Pastoral visits

Visits to the IVE mission in Papua New Guinea and Australia

Posted by Fr. Carlos Walker, IVE on September 27, 2014
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By the grace of God, between last August 25 and September 17, I was able to visit our priests in Vanimo (Papua New Guinea) after a brief stay in the city of Sydney, in Australia.

Currently the Vanimo community comprises of three priests, Fr. Tomás Ravaioli, Fr. Maximiliano Navarro and Fr. Martín Prado. As you know, the priests are in charge of the parish of Baro, near the town of Vanimo, which includes several communities (Wutung, Yako, Waramo, Baro, etc.) and two elementary schools (Baro and Simola). This parish is adjacent to the coast and extends from the boundary of the parish of Lido (near the diocesan seminary and the city of Vanimo) to the border with Indonesia, covering a length of about 50 kilometers.

Primeras comuniones en Yako

The communities there are along the coast, in a truly stunning setting, with the sea in front all along the parish boundary; about 30 meters from the shore there is a road, behind which there is a very thick forest of tall trees. Not without reason, the Papuans call their country “the last paradise”. To illustrate, I relate just the following: on the day I arrived, from the room I was staying I could see four dolphins passing by very close to the shore; on another day, along with the other priests, we saw an eagle ascending to great heights and then quickly swooping down to the level of the treetops. I also met “Aussie”, the Wallaby (a small kangaroo) that Fr. Maximiliano has as a pet.

During my brief stay I was able to participate in two first Communion celebrations, and I concelebrated Mass in several communities and in the two schools. I had the joy to observe the high regard that the people have for our priests. Both children and adults, seniors and families, show an obvious affection for them. The Institute has been working for several years in the parish of Baro, and over the years the parish has been transformed to almost one big family. Many people, in fact, consider themselves part of our religious family. I have met Papuan young people and children who had names such as Augustine, Luján, Manuela, and other Spanish names which were chosen by the people as a sign of affection for our missionaries.

Another aspect that struck me is the appreciation and the gift that the people of Papua New Guinea have for music: all of them sing and they do so with an enthusiasm that is contagious. Their generosity is also remarkable.

In the city of Port Moresby, I was able to meet with the Apostolic Nuncio to Papua New Guinea, His Excellency Michael W. Banach, and with the Bishop of Vanimo, His Excellency Cesare Bonivento, PIME.

I was also able to visit the Servants of the Lord in their two communities, who very kindly invited me to celebrate the Holy Mass for them on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.

I have returned much edified by the testimony of the religious life of our priests, and also by their pastoral work. As we know from the chronicles that come to us from there, they face great challenges, but they also have many good projects that by the grace of God are being gradually implemented. Our priests show a great enthusiasm for the adventure of missionary work in this frontier of the Church. While there, I could not stop thinking about the attractiveness of this mission, which makes a demand absolutely of the whole of the missionary.

I thank our priests in Baro for their charity towards me during my visit, and I congratulate them for all the good done in this mission, which is so dear to our Institute.

Finally, I went to Australia on a visit aimed at exploring the possibility of establishing a foundation there, when God permits it, just as it was recommended in the General Chapter of 2007. On this subject I will write later in greater detail.

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Visits to Ecuador and Argentina

Posted by Fr. Carlos Walker, IVE on September 27, 2014
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From June 30 until July 31, I had the grace to visit the provinces of Ecuador and Argentina.

  1. Ecuador

For quite some time I had had the intention of visiting the priests of the Institute in Ecuador, who had kindly invited me several times to their province. For various reasons, until recently, I had not been able to make this trip. Now, by the grace of God, I was able to be with them for nearly two weeks, visiting all of our communities.

I arrived in Guayaquil, where I could see the truly exponential growth of San Pío de Pietrelcina school, located in Guasmo, which now has 300 students, and has made huge improvements in its buildings. Moreover, the parish of San Luis Rey, also in Guasmo, is not only carrying on full-fledged work in the improvement of the church building, but also has a very active pastoral life, with various kinds of associations: groups of Bible study, university students, altar servers, etc.

In the parish of Zamora Huayco in the Diocese of Loja, I again found a large growth in both the rectory and in the pastoral life. I also visited our dear El Gualel mission, where also significant improvements to the parish church are being made.

con el obispo de Loja, Mons. Alfredo J. Espinoza Mateus, SDB

In addition to the visits, I had the great joy of knowing the novices -to two of whom I imposed the cassocks- and the minor seminarians of the Institute. And I met with all the priests in the province in the town of Malacatos near Loja, where the novitiate building is located.

