ROME, Italy - Since October Francesco Ferrari has been the superior of the General House, succeeding Father Pierre Bonhommeau. Born in 1970, Francesco entered the Apostolic School at Redona and was ordained a priest in 1999. Following a few years of service in Italy, Francesco went off to Brazil as a formator and parish priest for at least 10 years. In April 2017 Father Santino asked him to come to the General House and help with various aspects of the ministry here. What follows is a short interview with him.
What sort of things does the Superior of the General House do?
The service of the Superior of the General Curia is to animate the community, to help coordinate the various activities here, to help maintain a regular schedule for prayer, and to help welcome visitors.
With whom are you called to collaborate?
Here in the General Curia each one has a very specific task in service to the Congregation. So, my work is in collaboration with each of the confreres of the community. Of course, this means working with Father General and his councilors in the work that each one does.
Can you describe the community here at the General House?
Our community consists of twelve (12) confreres. We are ten priests and two brothers, and we are from eight different nationalities. Father General is from Brazil; Fathers Wismick, Haiti; Marco, Italy; Rozario, India; Arnold, Indonesia. Then there is Father Bala, our Secretary General, from India; Father James Brady, from the USA, our General Bursar; Father Rey Bullas from the Philippines is in charge of communications; Father Cletus David from India is finishing work on his doctorate in Mariology; Brother Desire Rakotonandrasana is from Madagascar; and Brother Albino Crescenti is from Italy together with me, also from Italy. Our community is really a huge family when we are all here at the same time! When we are all together, it’s usually quite a happy moment.
Have you had any community meetings yet?
Yes, in fact we met recently to plan our community schedule. We began with a biblical reflection and then a few words from Bishop Tonino Bello that helped focus our service to the Congregation in the context of service of the Kingdom, as a prayerful response that we hope will bear much fruit.
After that, we each were able to share a few words about ourselves and about what we do each day. A word that kept being repeated was “joy.” We are happy to be part of this community and at the service of the Congregation. The witness and the joyful atmosphere help to encourage each of us.
What kind of image of the community would you like to share with the confreres?
We are sure that the whole Congregation is praying for us, is thinking about us and is watching us. We really want to be a warm and welcoming community. The General House is a place where many confreres come and go and we really want that each one who comes through the House will feel that this is his house.
We wish Father Francesco good luck on his new mission at the “general house”, where everyone is invited and welcome.