June 1, 2019: Blessed Scalabrini’s Feast

Father Chiarello, scalabrinian superior general: “We are invited to continue his passion for religious teaching and faith formation, most of all because our mission is with the migrants”

On June 1, 1905 died in Piacenza Monsignor Giovanni Battista Scalabrini, bishop and founder of the congregation that today bears his name. Here are some excerpts from The Encounter with Scalabrini, Founder and Apostle of the Catechism, the message of the Superior General of the Scalabrinian Congregation for the Feast of the Father of Migrants.

Scalabrini’s passion for catechism

«We celebrate the Founder, his vision, his farsightedness, his love for Christ and the migrants. We celebrate the man of God whom the Church has recognized as blessed and has indicated to all as a model to be followed. We celebrate in particular this year “the apostle of the catechism,” as Pope Pius IX called him. In fact, it is 130 years since, on September 1889, Scalabrini celebrated in Piacenza the first National Congress on Catechism.

The passion for catechism was the consequence of what Scalabrini considered the first duty of a priest: to provide religious instruction in view of educating in a Christian way.

As disciples of Scalabrini we are invited to continue his passion for religious teaching and faith formation, most of all because our mission is with the migrants, who find themselves in contexts where they lack more than others the tools and teaching on what they believe. We would like to suggest taking some initiatives on catechetical instruction to the migrants this year, even through provincial or regional events».

The Scalabrinian Historical Institute will be re-vitalized

«To follow the Founder, we must have met him first. This year, a year dedicated to encounter, everyone can retrace his personal experience.

We are invited to speak of our personal experience, of our personal knowledge of the one whom we call the Founder, of our personal encounter with his voice, his writings, his love for Christ crucified, his devotion to the Blessed Mother, his love for the Church, his desire to devote himself completely to all, his compassionate gaze and commitment for “those miserable ones… easy victims of inhuman abuse”.

To facilitate our encounter with the Founder, the Scalabrini Historical Institute was re-vitalized, as requested by the General Chapter. We should not lose the memory of what the Founder has done and taught, of how he interpreted the reality of his time and responded to it, of what those who followed him have accomplished and left to us to continue».

We shall hope, without getting tired

«We take the occasion of the Founder’s memory to rejoice with the confreres who today reveal how decisive the encounter with the Founder was and publicly manifest their decision to consecrate themselves for the first time and forever to God and the migrants or are ordained as deacons or priests.

It is an occasion to remember our consecration, our encounter with him, to share it with the confreres in the community, to participate it with the ones with whom we make up the Church, to make it alive among those who are in their journey, seeking for a door that will open, capable of giving hope because, like him, “we shall hope, without getting tired”».