Xaverian Mission Newsletter - 2011 Oct-Dec: Saint Guido Maria Conforti Canonized October 23, 2011
Special Commemorative Issue on the Canonization of St. Guido Maria Conforti with photos of the celebration in St. Peter's Square and the pilgrimage to Italy; commentaries on St. Guido's spirituality by Fr. Bob Maloney, SX and Father Guglielmo Camera, SX; and special pages just for kids.
Make of the World One Family XAVERIAN MISSION Volume 59--No 4 November 2011 Commemorative Issue Website: xaviermissionaries.org Mission Blog: xaverianmissionaries.blogspot.com Saint Guido Maria Conforti Canonized October 23, 2011 Honoring Saint Guido Maria Conforti Xaverian Missionaries Provincial Headquarters 12 Helene Court Wayne, NJ 07470-2813 Tel.: (973) 942-2975 Fax: (973) 942-5012 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Xavier Knoll Mission Center 4500 Xavier Drive Franklin, WI 53132-9066 Tel.: (414) 421-0831 Fax: (414) 421-9108 Email: email@example.com Mission Center & Fatima Shrine 101 Summer Street P.O. Box 5857 Holliston, MA 01746-5857 Tel.: (508) 429-2144 Fax: (508) 429-4793 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Dear Xaverian Family, As you can see, this is a very special issue of our quarterly newsletter commemorating the canonization of our founder, Saint Guido Maria Conforti. His name says it all: Comforting Guide, for he has in deed and in spirit comforted and guided his flock of missionaries to the ends of the earth to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A Bishop who went beyond the boundaries of his own diocese to embrace the whole world, Saint Guido continues this work to this day with Xaverians serving in nineteen countries worldwide. Our pilgrims to Italy for his canonization in Rome were comforted and guided by his spiritual presence as travelers became friends visiting his episcopates of Parma and Ravenna and touring the Motherhouse of the Xaverians. Saint Guido's gentle hand directed our thoughts and prayers in Assisi and Padua, Florence and Venice as we participated in liturgies and shared meals and wonderful times together. We are called to continue his legacy and make his vision of the global mission of the Church and the world as one family become a reality by seeing Christ in all. May Saint Guido Maria Conforti continue to guide us in this effort and comfort us all the days of our lives. In Christ, Xaverian Mission Newsletter Official publication of the Xaverian Missionaries of the United States Publisher Fr. Carl Chudy,SX Editorial Team Fr. Tony Lalli, SX Fr. Joseph Matteucig, SX Fr. Alfredo Turco, SX Editor Mary Aktay Printing AlphaGraphics, Totowa, NJ Email & Web: email@example.com www.xaviermissionaries.org http:xaviermissionaries.blogspot.com http://www.facebook.com/ catholicmissionaries http://www.twitter.com/worldcatholic Donation: $5.00 per year Father Carl Chudy, SX Please Help the Global Mission of the Church. Contact: Fr. Frank Grappoli, SX 12 Helene Court Wayne, NJ 07470 Tel: 973-942-2975 or visit: www.xaviermissionaries.org for online donations 2 Xaverian Mission Newsletter November 2011 Xaverian Missionaries in the World Shepherd of Two Flocks E ven as a young seminarian, Saint Guido Conforti was captivated by Christ's invitation to proclaim the good news to all nations. He cultivated in himself and his fellow seminarians a love of the missions and corresponded with missionaries who worked in China. He was greatly impressed with the life of St. Francis Xavier and his travels throughout Asia. The great missionary's dream was to go on to China, but unfortunately he died on his way there on Shangchuan Island off the southern coast. Guido Conforti wanted to be a missionary himself and follow in the footsteps of Francis Xavier but health concerns prevented this. So he stayed in the diocesan seminary where he was ordained. An idea matured through dialogue with the bishop: "I cannot go myself; therefore I want to start a missionary congregation in the Church." He established the St. Francis Xavier Society for the Foreign Missions also known as the Xaverian Missionaries and he sent his first missionaries to China to continue the work of St. Francis Xavier. The Xaverians were there about fifty years until the Communist takeover in 1950. Saint Guido was perhaps only slowed down by obedience. He was made Vicar General of the Diocese of Parma and then Pope Leo XIII made him Archbishop of Ravenna. Saint Guido begged not to have this responsibility because he was concerned about forming the new congregation. Pope Leo said, "Go where the Lord sends you. That's your mission: Ravenna." However, because of health problems he had to renounce his position two years later. He returned to Parma hoping to devote himself totally to his new missionary foundation. But Pope Pius X made him Auxiliary Bishop of Parma with "the right to succeed" the Bishop. He was in tears in Rome before St. Pius X who told him that the Lord would provide for his obedience and for his new missionary order. So, sooner than he thought, Saint Guido Maria Conforti became a shepherd of two flocks. He was Bishop of Parma and he had a connection with the Church's global mission. This is what makes the Xaverians the spiritual sons of Bishop Conforti: that a bishop had this openness to the whole world. He took care of his diocese; and his concern was also for beyond the boundaries of the local Church. Father Paolo Manna of the Pontifical Institute for the Foreign Missions (P.I.M.E) approached Bishop Conforti with an idea to mobilize priests and reawaken their awareness of having been ordained for the whole world. Together they founded the Missionary Union of the Clergy to create mission awareness, the proper dimension of the Gospel. Bishop Conforti was glad to help promote this project and presented it to the Propagation of the Faith in Rome. Pope Benedict XV issued the great missionary Encyclical, "Maximum Illud" in 1919. In 1925 Pope Pius XI instituted the World Exposition on the Missions at the Vatican. This incorporated the idea that the entire Church is projected toward bringing the Gospel to the four corners of the earth. Bishop Conforti was made the first president of the Missionary Union of the Clergy and he held the presidency until 1927, four years before he died. Saint Guido Conforti's legacy continues to create true mission awareness in the local Church. Christians are not limited to a certain location: we act locally but we think globally. We should be involved where we are but we should not lose sight of the true dimension of the Mission and the Message given by our Lord Jesus Christ: "Go into the whole world and proclaim the Good News." Father Frank Grappoli, SX Xaverian Mission Newsletter November 2011 3 Xaverian Missionaries in the World Ringing In the Canonization bell from the prestigious Pontifical Foundry in Agnone, dedicated to Saint Guido Conforti, was placed in the tower of the new church built in Bangladesh with the help of benefactors and Italian American neighbors. The bell of 110 pounds is a gift from a benefactor, bestowed by a "strange game of Providence." Under the relief of St. Conforti the inscription is written: "For Saint Guido M. Conforti, Founder of the Xaverian Missionaries in the year 2011 commemorating his canonization." From Isernia, in the high Molise, the bell will ring for Christians of Chuknagar. The new church is dedicated to Pronam Mary Doridroder Rani "Mary, Queen of the Poor." A Father Antonio Germano, SX Chuknagar, Bangladesh You Raising the bell of the new church can help build churches with a click! Share in the Global Mission of the Church and the legacy of Saint Guido Conforti. Visit: www.xaviermissionaries.org We now accept PayPal and credit card donations online. Grateful worshipers gather for Mass in the Church of Mary, Queen of the Poor. 4 Xaverian Mission Newsletter November 2011 Xaverian Missionaries In the US Foundation in Faith... T he Berceto Foundation was formed in 1962 on the occasion of a dinner held at the home of attorney, Lino Pietrantoni of Eastchester, NY to host Fr. Bonardi who visited the United states from July 31 through September of that year. Father Bonardi was born in Boston on February 2, 1881, had returned to Italy in 1889 where he joined the Xaverian Missionaries in 1898. He was a close friend of and advisor to Saint Guido Maria Conforti. Father Bonardi was present for the first profession of Fr. Tony Lalli and at the blessing of the Minor Seminary in Holliston by Cardinal Richard Cushing on September 9, 1962. At this dinner Fr. Bonardi met his brother Giuseppe who had immigrated to this country after Fr. Bonardi had gone to China. The two brothers had not seen each other since 1904. Mr. Pietrantoni, Esq., located Giuseppe Bonardi and made it possible for the two brothers to reunite. Present at the dinner were a number of descendants of people who had lived in the mountain villages outside of Parma, They were called the "Bercetesi." Mr. Pietrantoni's family was from Pagazzano, the same area of Parma where Fr. Bonardi came from. The friends present at the reunion decided to form a group to support the Xaverian Missionaries. Some of these same people had been confirmed by, or had remembrances of Saint Guido Conforti himself. This group of friends has held a banquet annually to benefit the Xaverians from 1963 to the present. They also ran fund raising activities to benefit the Casa del Riposo of Berceto. Known as the "Friends of the Xaverian Missionary Fathers, and later as the Bercetesi Club. With all the support they have given the Xaverians, these friends might even be called "family." We wish to express our sincere gratitude to