On November 9, 1997, Pope John Paul II proclaimed blessed the founder of the Congregation of Scalabrinian Missionaries. Here is the message of Fr. Chiarello, Superior General.
Rome, November 11, 2019 – On November 9, 1997, Pope John Paul II proclaimed blessed bishop Giovanni Battista Scalabrini, founder of the Scalabrinian Missionary congregation. A significant date, because it also includes the celebration of the dedication of the Lateran basilica, the mother of all churches.
For the occasion, Fr. Leonir Chiarello, Superior General of the Scalabrinian Congregation, offers us his reflection on the timeliness of the Founder’s message. « Recognized as blessed twenty-two years ago, but lived substantially in the nineteenth century, what can he say in our day? » Asks Fr. Chiarello, who then articulates his answer in three points corresponding to as many characteristics of the blessed: a yearning for holiness, love for Church, a touched look towards the brothers.
Fr. Chiarello: « Let’s take Scalabrini’s gaze as our own »
« It is not simply a matter of seeing the migrants – writes the Scalabrinian Superior General – Many see them, perhaps too much, especially when it comes to pointing them out in their diversity, in their mistakes, in their disturbing us because they have become our neighbors without asking us. It is a question of looking at them as Scalabrini looked at them, a « moved » look, a look that leads to the question: « How can you remedy this? »
Pope Francis has often warned us against indifference. Indifference is to look without seeing. We take Scalabrini’s gaze as our own, a look that feels hurt by indifference and injustice, but that responds to injury with love.”