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“Make of the world one family”

Xaverian Mission Volume 58 - No. 3 |

August 2010

Newsletter

Website: xaviermissionaries.org • MissionBlog: xaverianmissionaries.blogspot.com

The Redeemer’s Face Shines in Every Corner of the Earth

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he Holy Father recently published his message for World Mission Sunday (October 24,2010). He says that Catholics, in every parish, are to “make Jesus visible, to make the Redeemer’s face shine in every corner of the earth before the generations, especially before the youth of every continent.” The joy in the faces of the Indonesian children reflects the deep

spirit of joy alive in every culture and faith. Joy, after all is a gift the Spirit, a gift we are all called to share. We can bear many burdens because of this joy. In this issue of XMN we want to show you how the “face of Christ” is being made visible, in our work from Japan to Indonesia and from Africa to the United States.

The Pope enjoins all Catholics: “I renew my invitation to prayer and, in spite of the economic difficulties, to fraternal, concrete aid in support of the younger Churches.” Today, as never before, the Church has the opportunity of bringing the Gospel, by witness and word, to all peoples and nations. Join us in support of this most audacious and sublime commitment. U


Catholic in a World of Many Faiths

Easter in Japan X averian Missionaries Provincial Headquarters 12 Helene Court Wayne, NJ 07470-2813 Tel.: (973) 942-2975 Fax: (973) 942-5012 Email: xavwayne@optonline.net Xavier Knoll Mission Center 4500 Xavier Drive Franklin, WI 53132-9066 Tel.: (414) 421-0831 Fax: (414) 421-9108 E-mail: xavmissionswi@hotmail.com Mission Center & Fatima Shrine 101 Summer Street P.O. Box 5857 Holliston, MA 01746-5857 Tel.: (508) 429-2144 Fax: (508) 429-4793 E-mail: holliston.sx@gmail.com

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r. Renato Filippini (right) and Fr. Denny Wahyudi (2nd row right), both studied theology in Chicago, preparing for their missionary work in Japan.

Here are photos of the Easter Vigil Mass at Fr. Renato’s parish in Musashigaoka, Japan, where Fr. Denny assisted by proclaiming the gospel in Japanese. Fr. Renato has been serving at this parish for the past six years.

Xaverian Mission Newsletter Official publication of the Xaverian Missionaries of the United States

Coordinating Editor Fr. Carl Chudy Editorial Team Fr. Tony Lalli Fr. Joseph Matteucig Fr. Alfredo Turco Layout Consultant Diamand Design, Wrentham, MA

The Catholic community gathers to sing after the vigil mass.

Fr. Denny.

Printing Rea-Craft Press, Inc. Foxboro, MA E-mail & Web:

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Donation: $5.00 per year

Remember the Xaverian Missionaries in your will or help us with a tax deductible donation Contact: Fr. Frank Grappoli, SX 12 Helene Court, Wayne, NJ 07470 Tel: 973.942.2975

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Two adults dressed in white prepare for their baptism at the Easter Vigil, along with the entire parish community.

Xaverian Mission Newsletter • August 2010


Xaverian Missionaries in the World

Fr. Bruno Orru: 33 Years in Indonesia

Assembly of the Xaverian Missionaries in Indonesia, priests, brothers and professed students.

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ften parishioners or friends ask me how long I’ve been living in Indonesia. I answer: “Same number of years Jesus lived on earth”. “Wow” is there response, but then to be humble, in the oriental way, I say that some of our priests have been stationed in Indonesia for over 54 years.

Looking back at my thirty three years in Indonesia there are many memories and feelings, and overall, I can say that all of them have enormous meaning and I thank the good Lord for all and each of them. I experienced working for nine years in villages along the Malacca Straits, travelling through the rain forests of the Sumatra Islands to reach a few communities there, taking care of lepers, then leading a large parish in Padang, West Sumatra. After that, I suddenly was asked to be the formator of our Xaverian students in Jakarta, and that for fifteen years. In between two periods as Master of Novices, I had a brief stint as pastor of a large parish on the outskirts of Jakarta. Now I am back in that same parish, this time not as pastor, but as assistant.

Indonesia is a young nation, a republic since 1945. I experienced a number of years under Suharto’s dictator-ship and also the beautiful days when democracy started blooming; up to this day I very much rejoice in being part of this young and vibrating Church, so well structured and with lay people involved in all the fields of Church life.

Often parishioners or friends ask me how long I’ve been living in Indonesia. I answer: “Same number of years Jesus lived on.

