BERGAMO, Italy – On Saturday, October 7, 2023, in an atmosphere of special occasions at the "Villa Santa Maria", the community celebrated the 50 years of religious life of Fathers Mario ZANA, Angelo VITALI, Luigi PEDRETTI, Giorgio MONZANI, Luciano ANDREOL, and Pier Luigi NAVA. Fortunately, the celebration of the second part of the Provincial Chapter attracted around twenty capitulating brothers to Redona. Also present for the occasion were Father Yoseph Putra Dwi Darma WATUN, SMM, the new Superior General and Fr. Marco PASINATO, SMM, general councilor. Someone, impressed by this numerous and qualified presence, dared to speak of a historic day to be remembered and included in the history of Redona, the first Italian Montfortian seminary wanted by Fr. Hubert Maria GEBHARD (+1939), father and founder of the Italian Province, to prepare future apostles of true devotion.
The central moment of the day was the Eucharistic concelebration in the “Mary Queen of Hearts” sanctuary, restored to its initial splendor, thanks to a recent restoration. A celebration to give glory to God and give thanks to Him for the gift of 50 years of consecrated life of the confreres involved, but also to place in his hands the current history of our great Montfortian family by celebrating the 350th anniversary of the birth of the Founder (1673). What better place than this Shrine dedicated to the “B.V. Maria Annunziata Queen of Hearts” to reconfirm and re-motivate personal and community fidelity to our institutional charism for effective spiritual and pastoral service to the Church. Fr. Marco PASINATO, in his homily, gave concrete indications on the prophetic dimension of consecrated life.
A note of color: the return of Gregorian chant to a sanctuary where this chant had a memorable season, thanks to an illustrious “Gregorianist”, Fr. Jean-Marie Le GUÉVELLO (+1965).
It is also worth remembering the time of the community lunch, shared with great joviality and fraternal friendship. Unanimous and respectful thanks from the participants to the brothers of the community who prepared it. A special day for the history of the "Villa Santa Maria", but also for those who made it so through their presence and participation, transforming it into an authentic Montfortian experience of great international significance.
Fr. Santino EPIS, SMM