Caserta, June 11: the Mass on the little square
On 10-11 June 2022 the Blessed Sacrament Community of Caserta recalled the 20 years of its presence in the area of that diocese.
Until 2011 its presence was characterised above all by its social commitment, whereas afterwards in response to the request of the diocese, the community was entrusted with the parish of St Augustine, the structure of which also included the “Tent of Abraham” that entails welcoming immigrants.
Until today the community is still in this parish but under new circumstances: insofar as there is no need anymore of welcoming immigrants, last year the community
received in its structure an Iraqi family who arrived to Italy by means of a “humanitarian corridor”.
In the following paragraphs we present two accounts of the Blessed Sacrament religious’ presence in Caserta.
A path of families… to become family
When Fr Mario asked me to contribute my part to this day about the Blessed Sacrament religious in Caserta, I initially thought he had asked the wrong person. What could I say since I do not live in this parish and don’t do anything there? But then I actually thought about how much the perception of what the “parish” means for my family had changed; therefore, I could – indeed, I had to – express my opinion about what we experienced as families in encountering the Blessed Sacrament religious and on what their presence has meant and means for us here in Caserta.
With the arrival of the Blessed Sacrament religious to this parish, a sense of belonging to our land has been cultivated and grown, together with a sense of the need to share, to walk together, to be open to the needs of our neighbour. During participation at Mass every Sunday a wonderful message was entrusted to us: we are a community, we have to grow together…
So, the next step was as follows: Fr Mario set up “Family Sundays”, an occasion on which we were all called to be together simply, sharing lunch in simplicity, after having shared a brief moment of reflection. This idea was well appreciated ... it became a moment in which all the different people of the parish met, got to know each other, shared their different talents and different ideas. From these meetings we have all become more a "family on route ...".
And the seed has borne fruit. Did we enjoy the meetings? So let's organize them better, let's trace a path that gives meaning to our journey, to our wanting to be a community that grows and comes out of our small houses ... the seed that the Blessed Sacrament religious have cultivated in us, families, germinated also thanks to the diversity of souls who have found voice and acceptance in the community, without being silenced or made uniform. Thus, the "families" decided to grow: the group of catechists, the singers / musicians, the Équipe Notre-Dame, the Ginestra, the young and not so young Scouts; these became realities of the community that grew, nourishing themselves through diversity: no one being better or seeking prominence, the different family members requiring to be fostered, not "cut off"!
|Today, despite the pandemic (indeed, perhaps thanks to the pandemic), families are an important part of our community, they are one of the most important colours of our parish, indeed of our reality, that feels like one, big family.|
What have the Blessed Sacrament religious given us? The sense of a Eucharist that is incarnated in our life, in our family; the sense of a mission made up of everyday life; the sense of a presence that counts because it is attentive to others; the sense of being a community that opens to the needs of those around us, but also of those who come from afar.
My thanks to the “fraternity” of Caserta
I find it hard to think of Giorgio, Mario, Pierangelo [in the photo] only as Blessed Sacrament priests. For me they have been - and continue to be - brothers, friends, travelling companions. In recent years we have known, supported and welcomed each other with all our frailties. We shared unforgettable moments of prayer, formation, civic commitment, fraternity, bread and joy.
We believed and dreamed together that we could plant some small seeds of a Church freer from the rigidities of the structure, and capable of becoming passionate about the miracle of Life in this world. At times we also clashed, as happens in the best of families, but always maintaining the confidence to return to take root - and ever more deeply - in the word of Jesus of Nazareth.
Today, I can no longer think about my life without the presence and embrace of these discreet, welcoming friends, capable of listening, of tenderness, forgiveness. After 20 years, I want to say thank you with all my heart to each one of you. Thank you because you have helped me to recognize that the God of Life dwells above all in our restless hearts, at the fringes of history, in the wounds of people betrayed and humiliated by those who believe themselves powerful. Thank you for helping me to feel that the God of Life is in love with our humanity and comes to meet us every day through relationships, gestures, words, the closeness of others. Thank you for your prophetic gaze, which prompts us to glimpse that Beyond that we are all looking for and shows us the path that leads to a fullness of Life. Thank you for being tireless promoters of Peace and Fraternity. Thanks for your friendship.
My wish, for you and for me, is that we may walk in ever deeper awareness along the path indicated by Jesus, filled to overflowing with compassion and tenderness for every creature, and may remain in the full confidence that Life, even amid the darkest moments, always helps us to glimpse fragments of Light. Shall we keep on walking together?
Extract from the Notiziario of 1 July 2022
of the Province “Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament”