Ñaña (Peru), 19 March 2019
Feast of Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Letter to the Brothers of Montfort Missionaries
Fraternal greetings to all the members of the Company of Mary on the Feast of Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Since, 2019 is the “Year of Continental Mission in Latin America, Caribbean and North America”, the General Council is actually in Peru, from where I send this special message to the “Brothers Coadjutors”. It is neither a study document, nor a thesis of specialization, but a very simple letter. It is about the words that come straight from the heart. I am not going to speak to you about a problem of a specific activity of a brother. This is why, I ask each and every one to feel concerned by this fraternal letter.
In the history of the Company of Mary, brothers have been and are still today the protagonists of evangelization in all the places in different types of mission. In the name of the whole Congregation, I would like to express my sentiments of gratitude, offer my prayers and acknowledge the importance of the mission they accomplish for the sake of the Church in the name of our Congregation.
It is true that all of us are called to be “brothers” according to the Gospel and our Constitutions. The “Brother Coadjutor” occupies a special place in the mission, in the Church and in the life of the Congregation (RM 4; 5), and the “service of the brothers in the missions is irreplaceable. By their witness of evangelical life, their personal works and their participation in the pastoral activities, they contribute to the construction of the material and spiritual aspects of the local Church” (C 66). Servants, friends and brothers, they leave their missionary footprints everywhere they pass by.
Each one of you has talents and personal charisms such as: catechists, trainers, masons, painters, administrators, nurses, carpenters, farmers, etc. Some of you work in country side and others in the cities. However, all are Montfort missionaries dedicated to the service of evangelization in the simplicity of our poor little Company.
Today, there are 43 brothers in the Company of Mary having the average age of 66 years and are present in all the continents. By a separate email we will send you the statistics. I do not know all of you and the specific activities of each one of you yet. However, I am sure that most of you are at the service of the poor, the sick, the children and the young, and are responsible for different important projects in the social field. For example, be it in Brazil, in Italy, or in Peru, everywhere, where there is a Montfortian Mission, you have opted for the excluded and you have chosen the marginalized of the society as your friends. Like Saint Louis Marie de Montfort, one way or the other, well evident, different from the present reality, but concretely, you carry the poor on your shoulders and cry: “Open the door to Jesus Christ”. I ask you to continue your mission, as long as your health and the will of God permits it. Move forward! That Saint Joseph and the Virgin Mary continue to nourish your passion to serve the poor.
I invite all the members of the Company of Mary to pray for the vocation of brotherhood. I exhort all those who are responsible for the animation of vocations to present the vocation of brotherhood as a special call of God for the service of our Congregation.
On this Feast of Saint Joseph, Patron of the Montfortian Brothers, we ask that, through his intercession, the Company of Mary will have more brothers for the service of the Gospel, according to our particular charism.
Receive, my brothers, my sentiments of gratitude, my friendship and be assured of my prayers.
Fr. Luiz Augusto STEFANI, S.M.M.