Indonesia is so diverse: over two hundred and fifty ethnic groups which means as many languages and cultures, one different from the other. In my first years I had two different parishes which I served at the same time, 200 kilometers apart one from the other and so different from one another culturally. One was made up of almost exclusively Chinese people whose ancestors came by boat more than one hundred years before from Fukien province in China and spoke the same dialect as in Taiwan. The other parish was made up of mostly Tapanuli People from North Sumatra, along with a good number of Javanese People: three languages, two races, Fr. Bruno Orru baptizing a young woman. (continued on next page)

Xaverian Mission Newsletter • August 2010

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Xaverian Missionaries in the World

Fr. Bruno with friends at the parish carnival

Interreligious dialogue which is going on all the time fits perfectly in the tolerant attitude of the Indonesian people.

Fr. Rafael Bardon (right) with professed students doing a dance prior to the meeting on Xaverian Interreligious Dialogue. (continued from previous page)

three cultures. It wasn’t easy to take in and adjust to those worlds, but it was beautiful. I was all the time on the road and in continuous contact with my people, visiting them even though it took me up to four days to look for and visit just two Catholic families. Even though they spoke their language which

I did not understand, we could understand each other beautifully because we used the same Indonesian national language, the Indonesia Malay. And this is the great miracle of the Indonesian people: in the span of only a few decades they succeeded in accepting and using with pride just one language for literature, books, TV, radio, newspapers, magazines and church communication. While some other nations went through civil war over the language problem, the Indonesian people overcame this problem peacefully. Making the Gospel known has been facilitated not only by the use of the same language but also by the open and hospitable character of the Indonesian people, their tradition of musyawarah untuk mufakat. This means that they discuss and debate a problem together in order to reach a single decision in the end, accepted by all. Interreligious dialogue which is going on all the time fits perfectly with the tolerant attitude of the Indonesian people. U – Fr. Bruno Orru, SX

A catechist teaching faith in the Mentawi Islands in Indonesia.

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Xaverian Mission Newsletter • August 2010


Xaverian Missionaries in the USA

Xaverian Missionaries’ Farewell to Chinatown, Chicago

Young girls from the parish of St. Therese at the Chinatown Festival

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he Xaverian Missionaries left St. Therese Parish in Chinatown, Chicago after decades of service to the multicultural Catholic community there. Fr. Michael Davitti and Fr. Aniello Salicone completed more than ten years of ministry there before turning the parish over to the responsibility of the Archdiocese.

Fr. Salicone shares: “I am grateful to the Lord for having lived in the Parish of St. Therese, Chinatown, Chicago. I had the opportunity of learning so much of the Chinese culture. Their practicality, importance of family, priority to a good education and respect for the elderly are noteworthy.

establish this parish in the early 20th century. I enjoyed their popular religiosity like processions with statues through the streets of Chinatown. Father Michael and I have known each other since 1962 and in living and working together in Chinatown we were able to deepen our friendship. He helped me in my spiritual life.” Fr. Aniello is newly assigned as Vice Rector of our community in Milwaukee and Fr. Michael is in the process of being assigned to the missions. We pray for the community of St. Therese Parish as they continue their faith journey in the Archdiocese of Chicago with the cultures that enrich the parish in marvelous ways. U

A view of the parish of St. Therese in Chinatown, Chicago.

Among the many Chinese families in Chinatown, few become Catholic if it is against the will of their family. I had the opportunity of presenting the Christian faith to many who were not Christians. The best occasions for this first evangelization were at funerals and at baptisms. I also have met Italo-Americans here whose ancestors were the first to

Frs. Michael Davitti and Aniello Salicone at their departure party.

Xaverian Mission Newsletter • August 2010

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50 Years of Independence in Africa

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n 1960, 17 sub-Saharan African nations gained independence from European colonial powers. On this 50th anniversary of independence, celebrated this year, the Xaverian Missionaries continue to work in two of these countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Cameroon. Democratic Republic of the Congo

We Xaverian Missionaries arrived in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 1958 and we directed our attention to form well prepared Christians. We multiplied the number of mission stations, built schools, prepared leaders, and provided for the birth of numerous Christian communities. Our first African martyrs, Fr. Didone, Fr. Carrara, and Br. Faccin, were killed during the civil conflict in 1964. The Catholic Church is a major institution in the DRC. Fifty-five percent of DRC’s 60 million people are Catholic, making it the largest Catholic population in Africa. In the absence of functioning government structures, the Catholic Church, along with other churches, have for decades provided most of the basic services such as health care and education for the Congolese people.