I had the privilege of meeting with the archbishop of Guayaquil, His Excellency Antonio Arregui Yarza and the bishop of Loja, His Excellency Alfredo Espinoza J. Mateus, SDB. We also visited the bishop of Babahoyo, His Excellency Marcos Pérez Caicedo.

In Ecuador, there is also the presence of convents and apostolates of the sisters, who are working very well, whom I was able to visit as well.

Our priests are working superbly in this beloved province, with great enthusiasm and many projects. I perceived an excellent relation of charity in their priestly fraternity and a very good relationship with the bishops with whom we work, as well as with the people of our parishes.

  1. Argentina

By the grace of God, after visiting the priests in Ecuador, I was able to go to Argentina; there, among other things, I wanted to participate in the ordination of the then Deacon Tomás Bonello, at the hands of His Eminence Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who traveled to Argentina from the United States just for this event. The ceremony took place on July 26 in San Miguel Cathedral, Diocese of San Miguel (Buenos Aires).

In the city of San Rafael (Mendoza), I visited our seminary and some other houses: the Minor Seminary, the Monastery in Los Coroneles, the houses of charity of Saint Martin of Tours, San Juan Bosco and San Pío de Pietrelcina , the high school, and the parish of San Maximiliano Kolbe. It is very rewarding to see the growth of the work of the Institute in San Rafael.

Also there I visited the contemplative monastery of the sisters and the Santa Catalina juniorate.

On July 30, I visited the Apostolic Nuncio in Argentina, His Excellency Tscherrig Paul Emil, who was kind enough to meet me for about an hour at the Nunciature in Buenos Aires.

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30 years of the foundation of the Institute of the Incarnate Word

Posted by Fr. Carlos Walker, IVE on March 15, 2014
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It has been some days since I had the grace to visit, accompanied by Father Emanuel Martelli, our mission in Ushetu (Tanzania), where our priests have been working since 2010 and the Servants since 2009.  We always read with much attention and not with less pleasure what the chronicles that frequently arrive from this mission tell us, but it is not the same to read about a mission than to be there and to confirm what was told in a personal way.

tanzania

 

(More pictures HERE – Video about the IVE Mission in Tanzania HERE)

The mission in Ushetu is an extremely attractive reality for one who boasts of having a missionary vocation.  The best thing that one could have dreamed for his pastoral ministry is found in abundance there: an enormous quantity of souls obviously thirsty for God.  The parish accounts for about 100 thousand people, of whom 60 thounsand are Catholics.  The vast majority of them are young people and children (families in Tanzania normally have between 7 and 15 children).

The numbers, however, do not say everything about the mission.  As I say, what makes this special place so attractive is the openness and the enthusiasm with which the people receive the things of God.  The people of Ushetu are characterized by their constant joy, their laboriousness (wherever you gaze, you see cultivated fields), their generosity (they give from their poverty with joy), their talent and enthusiasm for music, etc.  But what catches your attention most about these people is their faith and receptivity to the missionaries.

It is hard to leave a place where the people, when told that they would have to wait for the celebration of the Mass (which resulted in an hour of waiting) because the priest had to hear confessions, responded with a true explosion of joy at knowing they would have the chance to go to confession.  Their joy made you think they were celebrating a soccer goal.  It is difficult to forget these people who prefer to confess themselves kneeling on the ground, instead of being seated comfortably in a chair, and even more so when those who do this are pregnant women, blind people, the elderly, etc.  People took off their shoes when they came close to the place of confession as a sign of reverence for the sacrament.  It is amazing to see them practicing in the choir for many interrupted hours, even in the moonlight, in order to sing well in the Mass on the following day.  Interestingly they sang and practiced a hymn whose text says, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good tidings, who publishes peace, who brings good tidings of good, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns.’” (Isaiah 52:7).  More striking still is to hear them say and emphatically repeat, “please come back, pray with us in the language that you know, but pray with us…”

It is not that surprising that during the course of the 20th century, the number of Catholics in the African continent increased from 1.9 million to 130 million: a 6,708% increase.  The growth trend is not diminishing but continues growing by the numbers of births as well as conversions.

Our priests in Ushetu, like the Servants, are doing a truly fantastic work.  It would be fitting for me to write another circular about the work of our missionaries, but I will defer this to the chronicles and pictures that can be found on the mission’s blog.

Approaching the date of the first 30 years of the foundation of the Institute, with the background of the mission in Ushetu, many thoughts come to my mind, fundamentally of profound gratitude,  and consequently of humility, of hope, and of confidence in the inscrutable ways of Providence.  By the grace of God and the generous response of our missionaries, throughout these 30 years, the Institute has developed and expanded in a way that was never imagined in the beginning.

