to Fr. Adilson who returned from his vacation with renewed energy and much enthusiasm. And at the same time, we wish Fr. Alex Valummel happy trip and fruitful mission to Myanmar. He will visit our confreres and their mission, and help them to have a better understanding of how to manage our material goods.
We take this opportunity to wish you all a blessed Lenten Season, in this year of Mercy…and the 170th anniversary of the Merciful Apparition of Our Lady at La Salette. May Our Lord, through our Lady shower an abundance of blessings upon you and all our confreres during this season.
Very truly yours,
Efren L. Musngi, M. S.