Rome, 5 June 2022
Solemnity of Pentecost
The Solemnity of Pentecost is one of the feasts most dear to us because in it we celebrate the beginning of the Church’s mission in the world. The apostles, locked up in their fear, see the doors of the Cenacle open: tongues melt, hearts expand to the dimension of the world. Jesus had announced it to them: “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, he will bear witness to me. Moreover, you too will bear witness to me (Jn 15:26). They really gave witness because they were not afraid to preach Jesus in the temple, to the people, in prison and in persecutions.
However, the apostolic witness that attracts, inspires and impels us most is that which explicitly expresses the universal character of their mission. Christ sends the Apostles “into all the world” (Mk 16, 15), to “all nations” (Mt 28, 19; Lk 24, 47), “to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1, 8) to live and bear witness to the Gospel of universal love, an expression with which we liked to describe the content of the missionary sending in the Constitutions (C 64).
Over the centuries, hosts of women and men have followed the example of the apostles, bearing witness with their lives to the universality of the Kingdom. Those of us, who participated in the canonization of the ten new Saints in St. Peter’s Square a few Sundays ago, breathed in the air this universality. Among these new saints, two in particular can be defined: “Saints who unite everyone“. Devasahayam, a high-ranking royal official of Tamil Nadu, India, who converted to Christianity in the eighteenth century, preaching equality without distinction, and Charles de Foucauld, “… person of deep faith who, drawing upon his intense experience of God, made a journey of transformation towards feeling a brother to all“(Fratelli tutti, 286).
The new saints show us that universal brotherhood is not a dream, a utopia, but a reality anchored in the love of Christ; reality that we typically feel ours: “The experience of how good the Lord is to us leads us to offer ourselves unconditionally, in order to make the universal and gratuitous love of the Father known to all, through life, words and charity” (C 9).
May their example, together with that of our foundresses, be for all of us a model of love without distinction and without measure and in particular, for the sisters who today receive their destination and will leave for the first time.
Here are the names of the sisters destined:
|Sr. Valeria Ducatelli||from the province of Italia||to the community of Tunisi|
|Sr. Aruna Paidi||from the province of Vijayawada||to the province of Camerun|
|Sr. Cecilia Dangmei||from the province of Siliguri||to the province of Papua New Guinea|
|Sr. Ramila Vadakhiya||from the delegation of Delhi||to the delegation of Guinea Bissau|
Dear parting sisters, our missionary family supports you and accompanies you on your departure, the most beautiful expression of the gift of ourselves for the mission.
May your heart open right from now to the peoples to whom you are sent, to recognize the good and the beauty that the Father has sown in each of them, to tighten bonds of unity, of common projects, and of shared hopes.
May Mary Immaculate, Queen of the Apostles, make us apostles of goodness!
Happy Missionary Feast!
Sr. Antonella Tovaglieri