our devoted "Berceto family." We cherish your commitment to the Xaverian Missionaries. Fr. Frank Grappoli, SX speaks at the Berceto Gala. Father Bob Maloney, SX Foundation Members Elsa and Hugo Bacchioni, members of the Berceto Foundation were confirmed by Saint Guido Conforti in 1930. Xaverian Mission Newsletter November 2011 5 Pilgr fo the proclamat From top left: Fr. Alfiero Ceresoli, SX, presents relics of St. Guido with miracle recipient, little Thiago Jo�o, and his mother. Xaverians from all over the world join the Mass of the People in the Cathedral of the Diocese of Parma. Chinese worshipers pray during the Mass in St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome. Fr. Alfredo Turco SX (in white) guides pilgrims in the Shrine of St. Guido Conforti at the Motherhouse in Parma. Pilgrims participate at Mass in the Cathedral in Ravenna. 6 Xaverian Mission Newsletter November 2011 rimage or tion of a Saint From top right: His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, blesses 50,000 pilgrims at the canonization Mass. Fr. Carl Chudy, SX reads the First Reading at the Mass of the canonization. New Xaverians profess their final vows during the international liturgy in the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls. Xaverian Missionaries surround the altar at the Mass of the People in Parma. Pilgrims pray under the crucifix which inspired St. Guido Conforti. Xaverian Mission Newsletter November 2011 7 The Spirituality of Saint Guido Maria Conforti I Looked at Him. He Looked at Me. It Seemed that He Told Me So Many Things! G uido Conforti, as a child and throughout his lifetime, often queried about himself with the Lord. There was a large crucifix in a chapel along his way to school, where he would often visit. In later life, his selfquestioning and his visits to the Crucified Christ would almost merge together and provide answers to his queries about the plight of peoples of his day. These were a profound concern to his mind and heart and absorbed his priestly and pastoral attention throughout his life. The stark crucifix, which he visited, represented the life of Christ, His death, and the measure of His love for all--and it beckoned: "come, see, reach out, respond"-- "Love one another." In Omnibus Christus! "Christ In All!" was his motto when he was called to be Archbishop of Ravenna. Caritas Christi urget nos! "The love of Christ impels us!" was the calling card which he passed to his Xaverian family. The Crucifix, before which he paused, gazed and wondered, "seemed to call him by name" and "attract his attention." Christ was central to his life. Christ gave him his vocational call. Christ invited him and enabled him to contemplate his lifetime as he worked in the seminary of Parma, and when Christ was heard as a constant cry from the "fields afar" in distant China. Our times are challenging and varied. The world is one and diverse. Our points of reference are varied and changing. The Founder's statement: "He told me so many things." provides us with fundamental and basic insights. The Lord had told him many things and continued to guide his life: For him, Christ was ever and always in charge, until the Lord called him home in 1931. Caritas Christi remains a refrain, a challenge. It helps us to better understand who we are, to whom we have been sent, and what truths have been imparted anew to enable us to become a single family of Xaverians the world over and to share our lives, love, gifts to those who also look to the Crucifix and listen. Father Bob Maloney, SX 8 Xaverian Mission Newsletter November 2011 The Spirituality of Saint Guido Maria Conforti The Eucharist Calls Us to Make of Humanity a Single Family F or Conforti, participation in the Eucharistic banquet was the most authentic motive for looking upon humanity as a family made up of brothers and sisters, all with the same dignity, independently of race, religion and social condition: "At the Eucharistic banquet we should experience more intensely than usual the sentiment of the universal brotherhood, which is an indispensable duty for every Christian; we should also experience a profound Father Guglielmo sadness when we think of Camera, SX the many brothers and sisters who do not have the good fortune to participate with us at the Christ instituted the table of the Eucharist to bring about Angels, and an intimate union with to taste the same dehim and between us and lights as we our brothers and sisters. do... Christ instituted the Eucharist to bring about an intimate union with him and between us and our brothers and sisters. Just as the wine is pressed from many grapes, and the bread is made up of many types of wheat, so too we, after taking part in the divine mysteries, form one single body, which is made up of dif- ferent members, but who are all connected by very