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“Make of the world one family”

Xaverian Mission
Volume 61 - No. 4 | November 2013

Newsletter • Mission Blog:

Light Up the World!....................6-7

Holy Father’s WMS Message..................2 Girl Power in Sierra Leone...................3 Major Superiors of Men........................5 St. Guido in the Year of Faith...............8 World & US Province News..................10
A girl stands near the water pump in the village of Mongo Bendugu, Koinadugu district, northern Sierra Leone. Photo by Helen Blakesley/CRS.

World Mission Day
Excerpt from the

X averian Missionaries
Provincial Headquarters 12 Helene Court Wayne, NJ 07470-2813 Tel.: (973) 942-2975 Fax: (973) 942-5012 Email:

Dear Brothers and Sisters, would like to encourage everyone to be a bearer of the good news of Christ and I am grateful especially to missionaries, to the Fidei Donum priests, men and women religious and lay faithful - more and more numerous – who by accepting the Lord’s call, leave their homeland to serve the Gospel in different lands and cultures. But I would also like to emphasize that these same young Churches are engaging generously in sending missionaries to the Churches that are in difficulty - not infrequently Churches of ancient Christian tradition – and thus bring the freshness and enthusiasm with which they live the faith, a faith that renews life and gives hope. To live in this universal dimension, responding to the mandate of Jesus: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Mt 28, 19) is something enriching for each particular Church, each community, because sending missionaries is never a loss, but a gain. I appeal to all those who feel this calling to respond generously to the Holy Spirit, according to your state in life, and not to be afraid to be generous with the Lord. I also invite Bishops, religious families, communities and all Christian groups to support, with foresight and careful discernment, the missionary call ad gentes and to assist Churches that need priests, religious and laity, thus strengthening the Christian community. And this concern should also be present among Churches that are part of the same Episcopal Conference or Region, because it is important that Churches rich in vocations help more generously those that lack them... The concern for all the Churches that the Bishop of Rome shares with his brother Bishops finds an important expression in the activity of the Pontifical Mission Societies, which are meant to animate and deepen the missionary conscience of every baptized Christian, and of every community, by reminding them of the need for a more profound missionary formation of the whole People of God and by encouraging the Christian community to contribute to the spread of the Gospel in the world....


Xavier Knoll Mission Center 4500 Xavier Drive Franklin, WI 53132-9066 Tel.: (414) 421-0831 Fax: (414) 421-9108 Email:

Global Youth Mission Services (theGYM) Fatima Shrine 101 Summer Street P.O. Box 5857 Holliston, MA 01746-5857 Tel.: (508) 429-2144 Fax: (508) 429-4793 Email: Official publication of the Xaverian Missionaries of the United States

Xaverian Mission Newsletter

Publisher Fr. Carl Chudy Communications Board Fr. Carl Chudy SX Fr. Tony Lalli SX Fr. Rocco Puopolo SX Fr. Aniello Salicone SX Editor Mary Aktay Printing AlphaGraphics, Totowa, NJ Email & Web: Website: St. Guido site: Mission blog:

We gratefully acknowledge the following archdioceses and dioceses for their generous cooperation and participation in our Mission Appeals: Boston MA, Detroit MI, Hartford CT, Los Angeles CA, Milwaukee WI, Newark NJ, New York NY, Philadelphia PA, St. Louis MO; Allentown PA, Brooklyn NY, Fall River MA, Green Bay WI, LaCrosse WI, Madison WI, Manchester NH, Paterson NJ, Providence RI, Scranton PA, Syracuse NY and Trenton NJ. Fr. Frank Grappoli SX
You can be a “bearer of good news” with the Xaverians Increa Contact: your im se pact! If your Fr. Frank Grappoli, SX emplo yer ha s a “ 12 Helene Court Gift” P Matching rogram Wayne, NJ 07470 your contrib utio Tel: 973-942-2975 b e d o u n ca n bled. Or visit: for online donations

Donation: $5.00 per year


Xaverian Mission Newsletter • November 2013

Xaverian Missionaries in the World

Girls’ Education In Sierra Leone — Going the Extra Mile


by Helen Blakesley for CRS Voices Blog

t’s amazing where life takes you; the people that are peppered across your path. Never would I have thought that one day I’d be sitting at a sturdy kitchen table with two missionaries from the Philippines, high up in the leafy mountains of Sierra Leone, West Africa.

