Easter Letter 2010

Jesus, fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power and that he had come from God and was returning to God, he rose from supper and took off his outer garments. He took a towel and tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and dry them with the towel around his waist. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Master, are you going to wash my feet?" Jesus answered and said to him, "What I am doing, you do not understand now, but you will understand later." Peter said to him, "You will never wash my feet." Jesus answered him, "Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me." Simon Peter said to him, "Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well." Jesus said to him, "Whoever has bathed 


Dearest Confreres,

Having started the demanding Lenten journey of conversion and renewal which is bringing us towards the Great Week when we will celebrate the events of the passion, death and resurrection in the mystery of the liturgical rites, I am sending to you my usual greetings for Easter.

I must confess that, following the accident that happened to me last 31 January 2010, this Lent is very particular. I am spending it while resting for my rehabilitation therapy, first in the hospital and now at our Curia. After my surgery, I am undergoing the progressive recovery of the full use of my right leg with patient effort of an adequately guided exercise.

A sort of “rehabilitation”, which is certainly spiritual and moral, through the classical evangelical triad of practicing charity, penance and prayer, is also definitely the proposal which the Liturgy, during this time of grace, wisely suggests to Christians every year. I hope and wish that by this fecund exercise of spiritual rehabilitation, solicited, as far as I am concern, by physical misfortune, we can find joy for our interminable journey of configuring ourselves to Christ.

In the mean time, I take this opportunity to thank all who have expressed their solidarity and closeness after the accident. A particular sentiment of gratitude for the powerful prayers which were assured for me by everybody.

Dearest Confreres, this year is the Easter of the Year of the Priest. A year which, as evidenced in the recent circular letter: Priests according to the Heart of Christ, “for its nature and proposed objectives, specifically touches our charism and spirituality” such that it can be certainly defined as Rogationist Year. A year, therefore, which we intend to live consolidating – following the repeated indications of Benedict XVI – our personal priestly vocation in the commitment of interior renewal and movement towards spiritual perfection; everyone, both religious and laity, intensifying the charismatic commitment of prayer for vocations to special holy consecration, according to the constant thought and teaching of our holy Founder.

This appears even most urgent within the difficult context where we find ourselves during these months. Today, the Church is experiencing a profound crisis closely connected to the identity and figure of priests, a crisis that is provoked not only by ideologies and current hostile thoughts, but also intensified by the scandals that are fruits of incoherent life, infidelity and betrayal of priestly and religious vocation inside the Church herself. Today’s chronological facts, of which we are spectators in Europe and in other continents, shake our conscience as consecrated, priests and Rogationists. Above all, they call us to ask forgiveness from the Lord for the infidelity of his “friends”, then, they push us to purify ourselves from our own infidelities and give vigor to our trust in Christ and in the Church, becoming always more clearly men of prayer. Further, they solicit us to insistently and arduously beg the Lord of the harvest so that, specially today, in front of this crisis of priestly vocation, he may multiply the number of holy priestswho – as Fr. Hannibal prayed – will know You, love You, consecrate You, offer You in the Holy Mass to the Eternal Father, glorify You with good works, will make You known to peoples with divine Word, will prepare for You  a perfect People, will make the poor love You, will distribute You as food for the faithful and will have zeal for the honor and decorum of Your Sanctuary.      

How can we not feel the trouble, the bitterness and the suffering of the Pastors and, in particular, of the Holy Father for the “dirt” which is in the Church? We manifest our solidarity through the prayer for the effusion of God’s mercy, of the gifts of sanctity and strength of the Holy Spirit, but also through the transparent witness of our religious and priestly vocation.

Moved by our charism of charity towards the children and the weak, we also share the suffering of those who are victims of the scandals. The bitter experience of the many young victims pushes us, as children of Fr. Hannibal, father of the children and the poor, to intensify our concrete and institutional commitment in the society and the Church in favor of the children and the youth, whose education today is compromised by many factors.

To strengthen this commitment during the Easter of the Lord, I desire to invite you, above all,  to live, with particular spiritual intensity, the coming Holy Thursday, an eminently priestly day, “feast of the priesthood”. Through the rich and solemn liturgical vesper, the Commemoration of the Lord’s supper, we will trace back the institution of the Eucharist and, at the same time, the ministerial priesthood. Like what Fr. Hannibal said, during this day, from the twin birth of Infinite Love came from the Heart [of Jesus] these two sacraments: “the Eucharist and the Priesthood”. It will be the occasion, in front of the mystery of the Eucharist, body given to us and blood poured unto us, to enliven the great gift that has been conferred to us with the imposition of the hands, which is participation to the unique priesthood of Christ, to his total gift to the Father and the brothers.

In the same day, I would like to underline also the participation to the other Eucharistic liturgy, the Mass of chrism which is being concelebrated in all the Cathedral Churches in the morning. It will be the occasion to be close with the Bishop and the diocesan clergy manifesting, with more clarity during this year, the bond of charity, the proposal of renewal and the commitment to mission which is common to us all and to renew together the priestly promises that unite us to the service of Christ and of his Church.

Secondly, I would like to invite you to live the entire Easter season which separates us from the closing of the Year of the Priest intensifying our reflection regarding the theme of the priesthood, of the fidelity to Christ, High Priest of the New Covenant and of our fidelity. Let also accentuate our personal and communitarian prayer and Eucharistic adoration to implore the reparation of the evil that has been done, the grace of renewed strength and of a profound sense of mission from the part of all priests and religious.

Further, it could also be the occasion to spread among the priests, the Priestly Union for Prayer for Vocations which was recently reconstituted. In the spirit of the Founder, it proposes to priests the prayer to obtain “good workers” for the Church and for the perseverance and sanctification of those who have received the gift of vocation to priestly life and/ or consecrated life, and to enliven one’s own vocation through this spirit of prayer.

To favor community and personal reflection, allow me to suggest some aids. Above all the Letters of John Paul II to the Priests during Holy Thursday (we have the Italian version published by the Editrice Rogate by Fr. Leonardo Sapienza: L’amore più grande, Eucaristia e Sacerdozio, 2005), where, yearly, the beloved Servant of God, with his brotherly way of serene and discrete dialogue,  has tackled the themes of priesthood like its identity, formation, celibacy, prayer, sacraments, friendship with Christ, pastoral work for vocations, holiness, etc. Further, I would like to indicate the letter of 1986 in which the Pope has offered as model of life and concrete example of priestly witnessing St. John Mary Vianney, the Curè of Ars, during the them centennial anniversary of the saints’ birth (1786).

For the readings that are related to our literature and, in particular, to our Fr. Founder, I suggest the text “Parole sul Sacerdote” of Fr. Hannibal Mary Di Francia, recently published in the series P. Annibale, oggi (no. 33, new series) by the General Postulation. The volume presents an anthology of the interventions of the Founder where we find his thoughts on the priesthood associated with the great theme of the Rogate.

Finally, I am also indicating the circular letter of the Superior General, Fr. Teodoro Tusino, Il Sacerdozio of 14 June 1949 written on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Pope Pius XII and the 25th of the first two priests of the Opera, Fr. Tusino himself and Fr. Santoro. Even though its language is obsolete in some aspects, it takes and comments Fr. Hannibal’s thought on the priesthood, showing its greatness, His personal experience, its relation to the Rogate and, in particular, the Rogationist prayer and the sanctification of the clergy.

As conclusion and greetings, I would like to reconsider and make mine the following expressions with which Fr. Tusino passionately addressed his confrere priests:

We are priests! And if we will understand all our dignity – the thought rather the word is from the Curè of Ars – we would have died, not of fear, but of love!

We are priests! Therefore let us live it, dear brothers, let’s truly, intensely, wisely live our priestly life.

We are priests, representatives of Christ; not for our merits rather notwithstanding our demerits, but we are priests; by God’s mercy, by the love and predilection of Jesus for us, we are priests: priestly life intensely lived, in the sanctity of our Rogationist mission, let it be the answer of our love to the love of Jesus for us (p. 14).

Happy Easter of the Resurrection to all of you, confreres, sisters, students, friends, the laity, and to all the members of the Family with whom we share the Rogate. 

Fr. Giorgio Nalin, RCJ

Superior General


jordan release date | Nike

Indirizzo Contatto
Congregazione dei Padri Rogazionisti del Cuore di Gesù
Via Tuscolana 167, Roma 00182 - Italia
Tel. 067020751
© 2023 xxxxx