On Sunday, April 28, 18 members of the Society of St Paul, and one member of the Institute of Jesus the Priest, gathered at the house of the Divine Master in Ariccia, to take part in a three-week program on the Pauline charism in the English language. Eight have come from India-Nigeria, five from the Philippines-Macau, four from the United States, and one each from Australia and the UK-Ireland. For many it is their first trip to Italy.
The first week of the program is a spiritual retreat lead by Fr Mario Sobrejuanite, of the Philippines-Macau Province. During the second week a number of Pauline specialists based mainly in Italy will provide input on a range of topics related to our charism. The key feature of the third week will be a pilgrimage to the Pauline places of origin in the north of Italy.
The program commenced with a celebration of the Eucharist, at which the Vicar General, Fr Celso Godilano, presided. He highlighted the words of Jesus to love one another ‘as I have loved you’ which calls for a universal love of everyone - no ifs, no conditions and no distinctions on the base of race, gender, religion, or whatever. Our Pauline vocation is to bring the good news to the very ends of the earth, to every person, employing the most effective means of communication.
Fr Celso noted that our life and mission are very, very difficult; we have to endure “many hardships,” to quote the words of the apostles, but the Master is here to assure us: “Do not be afraid. I am with you always.”
The formal part of the day concluded with the recitation of the rosary in the grounds of Ariccia, pausing in front of the beautiful representations of the Glorious mysteries.
The day ended with a lively ‘getting to know you’ session, facilitated by Fr Mario. The participants are now taking part in the spiritual exercises.
This English language charism program is an initiative of CAP-ESW (Conference of Asia-Pacific and English Speaking World) and is being conducted with the assistance of the General Government.