Feast for six youth in Sierra Leone

We, fortunately, do not get used to beautiful things; they are always nice. So it is, at least for us religious who still believe in it, for a feast of first professions. And it was so once again on July 18, in Makeni, with the six young men (Paul, Stanley, Paul, Sam, Innocent and John) who finished their Novitiate Year and began a new chapter of their lives as Josephan confreres. Aided also by the clemency of the weather, which opened a parenthesis of almost-sun in these days soaked with rain, the day was held in a simple manner, but imbued with those pleasant sensations typical of meetings among friends, who are just united by a friendship made of sincere cordiality, by faith in shared ideals and by the satisfaction at the completion of a stage dreamed of long since. On the face of the newly professed who one by one were kneeling before the celebrant in order to pronounce the vows for the first time, you could see reflected the joy and awe for a step as significant and demanding.

But no welcome ‘hugs’ in the Josephan religious family to the new young members: this Ebola infection not yet completely eradicated wanted to make its mark here too. We know that we are all clean, but… by now we are used even to this, to look at each other and greet each other with a bow, perhaps joining our hands [although Sierra Leone is not Japan!].

In the same celebration the superior of the Vice-Province, Father Luigi Cencin, received the renewal of vows of two young confreres, Francis and Desmond.

Some confreres from the other two communities of Lunsar and Kissy have come to celebrate with the newly professed, as some religious men and women of the city, a group of youths from Lunsar, members of the vocational group, and two or three representatives of the family homes (Murialdo Homes) of Freetown. We prayed together, thanking the Lord for this beautiful gift, but also asking him strength and perseverance for the six ‘young eagles’ which took the flight of the consecrated life. They are just beginning the journey, but if it is true that ‘well begun is half done’… we wish them to continue to advance with determination and confidence; and if they can put their lives in God’s hands, it will be right ‘in good hands!’

 

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Three First Professions in Mexico

On Sunday July 19 the USA-Mexico Vice-Province was blessed with three new confreres. The novices Luis Fabián Hernández Esquivel, Iván Hernández Pérez and José Iván Méndez Cruz made their first profession. In the same celebration also the confreres Víctor López Reyes and Eladio López Santiz renewed their vows.

The Provincial Father, Roberto Landa, who presided over the moving ceremony, addressed the five young men to motivate them on their journey as members of the Josephan family. Father Robert in his homily said that religious consecration is an act of faith and love for God and a response to his call. Religious consecration is a yes you say to God giving him your whole life forever. The person who consecrates himself to God is one who in Christ discovered someone who seduces, makes you fall in love and fascinates you. He found in Jesus someone who instills full confidence and above all infinite love, which can be answered fully consecrating our person and life to Him.

After the Eucharistic celebration the confreres shared a joyful dinner with everyone present, family and friends, in the formation house of Tlalpan, Mexico City.

 

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Suor Cesira Avogaro

( Casa di riposo “Santa Bertilla”, Brendola (VI), 21/07/2015)

E’ mancata Suor CESIRA AVOGARO, sorella del nostro confratello P. Luigi della comunità di Montecchio Maggiore.

 

The first “Boys’ home” of the Josephites in India!

A dream, chased for a long time, is about to turn into reality. In our Aranvoyalkuppam community the construction of the new “House of Hope” has started in our compound and the general bursar, Fr. Juarez, during his recent visit to India, blessed the foundation stone (see the photos). The building work will take around eight months. From next year, in co-operation with the governmental institutions, we’ll be able to welcome about twenty orphan or abandoned boys. We thank all the Josephites involved in the preparation of the project and all those who have already given their financial support for this promising educational activity, hoping that many others will join.

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In the photos you can also see the community of Aranvoyalkuppam, with the five brothers who began their theology course, the new enlarged dining room, the renovated chapel and the internal garden.