A new generation of the Democratic Republic of the Congo await their future.

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Despite the official end of a war in 2002, violence and suffering continue to plague the eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo. This conflict has caused over 5 million deaths since 1998, making it what observers have called “the world’s deadliest conflict since World War II.”

Xaverian Mission Newsletter • August 2010

In 2009 the violence caused hundreds of thousands of deaths (mainly from malnutrition and disease as the health care system had long collapsed and displaced people had little or no access to doctors or medicine). Another 400,000 people were driven from their homes, raising the total number of displaced to 2 million. The incidence of systematic and brutal rape of thousands of women and girls in 2009 by armed groups is reportedly the worst in the world today. Helping to end the conflict in the DRC is an important priority for the US Catholic Bishops. The Bishops urge the U.S. government to work with the DRC government to increase its services to the people and to help harness the DRC’s natural resources for the common good. The U.S. should work with the international community and the forces in Eastern Congo to promote a just and sustainable peace.


a: The Journey of Faith Continues

Church has more than 364,000 students enrolled in its academic institutions nationwide, besides the Catholic University of Central Africa with campuses in Nkolbisson and Ekounou in Yaounde. Fifty years after independence more Cameroonians are poorer today than they were before independence. Poverty remains the greatest problem a majority of Cameroonians are grappling with daily. Though President Biya painted a generally positive picture of what has been achieved in Cameroon in his address to the nation on Monday, May 17, he admitted, however reservedly, that poverty remains the greatest headache a majority of Cameroonians are suffering from. He wondered what political freedom represents, if Cameroonians cannot eat to their fill.

Cameroon Following the massive expulsion of our missionaries from Burundi in the 1970’s, new Xaverians missions were opened in Cameroon, as well as other countries in Africa. In Cameroon, about 30 Xaverians work for the formation of the laity and catechists, for the establishment of basic Christian communities, and for the training of our theology students. In the 120 year history of the Catholic Church in Cameroon, spreading the gospel has contributed significantly to improving the health situation of Cameroonians. With about 234 health centers and 16 hospitals across the national territory, the contributions of the Church to the health of Cameroonians have been enormous. In the domain of education, the Catholic

This means that the Cameroonian people have to experience an integral development from the social, political and economic point of view in the light of the Gospel. Pope Paul VI once said that development is a new name for peace! The Church is called to become more and more a “home and school of communion in its rich cultural and religious makeup” says Pope Benedict in his address to the Bishops of Cameroon. He goes on: “From this perspective the work done together in a spirit of charity, in your Episcopal Conference composed of Frenchspeaking and English-speaking Bishops, is already in itself an eloquent sign of that unity which you experience, and serves to carry forward the evangelization of your people, marked by ethnic differences”. The Xaverian Missionaries continue assist the Bishops in this great agenda. U – CC

A trader in Cameroon looks to a prosperous future in the markets

Xaverian Mission Newsletter • August 2010

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Eucharist Calls Us to Reach Out to the World

Body of Christ, Broken for the World

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onder these key quotes on the power of the Eucharist and how it prepares us all for mission in our families, communities and the world around us. We experience the Eucharist as a community. The Eucharist draws each of us closer to Christ as individuals, but also as a community. As Catholics, we never really worship alone. At the Eucharistic liturgy, we gather with the young and old, the rich and poor, as well as millions around the world and the saints in heaven, to celebrate Christ’s sacrifice. This powerful reality reminds us, in the words of John Paul II: “A truly Eucharistic community cannot be closed in upon itself” (Ecclesia de Eucharistia, #39); rather the Eucharist challenges us to recognize our place within a community and the human family.

Questions or Prayer and Reflection before the Eucharist 1) Spend some time reflecting on the passages from papal writings in this article. Which do you find inspiring? Which do you find challenging? How might God be speaking to you? 2) What issues affecting your community and the world today weigh deeply on your heart? Spend some time bringing these concerns before the Blessed Sacrament. 3) During your time before Christ in the Eucharist, can you sense His compassion? Love? Desire to transform all that opposes human life and dignity? 4) What gifts has God, the Father, given you? How might he be asking you to use these gifts in the service of others? 5) How might the Holy Spirit be moving you to join with others to respond to problems in your family, neighborhood, or community?

