Dear Brothers, members of the Nazarene Fraternities, Aspirants to Brothers, Educational Communities, Christian Communities, Catechists and friends of the Sa-Fa Family:
Receive in my name and in the name of the General Council a fraternal greeting and our best wishes that the Lord will sustain you with his light and strength in these special moments of suffering and uncertainty that we are living.
The reason for this communication is to announce that Pope Francis has published a new Encyclical addressed to all Christians, but open to all who wish to accept it. It is entitled “Fratelli tutti” and has been signed in front of the tomb of St. Francis in the Italian city of Assisi on October 3, 2020. The title is inspired by an expression of St. Francis addressed to his friars, and at the same time to all people, a great novelty in his time!
The subtitle of this Encyclical is “Fraternity and Social Friendship”. In this sense the new Encyclical deepens what unites men and women, an affection that is established between people who are not blood relatives and that is expressed through acts of benevolence, cordial relationships and generous actions in times of need. A selfless affection for other human beings, regardless of difference and belonging. It is a universal message with an inclusive language that is addressed to all men and women of goodwill who populate the earth.
The theme of fraternity touches directly on the charism of the Sa-Fa Family that we live and promote. We reflect this when we try to live the family spirit and the Nazarene virtues that favour cordial and familiar relationships. We also express fraternity in the Communities of Brothers, in the Fraternities and in the communities or groups. We also live it in the gestures of generosity and solidarity that we foster. Our charism is situated in the proposal of the Pope to feel and promote fraternity among men, a universal fraternity. In this direction we can continue to walk the path inspired by our charism.
We live in a time marked by war, terrorism, poverty, inequality, emigration, climate change, economic crisis, pandemic… Many problems that will find solutions if we recognize ourselves as brothers and sisters. The limitations and difficulties that we are facing in family and social life or in educational and pastoral tasks, lead us not to be satisfied, to move forward and to take advantage of the opportunities that circumstances offer. We are living in a privileged moment to guide the future, to make the world a common home where all people have a place. We are all in the same boat.
One way to reaffirm the dignity of the human being is to recognize the face of Jesus in each person and especially in those who suffer. Each one of us is called to show the face of our brother Jesus. The Pope places us before the beauty and passion of asking questions, of discerning and choosing what makes our world more just, the relationship between people more fraternal and the care of the most needy more human.
I invite you to read, reflect and share the content of ” Fratelli tutti ” with an open heart. I hope that the reading of the Encyclical will inspire and arouse commitment in each one of us. These commitments should be personal, with concrete attitudes, and group, with specific actions. In our mission and work, we can all spread the principles and invitations contained in this suggestive Encyclical. May the Holy Spirit help us to bear fruit in this regard.
Br. Francisco Javier Hernando de Frutos. General Animator.