father carlos walker

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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Thank you very much for everything!

Posted by Fr. Carlos Walker, IVE on June 09, 2014
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8th May 2014, Solemnity of Our Lady of Luján

Your Eminence,

We are very grateful that you wanted to celebrate with us this holy Mass in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lujan, the patroness of our Institutes as declared by the Holy See. It is an occasion that is very dear to all of us. She was precisely the one whom Father Buela, when he was still a seminarian, used to ask for the grace to be able to guide many vocations in his priestly life. Today, this is reality and we, her sons and daughters do not want to let this feast pass without manifesting our acknowledgment and gratitude. In addition, this year this feast coincides with both the recent canonization of John Paul II, “Father” of our religious family, and with the celebration of our 10th anniversary since the ecclesiastical approval of our Institutes.

Our constitutions (# 119-121) indicate that the priest, above all, should be a father, because when he is ordained he is granted the wonderful mission of generating children. The constitutions also state that this spiritual paternity should be achieved through the cross, prayer, apostolic zeal, and preaching. For each and all of these reasons, Pope John Paul II has been and continues to be a true father to our small religious family.

In effect, this great Pope has brought us to life through his preaching. Our founder was inspired in his magisterium in order to forge our specific purpose and charism. Our Constitutions contain more than a thousand quotations of his magisterium, making him the most cited author after the Second Vatican Council, so that our religious nourish their souls with his teachings, both for their personal lives and for the apostolic works of the Institute. Certainly there is no doubt that John Paul II is our father, since he generated us with his doctrine.

He has generated us through his prayer, which he constantly raised to heaven during the days of his pilgrimage in this world, through which he has given us such beautiful example, as well as through the prayers that, we trust, he must be offering, now more than ever, on our behalf in heaven.

Lastly, He has generated us through his prodigious and indefatigable apostolic zeal, which in our case, through the eternal and unfathomable designs of God’s Providence, many times was tied up to the mystery of the cross.

Your Eminence, you know perhaps better than anyone, of the personal care that his Holiness Saint John Paul II had for our small group. It will always be an honor for us that a Saint Pope, has worked in such a singular way for our small religious family in its beginnings, thus leaving him somehow forever associated to us. The paternity of our beloved Pope has truly manifested itself as a participation of the Paternity of God, and has become for us a visible image of God our Father.

Most Reverend Eminence, as we remember and appreciate the gestures and actions of his holiness Saint John Paul II, we are led to express our appreciation to you, who have been closely linked to our approval by the explicit request of Pope John Paul II.

We thank God for giving us today the opportunity of thanking you in public. Many thanks for everything, your Eminence! Our religious family will always remember how much you have done for us. We always pray especially for you, when we pray for our spiritual and material benefactors. Thank you very much for everything!

We also are very grateful to his Excellency Bishop Lino Fumagalli for being with us at this feast which is so important to us. It is a source of joy to have you with us on this day that is dedicated to our Patroness. Thank you very much your Excellency.

We also want to acknowledge our gratitude to his Excellency Bishop Andrea M. Erba, who approved our Institutes. He wanted to be here with us today but unfortunately he was unable to come. Without any doubts he joins us in his prayer.

 

Fr. Carlos Walker, IVE

General Superior 

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Greetings – Solemnity of the Incarnation

Posted by Fr. Carlos Walker, IVE on April 07, 2014
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Dear Fathers, Religious Brothers and Sisters, and Faithful Friends of the Incarnate Word,

 

Today is a very special date for our Institute as it celebrates its first 30 years of foundation.  A few days ago, our sisters, the Servants, also celebrated their 26 years of existence.  We give thanks to God who, in his eternal designs, has desired to raise our small Religious Family up in the Church.

The ways of Divine Providence are always unfathomable. The brief history of our Institute has so often been marked with the sign of the cross.  We have not lacked difficulties, contradictions, and tests.  Nevertheless, looking back with evangelical simplicity, it is clear that God has been very present at the beginning of this work, has always accompanied it all along the way and with love of a Father, has guided and sustained it even in the midst of difficulties.  Moreover, it was precisely in the most difficult moments that the Goodness and Power of God have always radiated in the brightest way.