Father Patrick Santanez SX and seminarian Joeven Matugas, who will be ordained to the priesthood on the Nov. 5, the feast of St. Guido Conforti, belong to the Xaverian Missionaries. They live in a village called Mongo Bendugu, in the district of Koinadugu – one of the poorest and most remote areas in the country; a district in which Catholic Relief Services is working in nearly 200 schools to improve buildings, provide nutritious meals for children and teachers and to train those teachers in better quality learning methods. We were past the world of electricity and running water. Even past a radio signal or a cell phone network. To get to the Mongo chiefdom, we traveled 8 hours from the capital Freetown on some of the most breathtakingly difficult roads I’d ever seen. One colleague described it as “like driving in a washing machine.” My shaken bones would agree. But what we saw as we made our way was breathtaking too. We drove through verdant greens and morning mists, by hissing cicadas and brightly colored butterflies, past villages with conical palm-roofed huts. A monkey would make a dash for it across the road. Pygmy goats with their jiggling tails were in less of a hurry. And the cow munching on a mango simply didn’t want to move. It felt like another world. A world with its own harsh realities though. Like the belief that persists in many families that it’s not worth sending a girl to school. One young teenager I spoke to told me how her father had refused to pay her secondary school fees, hoping instead to find her a husband to relieve the financial burden that the girl represented. Her mom didn’t agree, and instead increased her own work in the fields, selling the extra produce to try and cover what the girl needed. I asked another young girl who was 12 years of age, “Do you think that men and women are equal?” The answer came back without hesitation, her head a little bowed. “No.”
Photos from top: A little girl beams with the hope of going to school: Fr. Patrick welcomes girls and boys to school: Young SL girl: Joeven’s team wins a trophy

Xaverian Mission Newsletter • November 2013


Xaverian Missionaries in the World

Going the Extra Mile
continued from page 3 When faced with such beliefs and traditions, as a woman from the developed world, it’s hard to know what to think or how to react. I can’t help but feel pained – but I also know that wading in condescendingly is not the way forward either. I take some comfort in knowing that CRS projects so often target women and girls (as well as helping men and boys) in order to empower them in often very basic ways. The education projects I visited in Sierra Leone fed all the children at school, but selected just girls for the “take home rations” – meaning that there’s an extra reason for families to send a girl to school and that she herself becomes a kind of provider and so, hopefully, gains more respect. Fr. Patrick and Joeven also help out in the schools near where they live. Patrick teaches Math to the older kids; Joeven tends to the infants. That’s alongside serving the needs of the parish they set up, Mary, Queen of the Apostles, a few years back. Each morning they ring the makeshift bell (which is, in truth, an old gas canister!) to call people to the 6:30 Mass. The challenges are many in this area of extreme poverty. It’s not an easy life.

...This is our vocation, what God called us to do.

Though in this far-off corner of the country there is still openness, joy, tolerance. At a village meeting hosted by CRS, a few dozen men and women gather to hear the latest on how the village can move forward. It’s a predominantly Muslim area so we open with a Muslim prayer and also a Christian one. I’d never witnessed this before and was touched by how beautiful a gesture it was. Instead of the all-too-common suspicion and mistrust between religions, here was a real coming together.

At the primary school we visit later, the kids are assembled to sing us a welcome: The Unity Song. Their little voices pull together in the refrain “We are all one!” Conversations with motivated teachers and tireless CRS staffers who really do go that extra mile help me to believe that there will be a bright future for these kids. Back at the mission house, I fall asleep to flashes of lightning and rumbles of thunder, and wake to a chorus of cockerels outside my window. At the breakfast table we talk about what it’s like living far from our families in cultures so different from our own. “We miss home,” Father Patrick admits, “but this is our vocation, what God called us to do. You only have one life, so I say, live it to the fullest. Give your life. Make a difference.”
Helen Blakesley is CRS’ regional information officer for West and Central Africa. She is based in Dakar, Senegal. - See more at:

Photos from top: Fr. Patrick Santanez, SX and seminarian Joeven Matugas pose in front of the Xaverians’ motto; Celebrating baptisms in their parish: Joeven with the children at Konkoba Primary School.


