Dear sisters and brothers in the Union,

we are happy to present to you in this newsletter a sharing about the South American Institute of Pallottine Studies, Santa Maria, Brazil, prepared by Fr. Ângelo Lôndero SAC, along with other news from the Union.

The South American Institute of Pallottine Studies was founded on February 1st 1992 in the city of Cascavel, PR, Brazil, with representatives of the Provinces/Regions of the Pallottine Priests and Brothers in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay and of the Provinces of the Pallottine Sisters in Brazil.

Given that hardly any people can go to Rome to study Vincent Pallotti and his foundation more deeply, the General Assembly of the Society of the Catholic Apostolate (SAC) of 1989, the theme of which was “Together we journey: together we serve” insisted that the Provinces/Regions of the SAC establish a common programme of Pallottine formation. A centre of studies in Brazil would offer the possibility of greater participation. During the Assembly of the Santa Maria Province, held in January 1992, there was a consensus regarding the foundation of the aforementioned Institute: ISEP.

The course is run in the Colegio Maximo Palotino (Major Seminary), of Santa Maria, RS, Brazil.
The general objective of the courses in ISEP is to offer to all members of the Union of Catholic Apostolate present in South America a lived experience and a deepening of their knowledge of the life, the work, the foundation, the charism and spirituality of St. Vincent Pallotti.

Beyond the general objective, there are specific objects, such as:
1. To facilitate direct contact with the Pallottine sources in order better to understand our mission in the Church and in the world of today.
2. To foster reflection on and lived experience of the mission of continuers of the work of Vincent Pallotti.
3. To promote communication and communion between members of the Union of Catholic Apostolate in Latin America.
4. To put into practice the “return to the sources” proposed by the Second Vatican Council, to better understand the original inspiration of Vincent Pallotti.
5. To stimulate and continue the process of conversion to the evangelical life, to pastoral conversion, which requires changes in the way of living and of carrying out pastoral work.
6. To form multipliers of this knowledge in order to spread the charism and the spirituality of St. Vincent Pallotti.
The Institute is open to all members and supporters of the Union of Catholic Apostolate. It is a centre of Pallottine formation and of community living which aims to help in the formation of evangelisers according to the charism and spirituality of St. Vincent Pallotti.

The courses offered by ISEP are of fundamental importance for the progress of the Union of Catholic Apostolate in Latin America, according to the testimony of different participants.

The courses offered are in three stages, during the month of July. The length of the courses is from 10 to 25 days. More than 1000 people have already participated in ISEP, between lay people, sisters, brothers and priests, young people and adults, of 12 nationalities, coming from different countries and from many regions of Brazil.

Witness of participants: “The days during which I participated in the ISEP Course were, for me, inspirational and provocative, because the words which came out of the mouths of the speakers regarding St. Vincent Pallotti were so deep that my heart beat more strongly, my being became more luminous and light, and my eyes brighter. By this I want to say that Pallotti was a person totally united to God, to Jesus Christ and to Mary, as also to the poor and the sick. Now this light of Pallotti remains alight in heart, motivating me too to follow Jesus Christ, Apostle of the Eternal Father”.

“I see in the ISEP courses an effective instrument for concretising the Pallottin charism: awaken in all the consciousness that they are apostles”.

“We were challenged to bring the infinite love of God to all communities, with determination and faith. Participation in the ISEP courses has enriched us as people and as Christians, and helped us to be missionary disciples, with the apostolic zeal of St. Vincent Pallotti”.

“Through my work as an educator, ISEP has made me learn more about Vincent Pallotti and allowed a revision and an awareness of human and Christian education. What values should I pass on to my students? What examples of faith, love and life are necessary in the pursuit of my highest goal, in order that the life of Jesus Christ be my fundamental rule? It was through ISEP that I could review these questions, and understand that these challenges “Education is also Evangelisation”.

In a letter dated February 25th 2014, Pope Francis appointed Fr. Jacob Nampudakam SAC to be a member of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life for a period of five years. This nomination is particularly significant since the Holy Father has dedicated 2015 as a “Year of Consecrated Life”. This significant and historical event is certainly another sign of the recognition of the Pallottine charism by the Universal Church and, at the same time, is a challenge to the entire Pallottine Family “to revive faith and rekindle charity” in our own lives as well as in the entire Church, always in the spirit of the Gospel. The Pallottine Family expresses its joy and congratulations to the Rector General and assures him of our prayerful support for his new responsibility in service of the Universal Church.

On 21 April 2014, the birthday of St. Vincent Pallotti, the new Indian “Holy Family” Province of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Catholic Apostolate was born. Fr. Jacob Nampudakam SAC led a solemn Eucharistic celebration in SS. Salvatore in Onda in gratitude to God for the new Province which was attended by a large number of members of the Pallottine Family. The General Superior, Sr. Ivete Garlet CSAC, thanked the Provincial Superior of the “Queen of Apostles” Mother Province, Sr. Sara Carfagna CSAC, and all the members in Italy for all they have done in leading the community in India with much care and vision to this day. In his homily, the Rector General emphasised the importance of maintaining the international and universal Pallottine spirit in the new Province and called on the members to remain always open to the Holy Spirit in its future development. We wish every blessing to the new Provincial, Sr M. Ligi Tottakath CSAC, to her Councillors and to all members of the new Province.

In a letter dated 3 April 2014, Pope Francis appointed Fr. Bruno Ateba Edo SAC, Regional Rector of the Most Holy Trinity Region of Cameroon and Nigeria, Bishop of the diocese of Maroua-Mokolo, Cameroon. Fr. Bruno was elected the first Regional Rector of the new Region in 2008 and is currently in his second term of office. 2014 is particularly significant for the Pallottines in Cameroon with the celebration of about 125 years of the foundation of the Catholic Church there by the Pallottines, the 100th anniversary of the death of Bishop Heinrich Vieter, founder of the Pallottine mission there, and 50 years of the return of the German Pallottines to the country. It is also the 100th anniversary of the consecration of the second Pallottine Bishop in Cameroon, Msgr Franz Henemann. The appointment of Fr. Bruno as Bishop in Cameroon can be considered a special gift of the Holy Father to the Society and to the entire Pallottine Family on this occasion. However, it will also be a very challenging responsibility, with news that two Italian priests and one Canadian religious sister were kidnapped on April 5th from that very diocese, probably by the Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram which has committed atrocities in Nigeria against church goers and schoolchildren among others. We pray for their safe return and ask Mary, Queen of Apostles, Patroness of Cameroon as well as of the Union of Catholic Apostolate, and our holy Founder, St. Vincent Pallotti to accompany and guide Fr. Bruno in the exercise of his ministry as Bishop.

The annual retreat of the Union in Italy took place in the “San Vincenzo Pallotti” Spirituality Centre, Grottaferrata, outside Rome, from April 24-27, 2014. The retreat was organised by Sr. Stella Marotta CSAC and the Formation Team, with different LCCs taking turns to animate the various times of prayer and Eucharistic celebrations, and the meditations given by Fr. Reinaldo Baggio SAC of the Brazilian Sao Paolo Province, who is in charge of retreats at the centre.