Parma (Fides Service) – On 5 November Xaverian Missionaries in every corner of the world commemorate their spiritual Father: Blessed Bishop Guido M. Conforti, of Parma the Institutes Founder who died on 5 November 1931. As usual this year, Bishop Conforti’s shrine in Parma, at the Xaverian Mother House was crowded with missionaries and friends who had come to take part in the celebrations, Fides Service was informed by Marcello Storgato. There were also 25 Missionaries Xaverian missions all over the world presently taking part in a refresher study course in Parma.
During a solemn Mass Xaverian Superior in Italy Father Agostino Rigon, thanked veteran missionaries for 25, 50, 60 years of religious life or priestly ministry praising them for their dedication to mission ad gentes. He also welcomed five new Xaverian priests who will continue in Parma their studies in theology and greeted Xaverian Sister Annalisa Avallone, about to go on mission to Chad and Sister Antonella Del Grosso, assigned to mission in Thailand. He mentioned Mr and Mrs Giovanna and Paolo Volta, lay Xaverians helping Xaverian religious missionaries with evangelisation, development projects and health care in Goma, Democratic Congo.
At the end of the Mass Father Rigon, announced the next Italian regional Xaverian Chapter 18 to 30 April 2004. Some 31 delegates will elect a new national directing body and reflect on the theme: "United in Renewal: being a Xaverian in Italy today". For the occasion Father Rigon presented each rector of community a chalice and patena bearing the words "new wine in new jars”. The Eucharist is the source of our fraternal communion and our missionary commitment” Father Rigon said. "Using this chalice and patena, we will renew our offering of self to Christ, missionary sent by the Father del Padre, that he may renews us constantly with the power of the witness of his love and service to all humanity ". (S.L.) (Agenzia Fides 6/11/2003 – lines 25; words 358)