The closing Mass for the General Chapter was celebrated this morning by the Superior General, Father Ottaviano, in the Founder’s Chapel at 8.00. Father Ottaviano’s homily can be read in full on the Passio Christi site. Here are his concluding words:
May Mary, our Mother of Holy Hope, bless all the religious of the Congregation, especially the sick and those who suffer together with their families, and may she open our hearts to trust. May St. Paul of the Cross bless us and our Passionist Family and may he protect you as you journey home to your communities and your countries.
At the end of the Mass, Father Ottaviano read the Decree of Erection of the Indonesian Province and Father Antonius Janga, Delegate from Indonesia, gave a message of thanks on behalf of the new province. Here is a photograph of Father Antonius, who is the province’s Director of Students, reading the reply.
And here is the text of Father Antonius’ word of thanks:
On this unforgettable occasion, we, the Passionists of Indonesia, wish to thank you all. We thank all the Capitulars who supported us on our journey to becoming a province. Not only do we thank you for what you have done during this Chapter, but more importantly, we entrust ourselves to your daily prayers, that our journey as a province will be blessed.
We thank the Most Reverend Ottaviano D’Egidio, our General, for his love and his prayers, for his acts of service and sacrifice in our regard. We await his visit to us for our first Provincial Chapter, when we will be able to celebrate with him our status as a province, to begin with him our new journey, to pray with him and thank God with him for sixty years of Passionist presence in Indonesia. We thank his Excellency, Monsignor Boyle, who decided to unite the two vicariates in Indonesia as a General Vicariate: every moment of our life, we experience how good it is for us to be together. We thank the Most Reverend Father Jose Orbegozo who gave us the courage to go forward as a young Passionist family.
We thank all the brethren of our Congregation, both from PASPAC and from other provinces, vice-provinces and vicariates. We cannot list everyone, but we know that every little encounter and every big project of collaboration with you has been for us a special moment of grace and fraternity. We thank all our benefactors, both those we know and those we do not know. Without their loving help, we would never have reached this point.
Finally, but always first in our hearts and in our prayers, are our dear brothers of the Mother of Holy Hope Province in the Netherlands and our dear brothers of the Pieta Province in Italy, to whom we address our special thanks. Thank you for sending valued missionaries to sow the seed of the Passion of Jesus in our land, and for continuing to support their life and mission. Some of them gave growth to the message of the Gospel with their own deaths, some returned home and died there: we offer thanks for them and we pray for them that they all may know the joys of heaven. We are proud of those of our Italian and Dutch brethren who have returned to their homeland and are now living their vocation there with a great spirit of service and sacrifice: to them we address our thanks. We thank the Province of the Mother of Holy Hope and the Province of the Pieta because some of your brethren have remained with us and are part of our Indonesian Passionist family: they are living examples of faithfulness to the Passionist calling and, for us young people, an example of how to live; we believe that it is living that teaches us about life, and we wish to thank them for this.
We can never repay you for all that you have done for us, but we wish to try to repay you by living an exemplary Passionist life, which means doing the little things with great love for all, and by being Indonesian Passionists, not just Passionists who are in Indonesia. We wish to entrust three messages for all our brethren of the Pieta Province and Mother of Holy Hope Province to the Very Reverend Father Leo Bos (SPE) and the Very Reverend Piergiorgio Bartoli (PIET):
1) Terima kasih or Thank You;
2) We hope that our working together will continue for many years to come;
3) We are proud to have been born of you, Mother of Holy Hope and Pieta.
The community in Indonesia live very heroic lives, working in remote and difficult missions and living on the equivalent of one dollar a day. Their spirit of simplicity and joy, and their enthusiasm for the apostolate are very inspiring. As today is also Mission Sunday, it was a very appropriate day for the promulgation of this decree. After Father Antonius’ words, the Indonesian priests and brothers present sang a hymn of thanksgiving in their own language, for which one of the brothers draped an Indonesian shawl over his habit. Here they are (the guitarist is Father Lukas Ahon who was a post-graduate student with me here in Rome nearly twenty years ago; he now works in a mission parish in Borneo):
After Mass, various Capitulars set out for their home countries or communities. I will be staying until Wednesday, as I have a few things to do here in Rome. First of these was a meeting this afternoon with an old (but young) friend, Father Gabriel Barros. Father Gabriel is a member of the Institute of the Incarnate Word, a new community founded in Argentina. He and one of his classmates, Father Pablo Scaloni, spent a summer with us in Glasgow learning English (“how unusual”, I hear you say).