Stigmatines Vocation Promotions in Southern Africa

South Africa - +27 731875271, [email protected] Botswana - +267 76973436, [email protected] The Congregation of the Sacred Stigmata of our Lord Jesus Christ was founded in 1816 by St.

Gaspar Bertoni, in Verona City, at the North of Italy. At the time when St. Gaspar lived (1777 - 1853), Verona was a scenery of war between the troops French, commanded by Napoleon Bonaparte, and Austrian, who had took place on the city and was disputing its possession. This situation caused over the city an atmosphere of disorder and libertinism, that reached mainly the young people, completely abandoned and full of revolutionary ideas, and also the clergy, who had changed his mentality, because the war. There were a innumerable quantity of injured people and there were not schools for the poor boys. Rev. Gaspar Bertoni worked, since he was a seminarian, helping the injured people because the war and on the education of the youth. He founded Marian Oratories, where he jointed the youth for prayers and meditations of the Word of God, and also for leisure and healthful occupations, taking them away of the adverse atmosphere that dominated the city. The young people formed by Rev. Gaspar became welcome in all business places, because their good performance and application on the job and on the studies. He prepared these young people for arts and activities through specialized education, and show to them the way of the perfect Christian life. He received sacerdotal ordinance in September, 20th, 1800. He was eloquent preacher and, because his preaching to ecclesiastics and at popular missions, he received from Vatican the title of "Apostolic Missionary". Called by his bishop, he worked on the reformation of the clergy, where he also strove so much that priests and seminarians became acknowledged as models of discipline and dedication. It was so deep his prayer life and union with God that he lived constantly under the influx of the feeling of God's presence. He lived the "Holy Abandonment", that means to leave God drives his life and, as he touch us: "never having precedence to Him". Then, in all things he perceived God's will in his life, and strove to realize it. We can resume St. Gaspar's spiritual physiognomy with these words: "filial and trustful abandonment on God's hands, even in the most difficult circumstances of his life". Then some day, in front St. Ignatius Loyola's altar, the founder of the Jesuits ("Society of Jesus"), Rev. Gaspar had a vision: it was as the Saint was asking him to found a Religious Congregation. It would be an almost impossible task, as, fearing any reaction against them, the invaders had prohibited any meetings or people agglomerations at the city. The religious congregations were prohibited and up to suppressed, and even the Society of Jesus had been suppressed, on that time. But Rev. Gaspar, perceiving to be this God's will, became to join with some companions, with the initial objective of studies. And, as he was striving to get a building to found a school for the poor boys, it was gave to him a building attached to Church of the Stigmata, for this purpose. The Church received this name because it was dedicated to the sores or stigmata of St. Francisco of Assisi, as those that injured hands, feet and breast of Jesus, and had been closed a long time. To be reopen, it needed reforms, such as the building. Then, on the cold November, 4th, 1816, Rev. Gaspar came into the building with some companions, to start the school, and this same day was the mark of the congregation he was founding. The tasks needed to begin the school and reopen the Church were so big, but the small community strove deeply and on the next year school and Church were working. The rooms were the same for the school utilities and bedrooms, then daily they exchanged bed for chairs and so on. Gaspar had large respect to the Pope and bishops, who are the successors of the apostles. Then, jointing this devotion to the title who received from Vatican, in this manner he defined the Motto of his Congregation: "Apostolic Missionaries for the Assistance of Bishops". The rules for the Congregation he was writing little by little, as he was felling the divine inspiration for that. But, fundamentally, the Stigmatines ought to dedicate to the preaching of the Word of God, with retreats and popular missions, to the education of the youth and to clergy, following the steps of their founder. And in reason of his large devotion to Our Lady and St. Joseph, he chose the Holy Spouses as Patrons of the Congregation.

Mission: At the service of Bishops

Operating as usual

[01/06/17]   Compliments of the new year brother. Wishing you God's blessings for this year. All brothers who have applied to us. I kindly informing that we shall have a workshop in february this year (pretoria). Incase of anything please in box me or any stigmatine fathers or brothers.

The Stigmatines in their service to the Church as per our charism, we are involved in the formation of the clergy. Today the Diocese of Gaborone has ordained one of their priests who had his formation in the care of Stigmatines.
Fulfilling our service to the Bishops... Jubilation and rejoicing...

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[10/18/16]   May our Lord Jesus Christ, in His Sorrowful and Glorious Stigmata, be our strength to Go Forth and Teach the whole world. May our holy patrons, Mary and Joseph and our holy founder St. Gaspar Bertoni intercede for us.

[09/13/16]   God calls young people to be of service... most of the time this calling can be confusing to understand. Journey with Stigmatines to answering God's special call.