This is why we give thanks to God, and in thanking Him for His gifts, we cannot fail to also thank all those people who God, in his paternal solicitude, has often sent to serve us.  In this context we do not forget all of our friends and the material and spiritual benefactors of our Institute, especially those who remember us in their prayers.  We thank everyone for everything!

For us these years seem to be a long period of time, but with hindsight, our Institute is really in its beginnings.  This is, therefore, also a moment to look ahead and ask for the necessary graces to respond, increasingly better, to the call that we have received, personally and as an Institute.

The Gospel is very clear that the solidity of a house is related to the firmness of its foundations, or in other words, with the fidelity to the will of God.  In short, the only thing that really matters in our lives is that we are faithful to the divine designs on us.  We ask, in a very special way today and always, the grace to be faithful to the charism that we have received so that God will find us at the height of our calling and that we may always and only perform His holy will.

May Our Lady of Lujan, Blessed John Paul II, and all our patron saints protect and bless us in this intention.

 

May God bless you abundantly!

 

In Christ and Mary,

 

Father Carlos Walker, IVE

Rome, March 25, 2014

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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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Martyrs of Pueyo

Posted by Fr. Carlos Walker, IVE on November 04, 2013
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Decree of appointment of the newly beatified martyrs of Pueyo as Patrons of the monastic branch of IVE.

Download the document: Here

 

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Feast of the Blessed John Paul II

Posted by Fr. Carlos Walker, IVE on October 23, 2013
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Read the post HERE

JP2 Scan 1

 

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Circular of Fr. Carlos Walker regarding the approaching liturgical feast of Blessed John Paul II

Posted by Fr. Carlos Walker, IVE on October 15, 2013
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We offer you a circular from Fr. Carlos Walker, IVE, General Superior of the Institute of the Incarnate Word, regarding the upcoming feast of Blessed John Paul II, “father of our religious family,” which will be celebrated on October 22nd.

In Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary,

_______________________________

 

Rome, 11th October 2013

Dear Brothers in the Incarnate Word,

Since on the coming Sunday the 13th, we begin the novena in honor of our Patron and Father, Blessed John Paul II, whose feast is celebrated on the 22nd of October, we wish to remind you of the proximity of this feast and invite you to celebrate it fittingly in the various jurisdictions and the houses of the Institute.

On Monday the 22nd, we will celebrate the Holy Mass in the Basilica of St. Peter, in the altar of the tomb of Blessed John Paul II. All the members of our Religious Family who are in Italy will assist at this Mass. Afterwards, the members of the male branch will go to the General House for a festive lunch, and to continue with the feast in the evening.

In another attached document, I am sending you a prayer to John Paul II, which could be used during these days of preparation for the feast. This prayer was written by a priest of the Province of Loreto and was translated into Spanish by the seminarians in Montefiascone.

May Blessed John Paul the Great obtain for us the grace to be faithful to our charism, and through his intercession, may God send many holy vocations to our Institute.

In Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary,

            Fr. Carlos Walker, IVE

General Superior

 ____________________________

Novena to Blessed John Paul II

Oh Blessed John Paul II ,

you, who are the Spiritual Father of our religious family of the Institute of the Incarnate Word , obtain for us the grace that we ask in this novena.

With trust we ask that we may become holy priests of the Institute of the Incarnate Word , according to the heart of Christ : who nourish our spirits with the Word of God, serve our neighbors in solidarity with the needy, abandon ourselves to Divine Providence , tireless preachers , “rich in spirit” “with  tongue , lips and wisdom, which the enemies of truth cannot resist”, merciful confessors, who are exceptionally fruitful in our apostolic and vocational efforts[1], not elusive to the missionary adventure , always cheerful – even in difficulties, lovers of the Cross and true devotees of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

We ask that we may be always faithful to God, fulfilling at all times His Holy Will and persevere until death in this religious family.

May the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Priests , whom you loved so much and to whom we profess to be her slaves of love, protect us from on high from all dangers, temptations, and attacks of the devil, that we may one day reach Heaven along with all those souls who have been entrusted to us during our entire ministry. Amen .

Pater , Ave and Gloria.

Blessed John Paul II, pray for us (3 times).



[1] Cf. IVE Constitutions, n. 231.

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Message on the occasion of the feast of St. Francis of Assisi

Posted by Fr. Carlos Walker, IVE on October 07, 2013
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Read the letter (spanish) HERE 

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