Fr. Leonir Chiarello: “The Immobility Imposed on the Missionaries of Human Mobility is an Opportunity to Increase Pastoral Creativity”

From Guatemala, where he is due to the canonical visit interrupted by the provisions for the coronavirus pandemic, the Superior General of the Scalabrinian missionaries sent a message to all members of the Congregation on the difficult situation we are experiencing

Guatemala, March 18, 2020 – On March 17, 2020, Fr. Leonir Chiarello, Superior General of the Scalabrinian Congregation, sent a message to all the confreres to encourage them during this difficult time of Lent marked worldwide by the disease, and by the restrictions and limitations imposed by the coronavirus.

Father Chiarello is currently in Guatemala where, precisely because of the limitations imposed by the coronavirus emergency, the canonical visit to the Scalabrinian province of San Giovanni Battista, which began in February and was due to end on April, was interrupted.

Together with him, there is also Fr. Mario Geremia, General Councilor and responsible for the mission and coordination of the religious assistants of the laity. Due to the closure of the borders, the two missionaries will have to stay in Guatemala for two weeks.

Migrants, “without a home to stay at home”

In the text of the message, entitled “All human miseries moved his great heart“, the Superior General’s thought goes first of all to the victims of the infection, “let’s make them present in our prayer, which must also include the medical and health personnel who with so much passion and sacrifice is being devoted to their care.”

Among those suffering particularly from this emergency, migrants and refugees must be remembered: forced to move for safety and work reasons, “they face this emergency, but often without having a protection system behind them and without having a home to stay at home.”

“An opportunity to strengthen fraternal life”

Finally, Fr. Chiarello addresses the confreres scattered in all continents, sending them to follow what the competent authorities indicate, a recommendation that Blessed Scalabrini himself addressed to his confreres when cholera threatened the diocese of Piacenza in 1884.

“The immobility imposed on missionaries of human mobility must not, however, leave us immobile in our missionary yearning – writes the Superior General – Indeed, it is an opportunity to increase our pastoral creativity, especially by using modern means of communication. (…) This immobility can also be an opportunity to strengthen our fraternal bonds, to get to know each other better, to rediscover that fraternal life in common is truly a source of serenity because it is a ‘community of faith and worship’.”