Columns
from issue no.06/07 - 2006


LETTERS FROM THE MISSIONS


A pump for the water supply for two schools and four villages

A pump for the water supply for two schools and four villages

Kanisa katoliki Pawaga
Iringa, Tanzania

Project: Artesian wells

Iringa, Thursday 18 May 2006


Dear Senator Giulio Andreotti,
I who write to you am a missionary from the Ciociaria, from Vico in Lazio (Frosinone). My name is Father Sergio Antonucci, somewhat old in missionary life (45 years in Tanaziana, in Iringa) but happy and content to have spent my life for Africa mine (not for my Africa!). First of all I thank you sincerely for the letter in which you are pleased to be able to make us a gift of your laudable magazine 30Days, which arrives to us punctually. Personally I devour it in one go. In truth your intentions in this letter of April 2006 are touching; I report only some of them: « From now on we wish to transmit our journalistic message to Italian missionaries wherever they work. Happy should they wish to write us about their experiences and the reality in which they operate». I promise you that I will have you participate in our missionary reality and in this town, Pawaga. Senator, perhaps you have forgotten the new missionary from Vico in Lazio (18 April 1960), the day of my first mass. Certainly you were not there to rejoice with me, but you were present with your unforgettable gift: a stole embroidered in gold and a surplice. I brought these precious gifts with me throughout the course of my missionary experience, until one day I also made a gift of them to a mission without sacred vestments! Senator, thank you, my prayer for you.

Most affectionately
Father Sergio Antonucci, Missionary of the Consoled


The mission of Pawaga, (Iringa, Tanzania) is situated in the middle of the Rift Valley, the famous African split that develops along the lakes of Niassa, Tanganika, Victoria, and follows the whole course of the Nile, beginning to wind again along the inlet of Jordan, as far as Syria. In Pawaga the rains are very scarce: from November to January, after which the sun beats down implacably as much as 38 degrees in the shade. At the first rains the desert blooms enchantingly once again, but its sad agony begins too soon. Not only does nature suffer, but especially people and animals, always on the move looking for a little water, the fount of life. We missionaries are called upon to confront the challenge of survival, food for the poor and water for the thirsty. We are acting so that the inhabitants of our parish (about 28 thousand) may have help and support in their battle for life. We have undertaken this commitment, helped always by local people, to dig Artesian wells for the necessary provision of water. We have taken into consideration five centers particularly where there is a greater concentration of people: the prisons of Pawaga, Ikorongo, Ilambalyelu, Kinyika and Magombwe. Every village presents its own particular characteristics.


COMBONIAN MISSIONARIES
Santo Domingo de los Colorados, Pichinincha, Ecuador

We pray for you and the magazine and may you remember us and our people in your prayers

Santa Maria, Sunday 7 May 2006


Dear Senator Giulio Andreotti,
I would never have dreamed of having to write to you and now I must do so to thank you sincerely for the sending of two numbers of the magazine 30Days, that arrived as far as my mission. I am not writing to you from the mission center, but from a large community of 4 thousand inhabitants, an hour south of the mission center, which is called Santa Maria, and the typewriter is quite old. In this large community three lay Ecuadorian missionaries work and do so very well.
In the mission center we are three missionary priests: a Spaniard, the other an African from the Sudan and I am the third, an Italian from the Bergamo area. For almost two years we have also had three Salesian nuns, two Ecuadorians and one from Vicenza. As you see we are an international, or globalized, missionary community, as is said these days.
I am an old missionary, ordained in 1961 in Milan and, after two years in Spain, at the beginning of the Combonian presence in that country, I was sent to Ecuador, where the Combonians had been for five or six years. Since then I have always remained in Ecuador among the Indios of the Andes, the blacks of Esmeraldas and the coastal Cayapas Indios tribe and now, for twenty years, among the Manabites of the coast. Several times it happened that I had to begin new missions. The one where I am now began in 1997.
We have more than fifty communities, some of which very isolated, that are reached by horse or mule. In all, the inhabitants are some tens of thousands. The lay ministers who are found in every community help us and without them we could do very little.
In our mission we have an educational pastoral that deals with about 1,700 children and also involves the parents. This pastoral is supported by Communion and Liberation, through Father Valter Maggi, who is still episcopal vicar of education in our archdiocese. Because of all of this, as you can see, we are relatives somewhat of the magazine 30Days.
Our people in the overwhelming majority are “campesina”, a category of people where poverty is very widespread and, apart from poverty, there are various health problems, problems of education, of means of communication, etc.
I am content and thank the Lord for all these years of missionary life and I can indeed say that they were years of suffering, of battles, of delusions, but also of great joy and of very many fruits, gifts of the Lord.
The magazine of which you are Director helps us to keep up with many things in our beloved Church and to feel with the Church.
I thank you again wholeheartedly for the gift of the magazine, to which I wish success for the good of many and for the Kingdom of God.
To you, as Director, I send my most sincere wishes for every good. We pray for you and the magazine and may you remember us and our people in your prayers.
I greet you in the Lord and the Madonna.
May the Lord bless you.

