08 th February 2020
On the occasion of the 189 years of the life of our religious family, I am pleased to retracing with you the steps that our Founders have taken to start a story of response to the inspirations that God placed in their hearts. Teresa and Benaglio have adhered with all their strength to the divine plan, making their life a gift offered to God and to the brothers. Their ANDIAMO of February 8, 1831 still resounds in our hearts and challenges our will to walk, today, the ways that the Lord is showing us. We have the joy and responsibility to continue the work begun with the grace of God, in the awareness that the gift received is not entrusted only to us DSHJ, but as says our Cs. 7:“… The DSHJ also share the charismatic gift with the laity and become an evangelizing presence with them in every culture”. In celebration of the second International meeting of Laity, in July 2019, we committed ourselves to finding the steps to be taken to ensure that the ‘charismatic family’ DSHJ may grow and testify in our world, often marked by closures and selfishness, the unconditional love of the Heart of Jesus for humanity and, animated by the words of our Founders:”In this union … some lay person may also be admitted to cooperate with those things, which are not of the sacred ministry and concern the temporal relief of the poor.“(Piano di regola per i Preti del S. Cuore – Benaglio -22 agosto 1804) — “…The point that matters to me is that you, our cooperators and Associates, put yourself in the mood and vigor to make up for, as it is up to you, the emptiness that the Daughters of the Sacred Heart left. Keep Soul and courage: work with activity and generosity, but always with righteousness and with utmost prudence remembering that the good of God must be done with the spirit of God” (T. Verzeri 03.08.1841), we have come up with some indications which may favor a more organic and shared path of the journey of participation of the Laity in the Charism.
Let us pray on this day for our Founders to obtain grace, to grow in awareness of the common call to holiness, as the Second Vatican Council proposes, and as Pope Francis reminds us: “In virtue of their baptism, all the members of the People of God have become missionary disciples (cf. Mt 28:19). All the baptized, whatever their position in the Church or their level of instruction in the faith, are active agents of evangelization, and it would be insufficient to envisage a plan of evangelization to be carried out by professionals while the rest of the faithful would simply be passive recipients. The new evangelization calls for personal involvement on the part of each of the baptized. ” (EG 120). We need to acquire a mentality that leads us all – religious and laity – to think, pray, form ourselves and carry out the mission TOGETHER, putting our common charism at the center and enhancing – not canceling – the specificities of each of our realities and therefore of the different vocations. We also try to enhance what is already silently growing in the Organisms and which is waiting to be recognized.It is therefore a matter of continuing the journey started by the Founders in the certainty that God manifests himself in time and is present in the processes of history. This gives priority to actions that generate new dynamics. And it requires patience, waiting. Together, DSHJ and lay people, we continue to take one step after another, with the gaze that dares to look far!
To all of us DSHJ, to the laity of the ‘charismatic family’ and to the collaborators, I wish you a HAPPY FEAST! With love.
Sr. Beatrice Dal Santo
Superior General dshj