It is God who brought us to the very special place of Ushetu.  He also brought us to other places that, like Ushetu, have particular difficulties.  Being in Africa, one cannot help but think of some missions entrusted to us, such as Vanimo (Papua New Guinea), Santa Rosa and Charity (Guyana), the Gaza Strip and Beit Jala (Israel), Alepo (Siria), Bagdad (Iraq), King Mariut, El Fayum and Alexandría (Egypt), Anjara (Jordan), Kalmet (Albania), Skadosk (Ukraine), Greenland (Dinamarca), Reykjavík (Island), Omsk y Jabarovsk (Siberia, Russia), Dushanbe (Tajikistan), Shymkent (Kazakhstan), Bagong Barrio (Philippines), Chiquitos and Oruro (Bolivia), Cotahuasi, Chuquibamba and Cabanaconde (Peru), El Guasmo and El Gualel (Ecuador), Vila Guacuri (Brazil), La Pintana (Chile), Los Juríes (Argentina), Ciudad del Este (Paraguay), and many more.  Likewise I was thinking of another type of mission in which we work and whose difficulties are perhaps less overt at first sight.  Being more subtle does not make the difficulties less real.  In these the work of the new evangelization must be carried out with all the challenges that this brings.

One of the most attractive aspects of the Church is her missionary character.  By her very nature, the Church is missionary (cf. Ad gentes 2), which is closely related with her catholic and apostolic character.

But the fact that that the mission is always so attractive does not mean that it doesn’t involve sacrifices at the same time.  On the contrary, the mission is a testimony, an authentic unbloody martyrdom, with the possibility, sometimes very real, of it turning into a bloody martyrdom.  The numbers of the martyrs, particularly of the 20th century, speak for themselves in this regard.

It is for this that we have the duty to remember and recognize those who have announced the Gospel, likewise those are doing it in this moment, according to what the Scriptures tell us, “remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you.  Consider how their lives ended and imitate their faith” (Hebrews 13:7).  We should never forget that we are benefactors of the apostolic mission of the Church, of the preaching, and of the testimony of so many of her valued children.

Because of all this, goes our most sincere respect, heartfelt gratitude, and profound admiration to all of our dear missionaries who, in one way or another, have made in their lives a reality which Father Jeronimo Nadal indicates in relation to men to their Order: “It should be noted that in the Society (of Jesus) there are distinct classes of houses or dwellings.  They are: the house of probation, the college, the professed house, and the journey-and for this last the whole world becomes (our) home.

Very often we have the pleasure of hearing from our missionaries, “I am willing to go where there is a need”, and when there is a lack of missionaries for a difficult place, by the grace of God, those who offer themselves never lack.  On the contrary, in conformity with our spirituality and the search to imitate the mortifying virtues of Christ in the Incarnation (cf. Constitutions 11), for our edification, it is not necessary to wait for the offerings to arrive from the four corners of the world.  The whole world, to which the Gospel has to be preached, effectively is transformed in this way in the house of our missionaries.  Saint Luis Maria, in his ardent plea, asked precisely this: “Liberos: priests free with their liberty, detached from everything…without goods, without impediments or worries, and even without their own will…Liberos: men always available…always quick to run and to suffer all with you and for your cause, like the Apostles: Let us also go to die with Him…”

In celebrating these first 30 years of our small Institute, I take as my own the words of Blessed Paolo Manna, referring to the members of the PIME:

 “I admire, I love, I honor this Institute of ours which, more than just an Institute of missionaries, is an Institute fearless of martyrdom, not to the martyrdom of blood, that is finished with a prompt and glorious death, but many times a prolonged martyrdom, hidden, painful that damages slowly- and not always so slowly, the precious supply, generous of so many of its members.”

We will join together on the 25 of March in an action of thanks, that with “one heart and soul” (Acts 4:32), we will rise to the heavens from the four corners of the world!

We entrust in a special way all of our missionaries, our works and projects to the Mother of the Incarnate Word, under the title of Virgin of Lujan, and to Blessed John Paul II, who will soon be canonized.  May God give us the grace to live the fullness of our call.

In the Incarnate Word and His Blessed Mother,

 

Fr. Carlos Walker, IVE

Superior General

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30 years of priestly ordination

Posted by Fr. Carlos Walker, IVE on January 16, 2014
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From the 10th to 23rd of past December, I was in the United States. I visited the IVE communities in Wauchula (Florida), Brooklyn, Harlem and Bronx (New York), Philadelphia (Pennsylvania), and the Major Seminary in Washington, DC. In the last mentioned, I celebrated along with the major seminarians, novices and their respective superiors my 30 years of priestly ordination (December 18). In addition, I visited the Servants of the Lord in Florida, Washington DC, and the Contemplative Monastery in Brooklyn, NY.