Xaverian Mission Newsletter • November 2013

Xaverian Missionaries in the USA

Both a Voice and a Service...



n August the superiors of religious orders of men across the United States gathered in Nashville, Tennessee to discuss the contemporary issues affecting religious life in the US today. The Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM) is an association of the leadership of men in religious and apostolic institutes in the United States. The Conference has formal ties with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the National Assembly of Religious Brothers and other national agencies. CMSM represents U.S. male religious and apostolic communities before a number of national and international bodies, including the Congregation of Religious and Secular Institutes of the Holy See, which officially recognizes CMSM as the national representative body for men in religious and apostolic communities in the United States. CMSM addresses the life and concerns of religious and communities of apostolic life in the United States, including their evangelizing mission in the context of Church and culture in this country. CMSM is both a voice for major Superiors and a service to them:
Fr. Carl Chudy was elected as an at-large member of the National Board of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men in the last assembly gathered in Nashville this past summer. The National Board position is a three year term. He was also named co-chair of the Mission Committee of CMSM with Fr. Mike Duggan, MM.

• As a voice, it speaks regionally, nationally and internationally, independently or in concert with other groups; it does so from the perspective of male religious and members of apostolic communities on issues regarding their life, as well as that of the Church and of our society. • As a service, it assists major Superiors in their role of leadership in their own communities and in the Conference as a whole, especially in promoting greater fidelity and more effective witness to the Gospel ideal. One of the central themes we discussed was the importance of the New Evangelization and the role of religious orders and congregations in this mission of renewal. Pope Francis has said: “We are called to follow in His footsteps … to step outside ourselves so as to attend to the needs of others. We should not simply remain in our own secure world … but we should go out in search of others so as to bring them the light and the joy of our faith in Christ.” Certainly that has always been the task of evangelization, but the New Evangelization will have to engage the effects of globalization, the rapid growth of multicultural societies, and shifting patterns of religious belonging. Members of religious institutes are called in a special way, in accord with their founding charisms, to respond to these challenges and to aid the Church in addressing new dimensions of its Catholicity.
Fr. Carl Chudy SX

In Memoriam
The Xaverians prayerfully remember Rev. Msgr. Richard L. Tofani, Mission Director of the Diocese of Trenton NJ who passed away on August 29, 2013. Msgr. Tofani was dedicated to the missions and was featured in the February 2013 issue of XMN where he wrote of his time with Fr. Dario Maso SX and the Xaverian missions in Mozambique. Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord. And let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen

Xaverian Mission Newsletter • November 2013


Lightin g

very year The Xaverian Fatima Shrine in Holliston MA hosts a spectacular Festival of Christmas Lights. A joy to behold for young and old alike, these lights symbolize Christ’s light shining among



Worl d!

nations and how we as His followers are called to be the “light of the world.” See the festival from November 30, 2013 through January 1, 2014. Call 508-429-2144 for more information.

The Global Mission Spirituality of Saint Guido Conforti


h t i a

a r c i l e M s s e k a M t a T h t

he second miracle for the Canonization of St. Guido Conforti, confirmed by the Vatican after a demanding scrutiny, was found with newborn, Thiago João, who had suffered from a severe lack of oxygen to the brain following a prolonged cardio-respiratory arrest with little hope of recovery. He barely weighed two pounds when he was born four months prematurely in a small hospital in Horizonte, Brazil, in August 2003. The parish community of Thiago’s family turned to their patron, creating a parish-wide campaign of prayer, asking Blessed Guido Conforti for healing. When the child recovered suddenly all saw this extraordinary miracle as a special sign from heaven On February 18, 2010, the medical council concluded that the healing of Thiago was scientifically unexplainable. The Congress of Theologians, on April 23, 2010, unanimously identified the miraculous intervention of God through the intercession of Blessed Conforti. Everything was confirmed in a regular session of cardinals and bishops on October 5, 2010. Pope Benedict XVI announced October 23, 2011 as the date of canonization to sainthood.

Photos: This page from top: Canonization Committee meets with little Thiago and his parents. Parishioners erect a church in honor of their patron and petition for the baby’s healing. Thiago and his mom join the then Xaverian General Superior, Fr. Rino Benzoni Sx presenting the relic of St. Guido at the canonization Mass in St. Peter’s. Fr. Tony Lalli, SX who served in the family’s parish in Brazil joins in a group portrait. Opposite page: Little Thiago living a life of faith.


Xaverian Mission Newsletter • November 2013

In the Year of Faith

Faith is the Norm of Life
The just person shall live by faith and this must animate and sanctify all his or her actions. Do we truly live by this supernatural life? Do we possess not only a speculative faith, but also the practical faith without which we cannot possibly be pleasing to God? We only have to compare our life with the teachings of the faith we profess to see if we are on the right path that leads to heaven. Anything that does not comply with faith is sin; anything that is not inspired by faith is of no use in the pursuit of eternal happiness. Just as the sun’s rays shine on the highest mountain peaks and in the deepest and darkest valleys, on the flourishing lawns and well-tended gardens, in the arid terrains and the low plains, so must faith enlighten and adorn all our actions, from the most humble and common to the most extraordinary and sublime, which touch the heights of heroism. For this reason, in all the circumstances of our life we must refer to our faith and it shall always give us a sure, precise and authoritative word which, if we follow it, shall give us the assurance that we are observing the truth, practicing justice and making progress in Christian perfection. And so holiness, the sentiment of duty, the re-generation of the heart, the spirituality of life shall all accomplish the work of faith within us and make us like Christ. We shall thus have the true faith which justifies because it works through love.

(1919, September, Parma, In his own hand “La parola del padre”; Pagine Confortiane, 316)

Xaverian Mission Newsletter • November 2013


World Mission News Digest

World Mission News Digest
Tension in North Kivu Increases

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - Tension in North Kivu (eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC) increased due to the transfer of refugees from Tanzania, operated without any coordination with the local authorities. The Provincial Coordination of Civil Society in North Kivu has stated, “[One] thousand Rwandan families” entered the territory of Rutshuru under escort of the Rwandan military and their allies of the M23, the rebel movement that operates in the Congolese province that has destabilized the area for years. Since October 3 young refugee families have been subjected to compulsory military training in Chanzu and the M23 has initiated a census of houses and fields abandoned by the local populations forced to flee because of the war. It is feared that these properties are transferred to newcomers without any form of compensation in relation to the legitimate owners. The Coordinating Committee also stressed that “the M23 is trying to deceive the public into believing that these people are Congolese refugees who are returning from Rwanda, while the UN High Commissioner for Refugees has not repatriated any Congolese from Rwanda to the DRC”. The newspaper “Le Potentiel” reports that negotiations in Kampala (Uganda) between Kinshasa and Kigali have in fact failed, and the two countries are likely to start military confrontation. In the Ugandan capital a solution is hoped for the dispute that has divided the DRC for years with the two eastern neighbors, Uganda and Rwanda, accused by Kinshasa of fueling instability in the neighboring Congolese provinces, by supporting the various guerrilla groups operating there.

city 250 kilometers west of Bogotá, has greatly diminished thanks to programs aimed at restoring the human rights of every child and adolescent in the city. One of these initiatives, called Acogida y Desarrollo, is supported by the NGO, Mundos Hermanos, together with the Colombian Institute for Family Welfare. In the last 4 years, thanks to this program, over 126 children have been reintegrated into society. Among these young children, 122 have been removed from the streets. Another serious problem that plagues the area is sex tourism. Currently the NGO Mundos Hermanos in Pereira assists 212 children and adolescents.

The Philippine Church reflects on the “New Evangelization” in Asia

Children in the DRC

Manila (Agenzia Fides) - With a remarkable international conference, dedicated to the “new evangelization” and proclaimed by the Archbishop of Manila, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, the Church of the Philippines stops to reflect on its unique contribution to the work of “New Evangelization,” especially in Asia. The conference, which was attended by about 5,000 representatives from dioceses all over the country and from other Asian countries, was held from October 16 to 18 at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila and was full of catechesis, workshops, discussions. “This is the culminating event of the Year of Faith in the Archdiocese of Manila,” explained Cardinal Tagle, who recalled how “the Church in the Philippines has always had a prominent missionary role in Asia. For this reason we have invited Bishops, priests and representatives of other Asian Churches,” such as delegates from Taiwan, Vietnam, Myanmar and Brunei. The first day, entitled “Come and see,” (from John 1, 39) focused on the theme of the encounter with God. The channels to meet God are the Word of God, prayer, the paths of beauty and art, but also “new media.” The second day, entitled “Stay with us” (Luke 24:29), focused on places of communion and renewal in the church, such as: integral formation, liturgy, empowerment of the laity, consecrated life, service to the poor, family, youth, ecumenism and interreligious dialogue, mission ad gentes. The final day of the conference theme was “Put out in deep water” (Lk 5:4), and focused specifically of mission. Cardinal Tagle held a “lectio magistralis” regarding “The missionary dimension of evangelization,” which was the object of comparison for groups of Catholic catechists and educators; laity and ecclesial communities; Caritas workers; families; pastors and community leaders; the consecrated; youth. The conference ended with a solemn Eucharist in which those present renewed their baptismal promises, and a procession through the streets of Manila.

