Monthly Archives: January 2018

Course for the Formation of Talitha Kum Leaders

The Talitha Kum Strategic Plan 2015-2018 provides for the creation of courses for the qualification of Talitha Kum members in the service of leadership. To make this decision operational, I am pleased to announce that the first training course for Talitha Kum leaders will take place  from January 2018 to March 2019

The course is based on a long time of preparation in partnership between Talitha Kum / UISG and the Pontifical University Antonianum. Continue reading

Ecumenism: Mirvet’s Choice

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (January 18-25) is provides an excellent opportunity to know one another better. The story of a young Syro-Orthodox Christian who discovers in the Focolare a way to contribute toward unity with her own life.

Mirvet Kelly’s grandfather was a deacon: “I remember going with him every Sunday to the Syro-Orthodox Divine Liturgy. I was proud to watch him all dressed in white as he recited his portion of the prayers at the altar.”

There are several Christian Churches in Homs, Syria, where Mirvet grew up: Armenian Apostolic, Greek Orthodox and various Catholic Rites, Maronite, Melkite and Syro-Catholic. Before the war, even though we were linked to our own Churches, the faithful attended other Churches without any problem.

“As I grew older,” she went on to say, “a lot of things changed: Grandfather died and the Divine Liturgy seemed long and outdated. I was the only Christian at school in the midst a lot of Muslims. At Christmas and Easter I’d be the only one absent and, when I returned, I was bombarded with questions: ‘Why are there so many Churches? Why was your Jesus crucified and rising from the dead on different dates in different Churches? Some friends and I decided to no longer belong to one Church or another, but to be Christians and that’s all. Like many of them, I stopped going to my own Church.”

After a while, Mirvet met a group that was trying to live the Gospel according to the Focolare spirituality. “Through them, I discovered that God is the Father of everyone and that we’re all loved by Him as sons and daughters. My life began to change. Every time I tried to love, going to visit an elderly person or a poor person, for example, my heart would be overcome with peace and joy.

One day, I came across a sentence in one of Chiara Lubich’s writings: ‘We should love the other person’s Church as our own.’  Not only did I not love the other person’s Church – I didn’t even love my own Church, which I had criticized and abandoned.

At that point, Mirvet’s life, which was already very fruitful both personally and ecumenically, took a new leap. She felt God calling her to give herself entirely to Him. “In the Focolare communities I’ve lived in,” she explained, “I found myself to be the only Orthodox among Catholics of all ages, countries, languages, cultures, Churches and ways of thinking. Trying to live in unity with all the different ideas about things is always a challenge, because each of us has her own tastes and ideas down to the smallest details.

But when we try to appropriate the other person’s reality as our own, we experience that the differences become an enrichment. We often pray for each other’s Churches, in an ongoing growth in the faith and in the relationship with God. And almost without realizing it, we bring the fruit of our communion into our respective Churches, to our jobs and into our daily lives. It seems like a drop in the ocean, but even the tiniest steps united to those of many others in the world, can make a difference.

In the countries of the Middle East where I lived, for example, I saw priests helping people, without ever asking what Church they belonged to. They did projects to help out different Churches, to help them meet their needs whether they were Christian – or even Muslim. Last year, Catholics and Orthodox celebrated Easter on the same day. Two Syrian friends who now live in Vienna, Austria, recently reported to me how they and many other Syrians have been helped by a parish priest and some Catholic women focolarini to look for a house, medicine and work. They formed a group in which they live and help each other to share their common Christian experience.

In the United States there are more than fifty Syro-Orthodox Christians who meet regularly, once in the Orthodox churches and once in the Catholic churches. They experience that God is always with us and that we have to pray, to live and to love so that Jesus’s testament ‘that all may be one’ is fulfilled as soon as possible.”


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AFRICA/TOGO – A nun: “To be artisans of peace, thanks to the courage that comes from faith”

“The year that just ended was marked by severe moments of tension due to the socio-political crisis in the whole country and in particular our central region of Togo. It is not easy, in the face of unrest and unprecedented violence, to be artisans of peace. We try to be peacemakers in our small way, in our daily life”: says Sister Antonietta Profumo to Agenzia Fides from the community of Our Lady of the Apostles, head of the health center in Kolowaré (see Fides 18/9/2017). Continue reading

SEDOS Bulletin, November-December 2017

Dear Readers,

At the closing of 2017 we look back at a fruitful year for the SEDOS Bulletin, with many interesting articles and themes. The changes that were made in the format of the Bulletin were well received. We now forward to the new year with confidence and hope.

For this final 2017 Bulletin we wanted to do something different. Continue reading

VI Training Seminar for Educators “Young people, faith and vocational discernment”

On December 1 and 2, 2017 the Education Commission of the Union of General Superiors (men, USG) and the International Union of General Superiors (women, UISG) convened the sixth Training Seminar for educators to reflect on “youth, faith and vocational discernment ” in order to make a contribution to the next Synod of 2018.

The event was held in Rome, Italy, and 74 participants from different Continue reading

SOS Claretian Family

Dear members of the Claretian Family (CF),

More frequently than ever, we have been surprised by natural disasters that affect our life-mission and the lives of many of our brothers and sisters. Earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, typhoons, inundations, fires,… with their consequences, have frequently entered into our conversations, e-mails, prayers, reflections and actions.  Continue reading

Uruguay – Music is an art to evangelize and transmit the essence of Salesian charism

Music as art to evangelize and transmit the essence of the Salesian charism, because being musicians and sharing the Salesian spirit are often things that go hand in hand.

Diego Melano and Francisco Romero, two young musicians, narrate the beginning of their artistic vocation.

“The idea came from a group of animators of Maturana,” they explain, “that at a party of Mary Help of Christians decided to change the rhythm

Comboni Missionaries. 2018: Year of the Rule of Life

To bring to completion the “Guide to the Implementation of the XVIII General Chapter”, pp. 18-19, Italian version, the year 2018 shall be dedicated to the Rule of Life. May the Lord Jesus, through the intercession of Mary and of St. Daniel Comboni, accompany us in this journey of the Institute which, unlike the times in which the Rule of Life was drafted, breathes a multicultural air: European, African, American and Asian.

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Order of friars minor. Moving to the peripheries as brothers and “lesser ones”

Dear brothers, may the Lord give you peace!
As we did for 2016-2017, we would like to present you with the guidelines for the next two years (2018-2019). These can be used as a tool for reflection, comparison and discernment in community, to help us deepen the realities in which we live and give new impetus to Interreligious dialogue.

It is our hope that the whole order may in some way join journey of preparation Continue reading