Parma (Agenzia Fides) - The Jubilee year of the Institute of St. Francis Xavier for foreign missions, whose members are known as "Xaverian missionaries" will begin with a mass presided by the Superior General, Father Fernando García, in the sanctuary of San Guido Maria Conforti in Parma, the Mother House of the Xaverians, which will be broadcast in streaming.
The General Direction of the Institute has in fact announced a jubilee year, from 2 July 2020 to the from 2 July 2020 until 2 July 2021, to remember the definitive approval of the first Constitutions and the so-called "Testament Letter" of the founder, San Guido Maria Conforti, who communicated the news to the "present and future" missionaries. He invited everyone "to thank the Lord" and at the same time he drew the attention "to the serious and solemn commitment we undertake in the eyes of God and the Church". It was July 2, 1921.
The jubilee year intends to give particular importance to the first centenary of the first Constitutions and the Testament Letter, which also coincides with the 125th anniversary of the Institute’s foundation. This jubilee event will be lived in communion with the entire Xaverian family: the Missionaries of Mary, the Xaverian laity, the Josephine Sisters.
There are three main elements that must distinguish this period, write the members of the General Administration of the Xaverians in the jubilee letter calling: "Thank God for the gift of the Xaverian charism in the Church, remembering the history of these 125 years of the life of our Missionary family. We must give thanks for all the good done by the confreres who preceded us and for what is currently being done, also through us. Everything is grace! To verify our response to the gift received. The Xaverian charism is clear and precise: mission ad gentes and ad extra lived in religious consecration, inserted in the more global context of the only mission of the Church. Therefore it has a particular, very specific place in ecclesial life. It is a question of seeing, with the eyes of faith and with human reason, our fidelity or infidelity to the Xaverian charism, that is, to our identity in the Church. To engage promptly and with determination to respond adequately to the gift received. This commitment also has to do with a real, adequate and urgent repositioning of our missionary presences, especially where it is necessary to do so".
The prayer composed for the Jubilee year sums up the sentiments of the Xaverian missionaries in this circumstance: "Praise and glory to you, God and Father, for our Founder St. Guido M. Conforti, who, fascinated by your crucified Son, and inspired by the Holy Spirit, founded the Xaverian Family to spread the Gospel unto the ends of the earth, so that our Lord Jesus Christ may be known and loved by all. We thank you for the gift of the missionary vocation. Forgive our betrayals to the charism received, and strengthen in us the desire and zeal to live the mission ad gentes, with a passionate family spirit.
Give us a spirit of living Faith to bear witness with love, in the world, to the Hope that gives meaning and life. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen!" (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 2/7/2020)