Father Alberto Ferri


SAVERIANS OF THE SAINT PAUL CATHOLIC MISSION
Benakuma, Bamenda, Cameroon

I have nothing in particular to recount that other missionaries will not have already expressed: I am only a humble servant in the vineyard of the Lord

Benakuma, Friday 19 May 2006


Dear Mister Giulio,
Peace and well-being! I have recently received the first two copies of the subscription that 30Days intends to undertake in favor of the missionaries abroad. I greatly appreciated this offer to the point of emotion. It was some time since I had the intention of taking out a subscription myself. Then the thought of the cost, and the fact that for me it is very difficult to communicate with the world of the living outside my area always made me postpone my decision to do so.
I am a 73 year-old old Saverian missionary with thirty years of mission in Africa. I began in the Congo in far off 1967. I have been in Cameroon for almost twenty years, in the Anglophone area on the border with Nigeria. I have nothing in particular to recount that other missionaries will not have already expressed: I am only a humble servant in the vineyard of the Lord, without pretensions.
The work area is vast, isolated and segregated from the rest of the country. At the beginning especially it seemed to me that I had ended up in a concentration camp. No light, postal service, telephone, not even a mobile, no public services, no roads worthy of the name, no health services or a doctor in residence, the school in a sorry state in all senses. This is the situation in which I found myself from the beginning. There has been progress in these past years, but little in the face of growing needs. During these years I sought to do my best; with a little presumption I could say: the impossible to advance a little human promotion in various sectors. Thanks be to God there are some results, but it is like a drop in the ocean. We have exerted ourselves to open schools to diminish illiteracy, to renew health centers, bring drinking water to the town, make the road viable and things like that, so much as to be able to say that these people have not been completely abandoned.
As I said, nothing extraordinary, because many other missionaries deal with this in the same way and also better, but always however with great efforts and difficulties.
I thank you heartily for the gift of the subscription to 30Days. It offers me the opportunity to take a look at the world and especially at the Church in its universality. We have need of similar magazines and aids so as not to fossilize mentally; on the contrary for us also to be living members of the Church.
Dear Senator Giulio, I assure you of my poor remembrance to the Lord so that you can continue your mission of good in Italy and the world.
Cordial and fraternal greetings,

Father Italo Lovat



SAVERIAN MISSIONARIES
São Paulo, Brazil

The photo on page 40 of the January double-issue caught my attention because there I met both of you: you and don Giussani in Desio

São Paulo, Thursday 25 May 2006


Senator Giulio Andreotti and the editorial staff of 30Days,
With rejoicing heart I want to share with all of you two special events for us Saverian missionaries. We are celebrating and commemorating the Saverian and Confortian Year.
In fact the 500th anniversary of the birth of Saint Francesco Saverio (1506-2006) and the 75th anniversary of the death of Blessed Guido Maria Conforti (1931-2006) occur this year.
I received the first two numbers of this year’s 30Days! I don’t have words to thank you. I found the article on the young Joseph Ratzinger, page 54, when he was a student in Germany, most interesting. The photo on page 40 of the January double-issue caught my attention because there I met both of you: you and don Giussani in Desio for the commemoration of Pope Ratti.
With sentiments of esteem, of admiration and the sharing of the values proposed and published.

Father Giovanni Murazzo


CHURCH OF SAINT JOSEPH
New York, NY, United States

As a young man I followed your magazine. Now I am happy to receive it still

New York, Wednesday 7 June 2006


Dear Editorial Staff,
I am an Italian missionary in New York City, in Chinatown to be exact. As a young man I followed your magazine (and also Il Sabato). Now I am happy to receive it again. If a subscription is needed, send me a note.
Greetings and onwards always,

Father Walter Tonelotto, missionary


 