I appreciate the hospitality and charity with which I was received by Fr. Daniel Mentesana and by the priests and sisters of the Province of the Immaculate Conception.

God bless you!

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Visit of Fr. Carlos Walker to Holland

Posted by Fr. Carlos Walker, IVE on October 03, 2013
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See the news HERE

parroco

 

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Father Walker’s visit to the Province of the Immaculate Conception.

Posted by Fr. Carlos Walker, IVE on June 13, 2013
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From May 28 through June 3 Fr. Walker visited some of the IVE communities in New York and especially the Major House of Formation in Washington, DC. He was able to participate at the ordinations to the Priesthood and to the Diaconate, on May 31 at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC, by the hands of His Eminence Theodore Cardinal McCarrick.

First Mass of Fr. Brian Dinkel, IVE

First Mass of Fr. Brian Dinkel, IVE

institute incarnate word

Major House of Formation in Washington, DC.

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Visit of Fr Carlos Walker, General Superior of the IVE, to the Holy Land

Posted by Fr. Carlos Walker, IVE on May 28, 2013
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From the 3rd to the 10th of May 2013, Fr Carlos Walker, IVE, visited our missions in Palestine and Israel. It was something that he had wanted to do since he took office.

Thanks be to God, he was able to visit all the houses of the Fathers, and could meet all the sisters.

Of particular importance and interest was his visit to the St. Porphyry of Gaza IVE Community which is responsible for the pastoral care of the Holy Family parish and two schools. Also he stopped by the SSVM Community working pastorally in the Gaza Strip, and the school of the Sisters of the Rosary.

Visiting an elementary school of Gaza

He also visited the communities of IVE in Beit Jala and Jerusalem and the Monastic Community in Sepphoris (a holy place where there is conserved the remains of the birthplace of St. Anne, Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Grandma of Child Jesus).

Providentially, he presided over the Solemn Mass of Our Patroness, the Virgin of Lujan. The Sacred Liturgy and the subsequent celebrations were in the chapel and the hall of the Child Jesus Home for the Disabled run by the SSVM in Bethlehem.

Fr. Walker also went on a pilgrimage to the principal Holy Places of our Redemption and met with His Beatitude, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Fouad Twal and the Bishop of Nazareth, Bishop Marcuzzo.

Fr. Carlos Walker and the religious who work in Gaza

Fr. Walker spoke with all the priests present. He thanked them for the welcome. He congratulated all of them for their dedication and good spirit in the mission and for the inculturation achieved by our missionaries in the Holy Land. He encouraged them to move forward, bearing in mind the importance that the mission of our religious in the Holy Land holds for all the members of Our Religious Family.

For all of us his visit was a great occasion for our superiors to know firsthand the complex and fascinating reality of our presence here. So also we grow in our desire to serve the Church better each day in accordance with the spirit embodied in our Constitutions.

We thank Fr. Walker for his presence, advice, and homilies.

P. Gabriel Romanelli, IVE

www.ivemo.org

 

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Visit of Fr. Carlos Walker to the Monastery of Our Lady of Pueyo.

Posted by Fr. Carlos Walker, IVE on April 21, 2013
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From Easter Sunday until the Saturday of the Octave, by the grace of God, we had the visit of the Superior General of the Institute, Fr. Carlos Walker. On that same Sunday, having just arrived, Fr. Walker participated along with the Bishop of Barbastro, Don Alfonso, in the blessing of the bust and the enthronement of the relic (blood) of Blessed John Paul the Great, in our beloved sanctuary of Our Lady of Pueyo. At the end of the event, and after a simple toast in the dining room of the guest house, he met with the bishop for an hour to discuss various issues relating to the Institute’s presence in the diocese of Barbarstro. Then we had dinner along with Bishop Alfonso.

The next day, Monday of the Octave of Easter, we received the first group of pilgrims to the Virgen del Pueyo, those from Berbegal and Barbastro, and with that, the cycle of pilgrimages for 2013 was initiated. At the request of the Bishop, the pilgrims were received by Fr. Carlos Walker, who gladly performed the traditional meeting of the crosses, presided at the Holy Mass, and reminded the faithful present of the importance of this holy place, where entire generations had prayed and were sanctified through their devotion to our Mother in Heaven, and of the eloquent testimony of the monks – martyrs, who will soon be beatified.