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Xaverian Mission Newsletter • August 2010

As we meditate on the Eucharist, we experience Christ’s love for us—and for others. In the depth of prayer, we become so moved and sensitized to His love for those who suffer that the words of St. Augustine become a reality

for us: “the pain of one, even the smallest member, is the pain of all” (Sermo Denis). The Eucharist prepares us for mission. In the face of the sin and injustice we see present in our communities and in our world, the Eucharist “plants a seed of hope in our daily commitment to the work before us, ”challenging us to live “Eucharistic” lives and affirming our role as citizens and as men and women in various professions at different levels of society in “contributing with the light of the Gospel to the building of a more human world, a world fully in harmony with God's plan” (Ecclesia de Eucharistia #20). The Eucharist propels us to transform the world. The Eucharist “increases, rather than lessens, our sense of responsibility for the world today.” Christ in the Eucharist calls us to build “a more human world, a world fully in harmony with God's plan” (Ecclesia de Eucharistia #14). U


Become a Partner in Global Mission

Priesthood in Cameroon: An Interfaith Event

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his formidable gathering, captured by the above photo took place in the Cameroonian Muslim town of Foumban, Africa. The occasion was the ordination of a Foumban native to the Catholic priesthood, an event which was graced by the presence of the Muslim Sultan of Foumban, Ibrahim Mbombo Njoya (2nd from the left) whose lineage has ruled the Bamoun since the 14th century. A sultan is a Muslim leader and in Bamoun, Cameroon, 17 chieftaincies were united in the 17th century under Islam. It became a Sultanate in 1918. His majesty, Sultan Ibrahim Mbombo Njoya, the spiritual and traditional leader of the Bamoum Kingdom, was among the hundreds of Moslems who joined Catholics at St. Catherine of Siena’s Parish Church to witness the ordination of Rev. Blaise Mbouapegnigni.

Another Cameroonian who was recently ordained a Xaverian missionary priest is Rev. Richard Nembuoet. He says of his call: “In the Catholic school where I studied, the priests often asked: “Which of you would like to become a priest in order to share the Word of God?” Since I was baptized, the desire to enter the seminary was strong. But, I did not have the courage to tell my parents. Only several years later, with the help of my uncle, I explain to my father my desire. After two long nights of conversation, Dad gave me his approval. The mission of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Bafoussam, Cameroon, was entrusted to the Xaverian Missionaries. There the priests introduced me to pastoral work as a catechist and youth coordinator. I was impressed with the closeness the Fathers,

though foreign, shared life with the people. I was also impressed with the vision of our founder, Blessed Guido Conforti, who dreamed to help make the world ‘one family’.” U

Encourage The Missionary Priesthood. Drop the Question:

“Ever Think of Being a Priest?”

Fr. Richard Nembuoet together with one of our seminarians, Martin Alikeke,

Xaverian Mission Newsletter • August 2010

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World Mission News Digest

World Mission News Digest Brazil The morning of Saturday, July 10, marked the close of the first National Missionary Congress of Seminarians in Brasilia, which addressed the theme of missionary formation of future priests. As a conclusion the final message in part said: “Enlightened by the Spirit of God, we want the missionary-priesthood vocation to be transformed and transfigured by the will of God for our time in the Church in Brazil. We want to be missionary priests...” PHILIPPINES Fr. Polash Gomes, SX, Xaverian Missionary working in the Philippines as Mission Director for the Dioceses of Novaliches, was recently featured on the website for the Pontifical Mission Societies for the Philippines (pms-phil. org/). They say: “In his four years of being a priest and a Mission Director of the

Diocese of Novaliches, He was able to create avenues for the youth to determine their life’s vocation. Father Polash is the brainchild behind the very successful “Youth Jamboree” which was the Diocese’s vehicle for mission promotion for the young and for all.” AFRICA Earlier this month over 500,000 people gathered in northeastern Uganda to celebrate the feast day of Saint Charles Lwanga and companions, who are known as the Uganda Martyrs. Catholic faithful from around Uganda as well as Sudan, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo gathered at the shrine of the Uganda martyrs in the Diocese of Moroto on June 3 as part of a pilgrimage for the annual feast day, according to the Catholic charity Aid to the Church Need.

Catholic girls performing liturgical procession popularly known as Aroti, during inauguration of new Church.

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Xaverian Mission Newsletter • August 2010

Catholic men living in Bangladesh’s Gazipur district are singing Koster Gun or song of sorrow during Lent.

