January 2, 1999

What's New

The report from Portugal on their activities in the area of Justice & Peace has been posted to the Justitia et Pax page. It can also be accessed from here: Justice & Peace in Portugal.

We have posted the following email address for India to our province email page. This address is for Sebastiãno Pitz, novice master:

The various province reports on Justice and Peace have now been translated into Portuguese. Please check the J&P page to access these documents.

Please note the following changes to email addresses at the curia effective January 1, 1999:

[Note: had been used by Maria and had been used by Claudio Siebenaler as general secretary.]

What's Happening

The General Council has approved the creation of Districts and Regions Nullius Provinciae. Once the degree and the document on governance prepared by Umberto Chiarello (CU) have been translated they will be posted to our web site. The decree will take effect on March 14, 1999 and will remain so until the XXIst General Chapter "ad experimentum".

In Taubaté, Brazil, from January 11 to 27, 1999, a course on the Social Teachings of the Church will take place. This will be the third time it has been offered. The contents of the program are:

Two scjs are among the presenters: Carlos Alberto da C. Silva, general counselor and Paulo Hues, teacher of Moral Theology at Taubaté. It is in the city of Taubaté that the scjs have their own School of Theology with over a hundred students from various religious orders and dioceses.

From January 4 to February 11 the provinces and regions of Latin America will offer their program in preparation for final vows. There are 12 candidates for this year. This is the 15th year that this program has been in existence. Each year the location has changed and will take place this time in Curitiba (BM). This time the staff includes José Schmitt (BM), Francisco Sehnem (BM), André Vital da Silva (BS), Carlos Alberto da Costa Silva (CU), João Carlos de Almeida (BM) and José Napoleão (BM)


Tragic News from Congo*

The following is a letter sent by the provincial of the South Italian Province and was received at the Curia shortly after Christmas.

Dear Brothers

I want to communicate to you the tragic deaths of our brother Martial M'ABanzoulou's mother and five brothers and sisters, that happened on Christmas night. In order to understand what took place here is what Martial wrote to me.

Dear Fr. Provincial,

I want to confirm, after my phone call, the death of my mother and my brothers and sisters. The bishop of Brazzaville in his first call told me that our house had caught fire and they were not able to find the bodies of my family. In a second call he told me that they had all been murdered, except for my father, because he was not at home.

Remember last year in the Congo there was civil war between the forces of President Pascal Lissouba and Prime Minister Kolelas with the forces of the "cobra" militias of ex President Denis Sassou Nguesso. The conflict ended with the return to power of Nguesso.

Actually tensions are still high between the army and the people in the region of Pool, who are of the same tribe as Prime Minister Kolelas. The region of Pool borders on Brazzaville, and fighting has flared up here during the last four months. The anti-gorilla forces attacked with automatic weapons following an assault with rockets designed to destroy the population of Pool. It is the result of the war between the army and the tribe of the ex Prime Minister.

My family was murdered sometime between Thursday night [Christmas Eve] and Friday morning [Christmas Day] in the Church of S. Peter Claver where the people had sought refuge. The church was destroyed by artillery fire from the anti-gorilla forces of the army. The entire south western area of the city was under artillery attack. It was genocide against the people of Pool.

Only my father was saved because he was away at work. My mother and five brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews and other family members were all murdered that night.

Peace is still not close at hand for the Congo, because the people refuse to use common sense. I ask for your prayers during this Christmas season that the reign of justice and peace may come to my homeland.

In Jesus and Mary
Martial, scj

There is nothing I could possibly add except to ask for your prayers and solidarity with our brother.

P. Giacomo Casolino, scj

*Please note Congo should not be confused with The Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire). They are two separate and distinct countries.

Martial M'Abanzoulou is a scholastic who made his first profession in 1995. He currently is a member of the community at S. Antonio Abate.

Scuola Missionaria Gesù Bambino
Santuario "Gesù Bambino
Via Casa Russo
I-80057 s. Antonio Abate (NA)

Please Remember

+p. Pietro Comi (MZ)

Born: 11 March 1913
First Profession: 11 October 1930
Ordained: 26 June 1938
Died at Quelimane (MZ) 25 December 1998