close bonds. It is in this sacrament that all sit down at the same table and feel that they are truly brothers. The Christian life, nourished and strengthened by the Eucharist, is a light that must not be restricted to the family. It is a powerful force that looks for a wider field: from the family it must reach out to society, to assert itself there and to conquer and sanctify society. This life is light ... therefore it must shine in the holiness of our example." (Palermo, 6 September 1924). Xaverian Mission Newsletter November 2011 9 Saint Guido's Kids' Korner Written by Oliviero Ferro, Drawings by Fabrizio Zugani Translated by Mattia Sallemi Can you tell us about the special thing that happened to Guido Conforti, Angelica? How the Xaverians Came to Be When Guido was a boy he went to the Church of Peace and Glory before school each day. There he would stop to pray in front of a big crucifix When He finished elementary school, Guido told his dad that he wanted to be a priest. But his father had a big heart and he let him go. So Guido started his new life. His dad go "I need t angry... yo care of u to take our fiel ds!" In the seminary Guido studied and worked hard. But during the winter he suffered from the cold. One day a friend gave him a book about Saint Francis Xavier. I want to be a missionary like him! When he was 18 years-old he became very sick. He fainted and fell to the ground. Doctors didn't know what was wrong. The bishop said, "You are ill! I can't ordain you a priest!" But the Blessed Mother helped him to recover. So at 23 years old, on September 22, 1888 he became Father Guido Conforti. I was looking at the crucifix and He was looking at me. He seemed to say many things. It's because of Him that I have my vocation. A Saint For a Friend! Word Search Puzzle Find the following hidden words: GUIDO, CONFORTI, SAINT, BISHOP, PARMA, CHINA, XAVERIAN, MISSIONARIES, FRANCIS, XAVIER, CANONIZED, ITALY D S E L P A M C F 10 E A A N X K I C R S N V C A A S H A S S A O V G S I N P A M N E U I N C O I I F R I O A I E N M O I D N I S H T E R A O A A H C N G T N H R E Q X A V I E R I E R F S Z O P T E M Z A E D S A V S E Y D A A L R I R E L O V Y N M O R S W I W M D A U T E H Xaverian Mission Newsletter November 2011 Saint Guido's Kids' Korner Andre, Do you know how the Xaverians got their name? After he read the life of Saint Francis Xavier, Guido wanted to go to China. Guido prayed in front of the crucifix: "Jesus, what do you want me to do?" But Bishop Francesco Magagni needed him in Diocese of Parma and He appointed him Vicar General. But I'm only 30 years old!. Sure! I know you are young but I need your help. I won't lo becaus se heart, e will. It this is God's 's but I tr a big sacrifi ce u suffere st Jesus, wh o d for a ll peop le. So Guido wrote to Rome to the Cardinal in charge of missions. So Saint Guido started the Congregation of Xaverian Missionaries in 1895. Conforti's missionaries are called Xaverians because their model is Saint Francis Xavier, the great missionary to Asia. ar Parma, M 1894 ch 9th Rome, April 24th 1894 Dear Fr. Conforti, I applaud your desire and I encourage you to make your dream a permanent reality. rdinal, Dear Ca the desire lways had . Since I have ato the missionsfound a to go t go I want to issionarI can' regation of m aint cong ll ca ll it the S reign ies. I' is Xavier Fo Franc n Society. Missio Father Guido welcomed his first missionaries to his house in Parma; on the wall he wrote the words of Saint Paul: "The Love of Christ Impels Us." This house is like an eagles' nest: from here they will fly all around the world to let people know of the love of God. Andre, do you remember the exact date they started? On December 3, 1895 the new institute was inaugurated. The bishop was there, and it was put under the protection of Saint Francis Xavier. Fourteen men became Xaverians. It's true: but then more young men came and on April 24, 1900 new headquarters were established in Campo di Marte, the Xaverians' current "Mother house." Help the Xaverian Missionaries Get to China Start at the Mother house in Parma. End in China. Xaverian Mission Newsletter November 2011 11 Xaverian Mission Newsletter November 2011 A new HD DVD on the life of the founder has been produced with the help of Cadge Productions. You can see it on our website and YouTube and Odyssey Networks. Call our Wayne office to obtain a copy. 973-942-2975 What will your life story be? Explore a vocation with the Xaverian Missionaries. Contact: Father Rocco Puopolo, SX firstname.lastname@example.org Father Adolph Men�ndez, SX email@example.com 508-429-2144 The Xaverian Missionaries serve in: Bangladesh Indonesia Return Service Requested 12 Helene Court Wayne, NJ 07470-2813 XAVERIAN MISSIONARIES Permit #52 Wayne, NJ 07470 Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID