Greetings for Christmas and New Year 2010

“Do not be afraid.
I bringyou good news of great joy
that will be for all the people.
 Today in the town of David
a Savior has been born to you;
he is Christ the Lord.
This will be a sign to you:
 You will find a baby wrapped in cloths
 and lying in a manger.”
(Lk 2, 10-12)
Nyanza, 6 December 2009


To the Very Reverend Superiors of the Rogationist Circumscriptions, the Rogationist Communities and the Family of the Rogate



I am writing to you this letter of greetings for this coming Christmas and New Year from Africa, where I am doing the visit during these days. A continent, the one called African, which manifests in its social and ecclesial totality, together with the sure signs of development, plenty of challenges and problems, evidenced in the recent special session of the Synod of Bishops last October. Our small African presence, in Rwanda and Cameroun, express the same peculiarities, showing encouraging signs of vocational and apostolic growth together with evident challenges, first of which, is the availability of adequate and sufficient personnel.

I spent the great part of the year 2009 doing the Canonical Visit to the Circumscriptions and Communities which will end this coming January with the USA Delegation. It is, as always, an exciting pilgrimage, a concrete immersion into the Congregation living and expressing its own rogationist reality in different places.

I have personally met all the Communities and almost all the Confreres. Doing all to overcome the language barrier, I have listened and shared their joys and hopes, aspirations and projects, worries and fears, problems and difficulties. I met lots of Confreres who are committed in serenely living their consecration and priesthood, spearheading, with care and labor, the apostolic service entrusted to them, Confreres who look with interest, participation and trust the journey of the Congregation. I also encountered Confreres who manifest suffering, and even those denouncing delays and limited attention.

I also met the laity of our Associations, in particular the Union of Prayer for Vocations, which has grown everywhere during these past years, and numerous lay collaborators who faithfully render their work in the Communities and apostolic activities.

In the proximity of the Birthday of the Lord, which is universal proclamation of salvation, I would like to express, once again, to everybody, my affection, my sentiment of nearness, consideration, friendship and gratitude for the witnessing that is continuously being shown.

The Visits have periodically given me the possibility to verify the journey which is being done everywhere. I tried to manifest the my own preoccupation and commitment and those of the General Council, to accompany the situations, follow the programs, promote the options, sustain the efforts, manifest satisfaction and gratitude for the dedication to fraternal life and apostolate. The sensation of personal inadequacy to follow the dynamic and great reality of our Congregation, requiring constant attention and future vision, has always accompanied me during these years. Nevertheless, together with the competence and the availability of the collaborators, the awareness of the silent and constant commitment of the Confreres and their patience have sustained me.

Each time that I encountered Confreres, visited houses and apostolic works, I proudly saw that the Congregation is made up of religious who, fully dedicated to the Rogate, daily live their journey of consecration in their different commitments. Those that deal with the formative attention to the young seminarians and religious in the various stages of formation; to the pastoral dedication in the parishes both in urban and rural areas; to the cultural study for the spread of the Rogate with the means of social communication; to the educative work for the children and the youth both in the socio-educative structures and our schools; in the insertions among the poor in the squatter areas for their for material and spiritual help and promotion; to the administrative work and promotion of benefactors; in the work of evangelization in the missions: we all exert effort to live and express the same passion “for the exhausted fold like sheep without a shepherd” to whom the “Lord of the harvest” has sent us through the mediation of our Holy Founder.   

I always thank the Lord for all that the Congregation lives and does notwithstanding its limited personnel and means. I am aware that more and better things could still be done, consolidating the formation, organization and perspectives, involving always all the more the laity in the sharing of the charism and the mission. The coming General Chapter, together with the definition of the normative which we tried to update together these years, could offer indications and orientations to favor a charismatic expression that will be more adequate to the times and places, within the missionary perspective of the third millennium.

For this, let us intensify our preparation, above all by praying, so that this event which gives the rhythm to the journey of the Congregation, could offer, in the light of the Spirit, sure orientations for the needs of the Work according the times and situations.

In the meantime, we are living the Year of the Priests, a year that, as I said in the previous circular letter, could be defined, for its motivations and finality, as an authentic Rogationist Year. In fact, the Holy Father, Benedict XVI has convoked it to promote the commitment of interior renewal of all priests, for their stronger and more incisive evangelical witnessing in today’s world aware that the efficacy of priestly ministry depends, above all, to the desire for spiritual perfection. As Rogationists, we are primarily called to promote the sanctification of the priests and the candidates to the priesthood by the prayer for “good workers” which is being raised in the Communities and in our pastoral activities and with the proposal to the ordained ministers of the Priestly Union of Prayer for Vocations according to the indications of the same  recently distributed circular letter. We are also invited, above all the priests among us, to make this interior sacerdotal renewal as our own commitment considering the wish of the Holy Father for the priests of the Church.

Evidently, this means the renewal of the journey to sanctity which is specific of our consecration, according to the footsteps of Fr. Hannibal who has been indicated by the Church as teacher of a new way of holiness. Along this sure line, we have a group of Confreres who had preceded and are accompanying us. We remember Fr. Joseph Marrazzo whose process of Beatification has already been started.

Dearest Confreres, Christmas is the time of the eruption of the Eternal in our history. Even the history of our Congregation and our personal life have been enlightened and touched by it. Christmas is the time of joy because God became man and dwelt among us; it is the time of faith because God manifested himself in the poverty of our human nature; it is the time of hope because our life opens itself to the horizons of divine life making us sons in the Son; it is the time of solidarity and of reciprocal love because we discover ourselves children of the same Father; it is the time of mission and of witnessing: like the shepherds of Bethlehem and the Wise men from the East, we are called to contemplate the mystery of Him who “lie in the manger in swaddling clothes” and to announce, with our life, the renewed joy of a unique and single event: the coming of God in our midst in the form of a baby and his union with every brother and sister of this world.

May the Virgin Mary, humble servant of the Lord, who conceived and gave birth to the Son of God, obtain for us, during this Christmas, the grace to be always witnesses of joy; may we grow in faith, be strong in hope, and live the fullness of love towards our neighbor, especially in our serving the poor and the children, whose lives reveal the face of God who came to live among us.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, full of grace of the Spirit for the Congregation, for the Church and for the World. 

                                                  P. Giorgio Nalin, rcj

                                                      Sup. Gen.

Auguri per il Santo Natale e il Nuovo Anno 2010


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