Taipei (Agenzia Fides) - "Together in Asia to learn about the past, to celebrate the present, to scrutinize the future and to re-motivate the Camillian missionary spirit": this is the theme of the meeting that saw the Major Superiors of the Camillians (Ministers of the Sick, MI) present in 38 countries of the five continents gathered in Taiwan, from 18 to 23 June, to share experiences and to get to know the Asian reality more closely. The Camillians are present in nine Asian countries with pastoral works and activities inspired by the charism of St. Camillus, and are also positively appreciated by the local authorities of the various countries in which they operate.
According to information sent to Agenzia Fides by Fr. Luigi Galvani, Camillian missionary, the meeting in Taiwan offered the various representatives of the Order the opportunity to learn about the missionary work of their confreres in 66 years of presence in the country. There are numerous works carried out, including the St. Mary's Hospital in Luodong, with more than 600 beds, three nursing homes for the elderly, a center for 150 mentally disabled people, a nursing school with more than three thousand students, a youth dance center, pastoral service in a dozen mountain parishes among the aborigines.
During the five-day meeting, the participants received a visit from the Archbishop of Taipei, Mgr. John Hung, who expressed the appreciation and gratitude of the diocese to Superior General, Fr. Leo Pessini, for the significant missionary commitment of the Camillians. Your missionaries - said the Archbishop - were courageous men and in love with the charism of the Founder, and left real signs of charity in our country. The visit of the Vice President of Taiwan, Hon. Francis Chen, on the occasion of the laying of the foundation stone of a new center for Alzeimer patients in Luodong, was very significant, and expressed admiration for the social, charitable and apostolic work of the Camillian missionaries in Taiwan.
In the days before the meeting, the funeral of one of the first Italian missionaries, father Antonio Didonè, who died in those days, saw the participation of the major Superiors of the Order, with the presence of the Vice President of Taiwan, Francis Chen. Antonio was a pediatrician, a missionary in Taiwan for 58 years. He took care of thousands of children. As director of the hospital for almost thirty years, he was responsible for the great development of St. Mary hospital, which from a small hospital of 20 beds, now can accommodate more than 600 sick people.
At the end of their meeting, the Major Superiors of the Camillian Order expressed joy and praise to the Lord for their confreres in Taiwan. (LG/SL) (Agenzia Fides, 27/6/2018)