LETTERS FROM THE CONVENTS


BENEDICTINE OBLATES OF THE “SAINTE FRANÇOISE ROMAINE” CONVENT
Jerusalem

The visit of the Chief Rabbi of Rome to the Mosque opens a possibility of hope

Jerusalem, Saturday 10 June 2006


Dear Senator,
We are finishing the reading in the community of number 3 of the magazine 30Jours (30Days in the French edition) that we receive thanks to your generous decision. We are very struck by the place that information about links between religions is given in your magazine and especially those between Judaism and Islam.
Our situation in Israel, involved as we are in the Judaeo-Christian dialogue and living in the place of the beautiful church of Emmaüs des Croisés, at the center of an entirely Muslim village, makes us particularly attentive and sensitive to what happens to the Jews, our elder brothers, and to the Muslims. The visit of the Chief Rabbi of Rome to the Mosque in this city opens a future of hope.
The pages that recall the years in which His Holiness Benedict XVI was a young professor interested us greatly.
May you find in these lines, Senator, the expression of our gratitude and the assurance of our prayers for the support of all your staff.

The community of the Convent of
“Sainte Françoise Romaine” in Israel


CARMELITES OF THE “SÃO JOSé CONVENT”
Río Grande, Río Grande do Sul, Brazil

Grateful for the free subscription

Río Grande, Monday 27 March 2006


Queen of Carmel, pray for us all!
Dear Senator Giulio Andreotti, Director of the magazine 30Days,
Our community feels deeply grateful for the privilege of receiving gratis the subscription to the genuine and profound magazine that we know: 30Dias [30Days in the Portuguese edition] !
Thank you for the appreciation you show for the contemplative life.
From this Convent of São José of the Discalced Carmelites in the south of Brazil, we join with all the others who make intercession for your intentions and initiatives for the good of the Church of Christ.
We offer in this Holy Easter our feast of prayer and infinite gratitude for what you accomplish.
With fraternal friendship in Jesus of Teresa,

Sister Teresita da Santa Face O.C.D.
Prioress


CARMEL “L’ASSOMPTION”
Sebikotane, Senegal

May the Virgin Mary Queen of Carmel reward your generosity

Sebikotane, Monday 27 March 2006


Sir,
We have received the first number of the magazine 30Jours [30Days in the French edition]. We thank you greatly for this free subscription. May the Virgin Mary Queen of Carmel reward your generosity.
Certainly, we find interesting articles in your magazine, especially so that our prayer may be intensified, when the events of the world put us to the test. We promise you our prayers for the success of your apostolate.
We don’t understand very well what suggestions we could give, but perhaps the Lord will inspire us at the right moment.
Our Carmel is situated 50 kilometers from Dakar, not far from the village of Sebikotane, and very close to the major seminary. We have the priests of the seminary as chaplains and greatly appreciate their fervor and the sound doctrine in their homilies, during the mass. We concentrate on prayer for our young seminarians who are preparing for ordination. And they depend a lot on our spiritual support.
We also have a small accommodation service that allows us to receive religious who want to make their spiritual exercises in the silence of Carmel and also young people in search of their vocation.
Our community is composed of French and Africans from different countries.
We still have with us one of our foundresses, who came in 1950 to establish the Carmel in Dakar. In 1953 we settled definitively here, because of the closeness to the major seminary.
We have good relations with the people of the surrounding villages, mainly Muslims. Only in Sebikotane is there a good Catholic community.
This is a small view of our surroundings. The essential thing is to live our lovely vocation of Carmel.
With all our thanks, please accept, Sir, the expression of my best religious sentiments.

Sister Marie-Agnès de l’Enfant-Jésus O.C.D.


DOMINICANS OF THE CONVENT OF SAINT VINCENZO FERRERI
Prato, Italy

We wish to thank you for so much solicitude and your concern for the cloistered communities

Prato, Tuesday 2 May 2006


Senator,
the person who writes to you is the archivist of the convent of Saint Vincenzo Ferri in Prato. I wish to express my appreciation and my esteem for the magazine directed by you.
We receive 30Days periodically and read it with enthusiasm. We find there the stimuli that urge us to pray and offer up for our brothers in the world.
I, as archivist, can assure you that the copies are placed in our library where the fellow sisters have access to consult them. Afterwards the copies of 30Days will become part of the archive as historical research and will be carefully kept there.
We wish to thank you for so much solicitude and for your concern for the cloistered communities. We are happy to know that there are people like you who understand our charism, our choice and our mission within the Church.
Finally, I thank you heartily for sending the two publications Mio fratello Albino and Ciò che conta è lo stupore, that you sent us in your goodness.
I confirm my prayer and that of the community for all your intentions.
Cordially in Jesus Christ,

