Dear MSC confreres,

I want to offer my encouragement and solidarity to each and every one of you in the whole world.

This is a message of communion in these uncertain times of the COVID 19 or Coronavirus pandemic.

Our solidarity is with all people in countries where MSC are present, in particular with Italy, Spain and South Korea, even though we know that in all the five continents the situation is getting worse. The reality of this pandemic is that it has effected almost every nation.

A special greeting to our older confreres. As I have said on other occasions our older confrères are a precious part of our missionary witness.   Please take care of yourselves and I encourage our younger members to show care older members especially as they are a group at risk. All the same, no matter how old we are, we must all take care of ourselves and one another.

We are being locked down so that the pandemic does not spread further. It is interesting that in these fast moving and technological times, this pandemic has been able to stop us all. This pandemic was able to modify all systems, change all agendas, suspend all types of activity and cut off the lives of so many people. It is a difficult moment but it can allow us to stop and listen to God and to the call of his Mission. This is what we have been proposing so often in our congregation: that we take the time to listen to the realities we live in. It is a time for doing what Mary said in Cana, “Do what he tells you.” This is a time to discern, personally and communally, what this reality is saying to our MSC consecrated life. 

The spread and effects of the virus remind us how vulnerable we are.

We are all aware that on all continents, this pandemic is going to worsen the crises that were already being experienced.  Even in the developed countries this will have an impact that we cannot yet measure, the impact in the undeveloped countries will be even worse. We are aware that the poorest, unemployed, refugees, migrants, homeless, etc., will be the most affected.

This pandemic makes us realize that the time is now – for there is no other time – to strengthen our fraternity and solidarity. This is a propitious time to put into practice what we have already started to reflect on within the whole congregation; the fact of our being a whole, that we are one Body; that this is a time for strengthening our thinking Congregationally.  This is the time to be one body in Christ as well as in his Mission. 

It is a time to take care of each other. As MSC we should use this time to grow in faith and in the essential elements of our Charism: Mercy, Compassion and commitment to defend life and justice. A time to show God´s love to all the people of God; to all victims.

In all countries, being locked down, quarantined, self-isolating, or staying home is suggested as a means of containing the virus. Let us take advantage of this time of lock down to remember and reflect upon many of our actions. Perhaps through this hard time we can co create and strengthening our togetherness and our community life.

By the way. It is admirable to see how in all parts of the world you have been so creative in continuing to accompany the People of God through the digital media.  Many of you have started accompanying others and celebrating Eucharist online or through social media such as Facebook Live.  I encourage you to continue to be close to the People of God, of course we do this while respecting the directives of civil, health, and religious authorities. As a matter of fact, we should be careful and critical about information which has been shared, all fake information can create unnecessary panic that can have more devastating consequences than the virus itself.

Humanity and our Common Home )Integral Ecology) must continue to be at the centre of our thoughts and actions, Thank you all for your living missionary witness during this pandemic time.

Again dear confreres, take care of yourselves and your people, May we continue to be united in prayer and our blessings for all.

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