Baptism in the Philippines

A New Hope for Street Children

Pereira (Agenzia Fides) - In recent years the abuse of child labor in Pereira, the Colombian
Colombian Child

10 Xaverian Mission Newsletter • November 2013

From our USA Communities

News from our USA Communities
Fr. Carl Chudy SX writes of his experience in Sierra Leone:

I left on the 7th of May to answer the kind invitation of the Region of Sierra Leone in order to lead the confreres there in a week-long retreat. It was a marvelous opportunity to meet our 18 confreres there from Italy, Indonesia, Philippines, Mexico and the DRC. The theme of the retreat, The Easter Journey: The Gift of Uncertainty, was designed to look at the difficult circumstances in the Diocese of Makeni as they solidify the appointment of a new bishop, and the changes going on in the confreres and in the region. Fr. Carlo DiSopra was generous enough to take me to some of the missions: Fadugu, Kabala, and Mongo Bendugu. It was a marvelous occasion to meet three of my former students from the Philippines, old friends from the past and confreres I met for the first time. After more than thirty years when I worked in Sierra Leone as a student, I felt I had come full circle. The closing of the retreat was celebrated in the Cathedral in Makeni as we gathered with local priests, religious lay for the anniversary celebration of the diocese.

The Global Youth Mission services, will offer a one-month service opportunity in Sierra Leone, West Africa, for college age youth who wish to experience a mission first hand in 2014. To help fund this project, a portion of this year’s Annual Mission Banquet will go toward this Mission Immersion. “Mission Engaged: Supporting Youth in Mission” is the theme. The Rev. Rocco Puopolo, codirector of the TheGYM, served in Sierra Leone for 12 years. He brought young people there as summer volunteers and was amazed at how quickly they adapted to the climate, language and opportunities to serve. . People helped this effort and other ministries of the Xaverian Missionaries through sponsorship, donations and attendance at the banquet which took place on Oct. 19, at St. Joseph’s Parish Hall in Medway, MA. Food was provided by Primavera and entertainment by Tony Funches, former lead singer for The Platters.
Fr. Rocco Puopolo SX

Franklin held their 50th annual Mission Banquet on October,18, 2013. The general atmosphere was festive, friendly and familiar, welcoming 325 friends and benefactors into the big hall of the Italian Community Center in Milwaukee. Provincial Superior Fr. Carl Chudy was present and gave the key note address. Everyone enjoyed the celebration including the great raffle, the silent auction and the aural auction with the game of the keys. The gratitude for the work of the Xaverians in the area and in the world was expressed by many. The gratitude to God for forming one family of all the nations was proclaimed and celebrated. Mr. Mike Zinego received the Arthur VanderHeyden Award for his significant contribution of Time, Talent and Treasure toward the work of the Xaverian missionaries.
Fr. Aniello Salicone SX

The Berceto Foundation’s annual banquet was held on October 6 at Riccardo’s Restaurant in Astoria NY. The Berceto Foundation celebrated its 51st year of service and support of the Xaverian Missionaries. It traces its roots to Berceto Italy in the Province of Parma, the ancestral home of St. Guido Conforti. Some of the members were confirmed by the saint himself when he was Bishop of Parma, Italy in the 1930’s.
Fr. Frank Grappoli SX

Xaverian Mission Newsletter • November 2013


Xaverian Mission Newsletter • November 2013

Father Patrick Santanez SX sates: “...This is our vocation, what God called us to do. You only have one life, so I say, live it to the fullest. Give your life. Make a difference.” Make a difference and live YOUR life to the fullest! contact:

Fr. Rocco Puopolo at theGYM 508-429-2144
Fr. Patrick in Sierra Leone

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