Sister Immacolata Mangini,
archivist


“L’ANNONCIADE” CONVENT
Saint Doulchard, France

Thanks again with all the heart for this lovely gift

Saint Doulchard, Saturday 13 May 2006

Dear Sir,
I express my deep appreciation to you for the free sending of your very interesting magazine 30Jours [30Days in the French edition]. The last edition offered a very interesting interview with one of the professors and friends of the Holy Father Benedict XVI, along with an article on Saint Ambrose. I was able to see to it that the parish of Saint Ambrose in Paris had that article.
In our present world, what struck me most was that you took the initiative to send us this magazine free. Be assured of our prayer for all the work and for the choice of articles to publish. I entrust all the staff to the Virgin Mary, especially in this month of May. Our Order: the Order of the Virgin Mary or the Order of the Annunciation was founded by Saint Joan of France in Bourges in 1502 with the help of a Franciscan priest, Father Gabriel Maria: this is the reason for our Marian and Franciscan spirituality.
Thanks again with all my heart for this lovely gift, with deep appreciation and union in prayer.

Sister Marie-Bertrand O.V.M.


BENEDICTINES OF THE “MOTHER OF THE CHURCH” CONVENT
Lagos, Nigeria

We assure you of our praying support through the perpetual adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament

Lagos, Wednesday 20 June 2006


Ave, Mater Ecclesiae!
Dear Senator,
May the Heart of Jesus be your heart! We inform you that we have received some numbers of the magazine 30Days in the Church and in the World. We are very grateful to you for your charity. And we constantly raise our praises to God for the gift of your life, a practical witness to genuine and simple evangelical life in the world. We further pray so that your magazine may have an ever wider distribution so as to spread the truth.
Personally I knew 30Days in the Church and in the World, when I was in Italy: in Nigeria it is His Eminence Cardinal Anthony O. Okogie, archbishop of Lagos and founder of the convent, who sends it to us every time he receives it. We further permit ourselves to ask you if it were possible to have your publications Chi prega si salva, Dottrina cristiana (vol. I-11), your 1948 and the subscription to Traccia, given that our convent, dedicated exclusively to contemplation through the perpetual adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament, has as its specific purpose the praying support for the Holy Father and the ecclesiastic hierarchy, and lives in radical poverty entrusting itself completely to Divine Providence: «Bottomless bank» (Saint Maximilian M. Kolbe).
We thank you for everything and assure you, and your family and collaborators of our prayers, certain of always being in the Heart of God: the Eucharist.
In corde Matris Ecclesiae,

Sister Maria Benedetta of Jesus and community








THE EDITOR’S POST BAG


Who prays is saved

Who prays is saved

WHO PRAYS IS SAVED

An inspiration from God
Caltagirone, 31 May 2006

Dear Senator,
it is an inspiration from God to have published Who prays is saved. Recently I gave it to a hundred people, I want a hundred of it still. May the good God bless you for the good you are doing!

Priest Francesco Sinatra,
Caltagirone (Ct)



30DAYS: RATZINGER’s universities

A clarification
from the Orthodox
Archbishop of Redfern

Dear Mister Andreotti,
I am Stylianos Harianakis, Archbishop of Australia, and write this letter in order to clarify and correct some important details concerning my postgraduate studies at Bonn University (October 1958-February 1966).
In your magazine 30Days (no. 3, 2006, p. 59), it is stated that I was supposedly taking my doctorate under Professor Ratzinger, now His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, and that I had supposedly expressed a “request” to receive my doctorate from the Catholic Faculty, which was “rejected”.
I must say that, although I was proud to have had the opportunity to follow the brilliant lectures of Professor Ratzinger, as well as those of Johannes Auer (both of whom I had the privilege to develop a very close friendship with), it is clear from the very theme of my dissertation (The Infallibility of the Church in Orthodox Theology) that it would have, by definition, excluded me from making such a petition.
In stating this, I do not negate all the moral benefits I enjoyed from such a close and precious friendship, for which I was always grateful. However, as soon as I arrived in Bonn, I found myself obliged, as an Orthodox and doctrinal theologian, to orientate my doctorate towards the Theological Faculty of Athens. For it was well known that candidates in Roman Catholic Faculties were obliged to take a kind of oath. This, of course, I was not prepared to do. This is also why my thesis was written in Greek.
The other mentioned Clergyman, Damaskinos Papandreou, was an entirely diferent case, even from the mere fact that he had a Roman Catholic scholarship, and that the subject of his studies was not a dogmatic one.
I would be grateful if you would undertake to make the necessary correction, as is proper, for the accuracy of the article and the correct information of your readers.

Prayerfully yours,
Archbishop Stylianos
Redfern, Australia




Italiano Español Français Deutsch Português