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Bishop Celmo greets Pope Francis

During the pastoral visit in Ecuador, on July 8, Pope Francis met with the clergy, and seminarians in the National Marian Shrine of “El Quinche.” He was welcomed by the Josephan bishop H. E. Celmo Lazzari, Apostolic Vicar of Sucumbios and in charge for Consecrated Life within the Episcopal Conference of Ecuador. Below you can watch the video with his speech.

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Bishop Celmo with Bishop Paolo Mietto, Vicar emeritus, and Bishop Adelio Pasqualotto, the new Apostolic Vicar of Napo.

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Help becomes testimony

Last news from the Josephan missionaries in Sierra Leone

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The reality we are experiencing is a bit strange because, while there is a desire within us that everything will end soon to get some relief, the factual evidence tells us that is not yet the time. In fact in the first week of June there were nine new cases of Ebola and, even worse, other fifteen new infected were founded from 8 to 13, and 7 others from 14 to 20 and some of them just a few kilometers from us. Our Chiefdom was Ebola free from 92 days and suddenly… went back to fear. What leaves us most perplexied is that only a few of these patients were part of the people quarantined. There are fears that the virus is changing. In this regard, we are waiting for answers from the experts and research centers.

Meanwhile, our operations continue to help alleviate the difficulties of the poor and weak. From them we had testimonies and expressions of gratitude that we wish to share with all of you, our supporters:

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– “Even before we had difficulties to get food every day but with the arrival of Ebola the situation deteriorated further. Often we could not eat both for lack of food and because no one could move. Then we looked for some herbs around the house and some cassava root to fill our stomach. The rice had reached prohibitive prices and, due to blockage in transport, many times it was not even available. During this time many have died of starvation. We lost husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters and life had become meaningless. If the Josephites and their benefactors had not come to our rescue surely many more lives would have been swept away.”

– “The intervention of the Fathers brought us life and hope. Many of us were malnourished or undernourished better. So many have died not by Ebola but because, by not eating enough due to lack of food, their bodies weakened so much to reach death in a short time. Now our children have the opportunity to have breakfast with a little milk and corn flour and then, in the evening, they can eat a good rice dish with ingredients that are donated us. Also we contribute with our work, so that food is more rich and nutrient.”

– “Now we wash with medicated and perfumed soap and personal hygiene has become more careful and effective in order to prevent disease.”

– “Now we are proud to have a small nest egg that helps us to buy medicine, to solve economic problems and pay school fees. Even our faces have changed because we smile more and, enjoying good health, we can easily create friendships. Then, getting clothes and shoes, helps us a lot in social relationships because we do not feel anymore the shame of when we did not have any clothes on. Our villages are again lively from when we receive such assistance.”

– “Our standard of living has improved a lot and so do the school results because in the morning we do not go to school with empty stomachs but we have breakfast and back home we always find supper ready.”

– “My parents are no longer skeletal, skin and bones, they wear nice clothes and prepare me good food. Now they are respected by everyone because they do not have debts with other people” (written by a child).

– “Your gift also allows us to help some friends in need who may not have food for that day. And so life in the village has become more joyous.”

– “We sincerely thank all our benefactors for this sign of great interest and affection. It’s part of our culture to never forget those who have GIVEN AGAIN to us LIFE and the chance to live in dignity. Our daily prayer be with you and bless you.”

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GRATITUDE also comes from the heads of the villages who have been able to deal with the after-Ebola with more serenity and together with the whole village.

We believe that the above words can help us to open a large window on the reality of this people who not only is grateful but does not forget and knows how to show what the aid received has brought into their lives. Each success builds confidence, hope and certainly tomorrow all this will result in a people able to manage themselves and to face the daily difficulties with more strength and motivation. THANK YOU ALL BBENEFACTORS then, and a huge thanks also on behalf of those who today live in the embrace of solidarity.

ALL WANTS TO RESTART, REVIVE AND REJOICE IN BEING TOGETHER.

May God bless you.

The community of Lunsar

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