Rome, 5 November 2018

The Taborinian charism at the service of God and neighbour

Dear Brothers, Members of the Nazarene Fraternities, Aspirants to Brothers, Educational Communities, Christian Communities, Catechists and Friends of the Sa-Fa Family:

One more year the celebration of the Feast of Venerable Brother Gabriel gives me the opportunity to thank the Lord for the gift of the Taborinan charism particularly dedicated “to the service of God and neighbour”. To make our life a vocation of service and availability to the needs of children and young people seems to me an excellent way of remembering the figure of Brother Gabriel Taborin in the spaces of our institutions.

The phrase that heads this greeting motivates me to focus my attention on the explanation that Jesus gave to his disciples “I have not come to be served but to serve” (Matthew 20:17-28), an excellent project of dedication to the Brothers, to the family and to the receivers of our mission. On the occasion of the Feast of the Founder this year, let us reaffirm our vocation of service to others and let us make that service the criterion of action in the sphere of our life and mission.

In the life and work of Brother Gabriel, service to the Church and to society was a differentiating factor that we must continue to update so that his charism remains alive among us. Especially in this month of November I invite you to come closer to the life of our Founder and to value his vocation of service to God and to neighbour. An example to be appreciated in the circumstances that each one of us has to live today.

In Brother Gabriel’s biography we find edifying actions of service to the Church and to society: preacher and animator of his contemporaries, educator and teacher, tireless catechist, merciful father and organizer of the Congregation. His biographers point out that “he saw everywhere the need to do good”. In 1836, the Founder wrote to Bishop Mgr. Devie: “The plan of my initiative is the broadest: to set limits on it is not in my power, because I have the presentiment that these ideas come from God and not from me”.

On the occasion of the Feast of the Founder, I invite you to overcome the small world of our worries and to offer our collaboration of service in one of the fields offered to us by the humanizing project of the Sa-Fa Family. A service that helps real needs, at the right times and with sufficient delicacy so as not to hurt anyone’s sensibility.

This attitude of service requires us to get out of our passivity, to be interested in others and to dedicate part of our time and effort to them. It also requires the development of social skills, the acceptance of others, respect for the opinions of others, the effort to live and work in a team, and the appreciation of the achievements of others. To waste the occasions of service that life offers us is to lose the opportunity to grow inwardly.

Thus, in Brother Gabriel we can find a reference point that impels us every day to improve ourselves on the path of our human and Christian life. To put at the service of others the gifts we have received could be an excellent way of assimilating Brother Gabriel’s spirit of service and of practicing it especially during this feast.

In this spirit of service, the different contributions of the pastoral, missionary, social and educational volunteers of many members of the Sa-Fa Family deserve my full recognition. Collaboration in educational, catechetical, social integration, cooperation and awareness-raising activities helps to develop real personal and social changes. The commitment and satisfaction of helping others are important reasons for building a better and more solidary world. I invite you to maintain and promote these activities according to your vocation, aptitudes and possibilities.

After these reflections we can ask ourselves personally or as a group: What people as an example of service have we found in our lives? Do we live the ministry of our vocation in a key of service? Do we give generously to others in the different areas of our circumstances, beginning with our loved ones? Do we understand service as the lifestyle of the Christian? Let us examine our attitudes in this regard and even ask a friend, colleague, husband or wife how they value our capacity for service.

This year we celebrate the Feast of the Founder within the framework of the recent XV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, on the theme “Young people, faith and vocational discernment”. An event that reminds us of the importance of young people for the present and future of the Church. On this occasion I would like to offer my most cordial thanks to all the Brothers and laity of the Sa-Fa Family who, from their vocation of service, accompany, listen to and share their time and energies with the young people. I also congratulate all the members of the Sa-Fa youth movements for their commitment and effort to continue maturing humanly and spiritually. May we all find in Christ the answer to the conditions of our lives.

The Feast of our Founder is also an opportune moment to celebrate and give thanks for our vocation as Brothers and lay Sa-Fa. His life and example are a call to all of us to invite others to join in this project. Let us not forget during this month to continue to ask the Lord for the Beatification of Venerable Brother Gabriel and we entrust through his intercession those who are sick or in difficulty whom we know.

May the memory of our Founder increase our vocation of service to others in the fields of our mission.

Happy Feast to everyone!!

                                     Br. Juan Andrés Martos Moro SG