Monasterio del Pueyo

From Tuesday the 2nd until Thursday the 4th, we participated in the on-going formation meeting for the religious of the Province of “Nuestra Señora del Pilar”, in which Fr. Walker joined us. On Wednesday, he presided and preached at the Mass in the morning, and gave us two conferences: in the morning, on the theme: “The Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church” and, in the afternoon, on the proper law and spiritual life of the religious of IVE.

On Thursday morning, Father visited the Museum of the 51 Claretian Martyrs of Barbastro, ​​a living and most eloquent testimony of fidelity to Christ.

On Friday the 5th, he was able to visit the city of Zaragoza along with another priest, and in particular he visited the Basilica of the Virgen del Pilar, patroness of Spain and of the Hispanic world.

On Saturday the 6th, after an intense week of canonical visit, he departed for the Eternal City.

We are immensely grateful to God for this fruitful and kind visit of our Father General, who wanted to share with us the Octave of Easter and to join us for the first on-going formation meeting of the nascent Spanish-French province “del Pilar”.

Fr. Emmanuel Ansaldi, IVE

Visit: http://monasteriodelpueyo.wordpress.com/

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Visit of Fr. Walker to Iceland

Posted by Fr. Carlos Walker, IVE on March 08, 2013
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Last week we had the joy of welcoming our General Superior Fr. Carlos Walker. He arrived on Friday afternoon, and was able to see the Servidoras in action with the children of the Oratory.

Over the weekend, Fr. Carlos accompanied us during the Masses for the different Filipino and Icelandic communities.

On Monday, he met with the Bishop of Iceland and in the evening, he presided and preached at the Mass during the formation meeting for the IVE religious family who were working in the island (6 sisters and 2 priests).

On Tuesday, he accompanied us in the Mass presided by the Bishop, in which 13 priests concelebrated – the ones who are working in these lands. The intention for the Mass was to thank God for the eight years of the pontificate of Benedict XVI. After the Mass, we had dinner in the bishop’s residence, as we always do at the end of every clerical reunion. Fr. Walker, at the request of the bishop, addressed a few words to the priests in which he thanked them for the example and the work which they do for the Church in a country as special as Iceland.
On Wednesday we visited the northernmost foundation of SSVM. Fr. Walker got to know the beautiful village of Stykkishólmur where the sisters maintain the Catholic presence.

Early on Thursday, we said goodbye to Father at the airport.

We thank God for all the benefits received during the visit of our General Superior, and we also thank Fr. Carlos for his generous availability.

IVE Fathers in Iceland

Celebrating the Holy Sacrifice with Fr. Horacio and Fr. Gabriel

Celebrating the Holy Sacrifice with Fr. Horacio and Fr. Gabriel

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Visit of Fr. Carlos Walker to USA

Posted by Fr. Carlos Walker, IVE on February 18, 2013
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October, 2012 “The Fulton Sheen House of Formation had the great blessing of welcoming the General Superior of the Institute of the Incarnate Word, Fr. Carlos Walker, on his first visit to the United States as head of our religious congregation. Elected in 2010, Fr. Walker is the third General Superior of the Institute, succeeding Fr. Carlos Miguel Buela, our Institute’s founder, and a member of the Institute’s original class. Although this visit is his first as General Superior, Fr. Walker is not unfamiliar with the States; 1989 found him in St. Gabriel’s Parish, Brooklyn, New York as one of the first IVE missionaries to this country, and the first Provincial Superior of the Province of the Immaculate Conception.

Father Carlos Walker, Institute of the Incarnate Word

With his plane touching down on Monday, October 17th, Fr. Walker has kept a non-stop schedule, meeting bishops, speaking to the priests of the Institute, and presiding at various Masses, including the Feast of Bl. Pope John Paul II, during which many of the seminarians of the IVE either made or renewed their vows. These seminarians also had the privilege of Fr. Walker’s presence for three days during the Co-Patronal Feast of the Martyrs of Daimiel before he left to preach a five-day series of Spiritual Exercises for many of the priests of the province. Following the Exercises, Fr. Walker continued his visit throughout the province, visiting our foundations in Philadelphia and others.

father carlos walker, institute incarnate word

Fr. Walker’s presence these several weeks has been and continues to be a great honor for our Province. We give Fr. Walker many thanks for this visit and commend him to Our Lord that He may continue to grant our General Superior wisdom and every blessing through our Heavenly Mother’s intercession as he continues to lead us, our Province, and our Institute in doing the will of God. Our Lady of Luján, pray for us!”.

From: http://www.iveamerica.org

 

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