[07/08/16]   Vacation promotion @ the Vicariate of Francistown

[06/17/16]   Prayer For Discernment

I thank you Lord , for everything you do in my life. Lord my God, I want to serve you. I kindly ask you to open my mind and eyes to see and perceive your will before me. Lord my God, help me to see both light and darkness and to realize your presence in me.
Loving Father, give me courage and strength to overcome temptations, discouragement, sufferings and many obstacles which can hinder me from your will. Fill me with your wisdom, to know and understand you much better.
Lord, I also ask your Holy Spirit to guide and strengthen me in my commitment to you. I ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ who lives and reigns with you for ever and ever.

Commemorating the death of our founder St. Gaspar Bertoni at St. Bernadette parish in Gaborone West, Botswana. Eternal rest grant unto him Lord...12 June 2016


Saturday, 12 February 2000

Dear Stigmatine Brothers,

1. I joyfully welcome you in the spiritual and ecclesial context of the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000, on the occasion of the 34th General Chapter of your congregation. Together with the pilgrims coming to Rome from all over the world, you too have gathered here from four continents, representing over 400 confrères, to discern what the Spirit is asking today, at the dawn of the third millennium, of the sons of St Gaspare Bertoni. I myself had the joy of celebrating the canonization of your founder on the Solemnity of All Saints in 1989. He had a special devotion to the Successor of Peter and the Apostolic See, and your visit today is meant as a new sign of this.

2. In his Constitutions, the founder defined the members of the congregation as "missionarii apostolici in obsequium episcoporum". You are therefore persons who, with all your strength and with the particular grace of your vocation, wish to cooperate in carrying out the apostolic mission. In the spirit and footsteps of your founder, you work in parish ministry, with special attention to young people; you devote yourselves to the preaching and formation of the clergy; and you are involved in the mission ad gentes in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Some of you have been called to episcopal service, especially in Brazil; just over a month ago I consecrated Fr Giuseppe Pasotto, Apostolic Administrator of the Caucasus, a Bishop. This fact, which testifies to the fidelity and generosity of the Stigmatines, is for me a reason for gratitude.

With you I pray the "Lord of the harvest" to grant numerous and good vocations to your religious family, in order to support the work you have begun, but also to enable you to start new ones, wherever the mission of the Redeemer will spur the steps of your congregation's members.

3. As the central theme of your Chapter you have chosen that of fraternal sharing within the religious community, in order to bear witness to God's love in the world. This is a characteristic value of consecrated life, greatly emphasized during the Synod Assembly of 1995 and fully acknowledged in the Apostolic Exhortation that followed it. To reflect and work with this vision is more necessary than ever today, to show the men and women of our time, who are influenced by a widespread individualistic mentality, "how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity" (Ps 133: 1), so that in this way everyone may recognize that you are disciples of Christ (cf. Jn 13: 35).

The community life of consecrated persons is an eloquent sign of ecclesial communion, strengthened especially by the common experience of fraternal sharing: signum fraternitatis (cf. Apostolic Exhortation Vita consecrata, n. 42). This fraternity takes many concrete forms according to the variety of charisms and characteristics of the institute. However, the love spread among the different members by the same Holy Spirit is one.

4. This Holy Year, which the Church sees as a great hymn to the Holy Trinity, is a most appropriate time to create space for the contemplative dimension of the consecrated life, so that, by absorbing the vital fluid that flows from its theological roots, it may be inwardly renewed and strengthened by it. Gospel brotherhood is in fact a radiance of Trinitarian communion and must be constantly nourished by it through the Word of God, the sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation and daily prayer.

In this regard your founder wrote: "Indeed, nothing draws the love of true charity to a person more than recognizing his particular virtues and gifts of the Holy Spirit, regarding him as the image of God portrayed with the most beautiful colours of grace: if everyone therefore strives to grow in these virtues and in these gifts and to consider them often in others, if they will love to regard in their hearts these others as superior to themselves, enjoy the spiritual gifts that they see in them and give thanks for them to God: mutual charity will grow among them in a wonderful way" (Const. 223).

5. Sharing is not limited to the fraternal life of the community, but is extended to its ministry by involving the laity and to the level of local ecclesial structures. For this reason you must tirelessly renew your commitment to brotherhood and conversion, in the comforting certainty that the Lord is present wherever we sincerely try to live according to his commandment of love.