SRI LANKA

EGYPT

Religious festivals are playing a prominent role in helping Catholics and Hindus live together as one community instead of being divided along spiritual lines. In the Jaffna peninsula, healing within the Tamil community through joint Catholic-Hindu participation in festivals is very much in focus. The Hindu Ratha Yatra Chariot Festival is one example. It involves hundreds of people pulling large decorated chariots to a local temple. This year saw local Catholics, especially young people, working with Hindus to clean and decorate streets, and even pull the celebrated chariots to the Sadda Nathar Lord Siva temple in Jaffna. Interfaith activity is finding a central importance in the work of the Church.

Catholics in Egypt are seizing a rare opportunity to build a church in a country where permission normally takes up to 30 years and requires the signature of the president himself. Bishop Mina stressed that the plans were still in their infancy but added that the scheme looks set to move ahead quickly because of the exceptions for church structures proposed for new urban areas. Emphasizing a huge influx of people to the area – especially the young – Bishop Mina said: “Our people are very strong in their faith and they keep saying they want a church.” U


From our USA Communities

News from our USA Communities Fr. Victor Mosele: 50 Years A Missionary Priest

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ot that I have understood the sublimity of this gift of God from the very beginning when I first felt the inclination of becoming a priest. Oh no! At first, in my younger years, as a boy in high school, I was attracted by a child piety, and even by vain and frivolous yearnings such as being important, seeking adventures, and exotic traveling. But as I progressed, in age and wisdom, through the prepseminary, the minor and major seminaries years, first in native Italy, and then in the USA, God’s grace took over the whims of younger years, and transformed them into a powerful stimulus toward Jesus’ Call: to follow Him and become an “Another Christ” in a consecrated life. I worked in Sierra Leone, West Africa for more than thirty years. While there, I will never forget the day when I was invited by the Imam (Muslim leader) of a Mosque in Makeni, Sierra Leone to inaugurate an Islamic Youth Center by giving the keynote address to the assembled students. I spoke of God’s Mercy in giving us both, Muslim and Christians, the great leadership of Ibrahim (Abraham), our Father in the Faith. For 5 years I gave a 10 minutes exhortation in the early morning, 5 times a

week, to groups of 1000 students strong, gathered in the customary General Assembly of 5 different schools in Sierra Leone. Most of the students were non-Christian, yet there I was, called to share with them the Good News of Jesus. What a tremendous, exhilarating experience!

As a 5-month captive hostage of the rebels during the war in Sierra Leone, I was able to speak to them on several occasions against the violence they perpetuated. U

Fr. Alfredo with the “2 Daves” from St. Mary’s, Hales Corners.

– Fr. Victor Mosele, SX

May Christ, through the priests, continue to reach out to those who do not know Him.

Mission Festival 2010 in Milwaukee

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he 2010 Xaverian Mission Festival in Franklin, Wisconsin turned out to be a “wet one,” with rain threatening each day of setup and during the event. But even the weather conditions did not stop the many volunteers and friends from coming at Xavier Knoll at the end of June to celebrate a good time and support the mission cause. The Festival Mass, the highlight of our Sunday morning, was presided by Fr. Victor Mosele who, this year, is celebrating 50 years of missionary priesthood (see article above). Even though it was celebrated under the main tent because of the inclement weather, Fr. Victor, with his usual enthusiasm for the missionary life, invited the “outdoor congregation” to appreciate the gift of missionaries the world over, to reflect on the goodness of the Lord even in challenging moments (he referred to his own captivity by the rebels in Sierra Leone), and to do our best to extend our hands for the proclamation of the Gospel throughout the world. – Fr. Alfredo Turco, SX

Mr. Mic” Frank Mutranowski with his youngest son and wife.

Patricia and her daughter having fun at the festival.

Xaverian Mission Newsletter • August 2010

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Xaverian Mission Newsletter • August 2010

Spend your life for the most vital work needed by the world

Become A Missionary a

Fr. Joe Matteucig, SX (508) 429-2144 holliston.sx@gmail.com

Children participating in a special celebration to promote mission in a parish in Dhaka, Bangladesh

The Xaverian Missionaries Are Presently Serving In: Bangladesh • Brazil • Burundi • Cameroon • Chad • China • Colombia • Democratic Republic of Congo • France Great Britain • Indonesia • Italy • Japan • Mexico • Mozambique • Philippines • Sierra Leone • Spain • Taiwan • U.S.A.

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Xaverian Mission Newsletter - 2010 July-Sept: The Redeemer’s Face Shines on the Earth  

Easter in Japan, Renato Filippini, Denny Wahyudi, Fr. Bruno Orru 33 years missionary in Indonesia, Michael Davitti and Aniello Salicone fare...

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