We hope that each of you will be full of life and hope in these days when we prepare to celebrate the feast of our patron and founder St. Camillus de Lellis. The example of this giant of charity has enlightened and seduced our hearts to the point of directing our vocational choice in this Order he founded for the total and integral service of the sick.
This is not a trivial choice, since we ourselves, by solemn vows, have chosen to permanently consume our lives in this holy service, the importance and necessity of which we realize every day. Today too, through our ministry, Jesus draws near to every person wounded in body and spirit, and pours upon his wounds, his failures, his humiliations and his despair the oil of consolation and the wine of hope. This ministry that God entrusts to us is great. Therefore we must always welcome it as humble and useless servants through whom God continues to build his Kingdom.
As general council, we encourage you to continue living your ministry with joy and enthusiasm, so that the men and women of our time may still find reasons to hope and believe in God, who became man to save humanity. We hope that the feast of our patron saint will renew in each of us the initial motivations for our consecration, which Holy Mother Church holds in high esteem.
We recall Pope Francis’ words to the capitulars in May 2022: “Dear brothers, I want above all to thank you for what you are and what you do in the Church. If we want to offer people a good ‘field hospital,’ where those who are wounded can meet and feel the closeness and tenderness of Christ, if we want this, we cannot do without the charism of St. Camillus de Lellis.”
Here in Rome, the experience we have been living for over a year in the animation of the Order renews in us this profound certainty of the goodness of our charism. The visits we have already made and the international meetings we have had in these months have allowed us to see, listen, breathe and appreciate the strength of our religious family through the commitment of each one.
With the goal of accompanying, sustaining and strengthening the common faith in our Order toward a future of hope, we spent this first year of our term working on the proposal of a programmatic project or strategic plan for the whole Order.
A strategic plan, as many of you know, is a scientific tool that enables organizations like ours to carry out their mission with creative fidelity to the needs and demands of our ever-changing world.
The health care world in which we operate can be seen as a paradigm of our current context, which requires generosity, but also professionalism and competence. The instrument of the strategic plan, used in many other Orders and ecclesial Institutes, seems to us more necessary today than ever, as it allows us to have a careful and constant look at reality in order to seek, in prayer and collaboration with the Holy Spirit, the appropriate ways and means for renewal and progress.
Thus, the content of our strategic plan is the concrete implementation of the need for renewal of the Order contained in, among other things, the resolutions of the General Chapter of May 2022, the document Camillian Project for a Creative and Faithful Life (May 2013), the Status Ordini presented by the previous General Consultation (May 2022), and the report of each major superior received by the Consultation in January 2023. The idea of this strategic plan was presented to the major superiors by videoconference in January 2023, and its content was extensively discussed and enriched with them at the presidential gathering in June 2023 in Rome. The final text that you will receive shortly will be a summary of all this listening, exchange, and study that we hope to implement together in the coming years.
I thank each of you for your support, cooperation and fraternal prayer. We have had the opportunity to meet some of you and hope to meet and get to know others in the visits we will continue to make to the provinces and delegations of the Order. I assure you of my personal prayers and those of the entire Consultation, and I greet you fraternally with the words of Pope Francis addressed to the entire Order during the last General Chapter: “I therefore invite you to draw ever anew from the sap of the Beatitudes, in order to bring, with meekness and simplicity, the joyful proclamation to the poor and the least of today’s people. I also wish you to refresh one another in the confidence that the good accorded to a suffering sister or brother is a gift made to Jesus himself, and that what is lived and offered every day with joy, even if invisible to the eyes of the world, is never lost but, like a seed fallen into the earth, sprouts and bears fruit. And do not neglect to cherish the memory of the first love, with which Jesus conquered your heart, to always renew from the roots your choice of consecrated life.
Always return to the roots of the first love, because therein lies our religious identity: the first dialogue with Jesus, the call.”
I wish that the feast of our founder will be an opportunity to revive our enthusiasm in serving the sick and suffering with the assurance that we are serving Our Lord.
Happy feast of St. Camillus and renewed good wishes with a thousand blessings!
p. Pedro TRAMONTIN
Superior general & the general consultors