Your assembly also suggested practical guidelines for deepening the exercise of spiritual and apostolic sharing among your confrères of every age. This is in fact an indispensable support for the distinctive apostolic mission of your congregation, that is, of serving the Church under the Bishops' direction. To help each other in communion, so to speak, by fostering the flow of divine love poured into the hearts of each one by the Holy Spirit is the primary condition for fulfilling the apostolic mission, which is often "arduous and difficult" and "exposed to dangers", a mission that "does not depend on human effort, but on the grace of the Holy Spirit". In this way, "he who inspired and began the work, will himself bring it to completion" (Const. 185).

Making my own the well-known and beloved words of your revered founder, I pray the Lord, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, to make the effort you have made in these days of common work bear fruit, and I sincerely bless you and all your confrères.

As we celebrate Easter, take a moment to discern God's call to be among the white collared men. Pray for the rise of faithful vocations to the priesthood.

[03/17/16]   There is no greater happiness that one can have than to live as brothers in search for answering YES to the call of service to God

[11/17/15]   Consecrated Life more specifically Religious Life is a reality that cannot fade away. Though the contemporary era posses a threat, Who would venture to say that such a calling today no longer has the same value and vigour?

Get in touch with Stigmatines and we take you on a journey to show you the place religious has in our society in the present age.

[10/25/15]   Did you know?

Gaspar Bertoni wanted to create a religious community in the spirit of St. Ignatius Loyola but to the service of bishops. These "Apostolic Missionaries" would be ready to go anywhere in the diocese and the world as 'soldiers of Christ'. Availability and service is our purpose in life.

We are all called to a specific purpose in life... Share your vocational journey with Stigmatines

Priesthood is founded on being a good and steadfast in prayer Christian

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[10/04/15]   REMEMBER

Stigmatines are called to preach missions and retreats, to catechise, to act as confessors and spiritual directors of souls and religious institutions and any other work asked of them by the bishops.

[10/01/15]   Prayer of Abandonment

Father, I abandon myself into your hands; do with me what you will.
Whatever you may do, I thank you:
I am ready for all, I accept all.
Let only your will be done in me, and in all your creatures
I wish no more than this, O Lord.
Into your hands I commend my soul:
I offer it to you with all the love of my heart, for I love you Lord, and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into your hands, without reserve
and with boundless confidence,
For you are my Father.

[09/29/15]   SEPTEMBER 29th
"Let the one in charge guard against vanity and ambition.
He should not consider himself to be superior to the others, but as a brother to them. "
-St. Gasper Bertoni

Writings of St. Gasper Bertoni's diary dated 27th September...

Prayer for Discernment
I thank you Lord for everything you do in my life. Lord my God I want to serve you. I humbly ask you to open my mind and eyes to see and perceive your will before me. Lord my God help me to see both light and darkness and to realise your presence in me.
Loving Father give me courage and strength to overcome temptations, discouragements, sufferings and any obstacle which can hinder me from your will. Fill me with your wisdom,to know and understand you much better.
Lord I also ask your Holy Spirit to guide and strengthen me in my commitment to you.
I ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ who lives and reigns with you for ever and ever.

Has this ever been a thought that comes to mind?

Contact the Stigmatine Vocations team for how to discern this special calling.

This is a journey best travelled in communal fellowship, let Stigmatines share the spiritual experiences with you.

[09/24/15]   What is the charism of Stigmatines?

First let us define what chirsm is...
A Charism for a religious community is usually understood as that special grace, and way of life and service of the Church – lived by the Founder and early members, and eventually codified in a booklet of Constitutions.

For Fr. Bertoni, this was abandonment to the Trinity and Apostolic Availability to the Church. This is daily nourished by receiving the Eucharist, pondering Sacred Scripture, and the Stigmatine Devotions: the Sacred Stigmata of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spouses, Mary and Joseph.

[09/24/15]   Did you know?

From his bed Gaspar Bertoni continued to preach retreats,give the spiritual exercises, write sermons,and counsel those who sought his advice.

[09/24/15]   Did you know?

Gaspar Bertoni's work earned him the title "Angel of Counsel" as people from all walks of life sought his counsel: emperors, princes, bishops, others priests and common people regularly gathered at his door.

[09/24/15]   Did you know?

St. Gaspar Bertoni placed great importance on religious and priestly perfection (holiness) and on study,especially theology, philosophy, the sciences, and literature.

[09/24/15]   Did you know?
Gaspar Bertoni founder of the Stigmatines was born on 9 October 1777, was ordained priest in 1800 by Bishop John Andrew Avogadro of the Diocese of Verona.

If you answered yes Stigmatines would love to have a share in your YES

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Stigmatines Vocation Promotions in Southern Africa's cover photo

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[09/23/15]   So many young people think that being a priest is not cool... Here's a challenge visit any community of priests and experience how cool religious life is.
You don't stand to loose anything but you do stand to gain something from the experience.

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