Category Archives: Communion & Liberation

Rossella Teregnoli: the new woman in the papal household

papa01g.jpgThe pope’s household –the Pope’s family– gets a fourth assistant with Rossella Teragnoli. She joins three other Memores Domini women, Loredana, Carmela and Cristina.

Rossella Tereganoli comes from Soresina in the Italian Province of Cremona. She will take up the duties formerly done by the late Manuela Camagni who died in November as the result of a car accident.
Memores Domini is the consecrated lay group of men and women who live a life of virginity, obedience and poverty living in community and active in the world. Memores Domini is not a religious order but a new way of total dedication to God. The Memores are part of Communion and Liberation.
But the Pope doesn’t only work with the Memores Domini but he also is assisted by Birgit, a consecrated lay woman who belongs to the Schoenstatt movement.
More detail on the papal household is found here. If you are interested, the Pope answers Peter Seewald’s question about his life in the Apostolic Palace in his recent interview, Light of the World.

“Reality holds a signature from God … we must seek to decipher”

The transcript for the talk on whether a scientist can be a believer that was given at a lecture hosted by the New York Encounter in January has just been released by the Crossroads Cultural Center. Faith and reason is being explored here. It is a great question to ask if a believer in Christ –or perhaps a Jew or Muslim adherent– can be credible, true to his or her being given a certain intellectual formation. Does belief in God forfeit our true search for the Divine? Monsignor Lorenzo Albacete’s portion of the discussion is the most interesting to me and it is noted below (emphasis mine). A believer sometime has to work overtime to convince him or herself that faith and science are compatible. The other day my attention was drawn to what a little girl said about Lent: her view of life and the simplicity by which we have to look everything realizing that we don’t make ourselves; everything is given. Albacete answers the question of the compatibility of faith and science: The answer, I propose, is not only yes he can, but, in fact, it is faith that will sustain his or her passion for investigating nature, and prevent the process itself and its results from becoming enslaved to political, economic, and religious ideology.Let me know what you think.

In such a case, is awe, wonder, and joy at scientific
discoveries possible? When I was thinking about this, a friend sent me the text
of a speech given by Msgr. Luigi Giussani about the “love of being” that is
remarkably appropriate to this reflection.  Giussani’s argument is that the truth of Christianity can be
verified by a proper consideration of the evidence
for it. Evidence, he says,
is the correct word, even if the evidence for the Christian claim is given to
us through signs
. Signs are things that can be touched, seen, and experienced. The Apostles had Jesus in front of them and this presence was a sign of His
victory over death, and therefore of His mysterious identity. But what about
us? What happens with the passage of time? What signs are there for us as
evidence of the truth of the Christian claim, of the reasonableness of the
Christian claim?

The interpretation of the signs available to us engages our
liberty, he says. In this drama, our liberty is a manifestation of our love for
being. Without this love for being we are not truly free and we will never
grasp the evidence of the signs given to us. At this point, as an example of
this love for being, Giussani invokes the Magi.

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Charitable work and the common fund: 2 wings of the Christian witness

candles.jpgI always look for evidence –that is, I am looking for light on a situation that may not be very clear for me– i.e., for the reality, the truth and beauty of a vigorous Catholic life by seeing if people are willing to live the Gospel. We do our best given the graces we’ve received and our own open hearts. I find myself in need to know that others belief that that the promises (and extraordinary claims) of Christ are true and are lived. Novel, right? Not really. We Catholics have been concerned for the welfare of others since the time Jesus and because our Christianity has its roots in Judaism, even before Jesus. Just read the Old Testament and dig into the narrative there. But it is Jesus gives a new lens by which to see life and to live differently today by the fact of the Paschal Mystery (His life, death, resurrection and ascension).

When one follows the lay ecclesial movement of Communion and Liberation (CL) you quickly find out that you belong to a group of friends larger than oneself and that we aim to care for the needs (the faith, education, culture, social assistance) of others. The idea is rooted in what we read int he Acts of the Apostles and various letters of Saint Paul. Our doing good is not just another forum of activism. It is based on the Savior’s life and example.
Here are two points made by Father Julián Carrón, President of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation and the successor of Father Luigi Giussani, to flesh out these two wings of our companionship –either as Catholics who live their life only in the parish, and for those who belong to a group like CL.

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Doing community service because Christ loves me

The reviews of the 2011 NY Encounter sponsored by Communion and Liberation in January continue to surface. A recent view by Sophie Lewis on gave some things to think about in an article, “A Living Cathedral.” Lewis puts her finger on living a new way. Namely, that Jesus Christ has loved us before we were aware of that love.

Quoting a priest’s homily Lewis notes: “All of you are here because you were loved first, and that is what should be the purpose of your work here.” This COULD NOT BE TRUER! The priest continues: “You are not engaged in an altruistic community service project, but you are here because Someone else loves you and you are responding to that love.” Now, THIS is the perfect way of indicating our response to the invitation to meet God who works hard to meet us.
Sophie Lewis is 17 and approaching university life soon. Happy to see her digging into the beauty and work of Communion and Liberation!

Pope speaks to the Fraternity of St. Charles Borromeo

Fraternity of
St. Charles Borromeo is celebrating their 25
th anniversary as a
congregation of priests. The Fraternity is a new community of priests in the Church, founded by Monsignor Massimo Camisasca in 1985. It was signed into Church law in 1999 by Pope John Paul II as a Society of Apostolic Life. On Saturday, February 13, His Holiness Pope Benedict
XVI met with the Fraternity’s 
founder, leadership and seminarians. Here’s the text of the Pope’s address
to members of the Fraternity.


It is with real joy that I meet with you, priests
and seminarians of the Fraternity of St. Charles, who have gathered here on the
occasion of the 25th anniversary of its birth. I greet and thank the founder
and superior general, Monsignor Massimo Camisasca, his council and all of you,
relatives and friends who are part of the community’s circle. I greet in
particular the Archbishop of the Mother of God of Moscow, Monsignor Paolo
Pezzi, and Don Julián Carrón, president of the Fraternity of Communion and
, which symbolically expresses the fruits and the roots of the work
of the Fraternity of St. Charles. This moment brings back to my mind my long
friendship with Monsignor Luigi Giussani and bears witness to his charisma

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About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]
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