Letter to the diocese of the Bishop Elect of Reggio Emilia-Guastalla - Other Texts and Contributions

Letter to the diocese of the Bishop Elect of Reggio Emilia-Guastalla


To Bishop Adriano Caprioli, to the Auxiliary Bishop Lorenzo Ghizzoni
To the faithful and clergy of the Church of Reggio Emilia-Guastalla
To all those living in the territory of the Diocese.

Dear brothers and friends,

In these two words, fraternity and friendship, lies the deep meaning of my coming among you as Bishop of the Church of Reggio Emilia-Guastalla, sent by the Holy Father Benedict XVI.
First of all, he has sent me to the brothers, that is, to the baptized, to serve their faith. This is the fundamental reason for my episcopate: to announce Christ, the Son of God made man, who underwent the Passion and the Cross for love of us, is risen and so is living, and acts in the history of mankind with the attractive force of his divine humanity through his Body in history, which is the Christian people, his Church.
I come first of all to confirm the faith of my brothers: through preaching, the celebration of the sacraments, and the life of charity.
I therefore greet with great affection and esteem every faithful living in our diocese. I hope to meet many of you soon. Through your life and your professions you are witnesses to Christ in the world.
A privileged part of this people are the priests, the first collaborators in the bishop’s mission. It is to them that I wish to dedicate my deepest attention and care. I greet them one by one, particularly the auxiliary bishop, the Cathedral Chapter, the College of Consultors, members of the diocesan curia, parish priests, missionary priests and all those whom I hope to meet soon, one by one. I already pray in particular for the elderly and sick priests, and those who feel particularly lonely. I greet the permanent deacons, seminarians, and all collaborators of the priests in the parishes and in the various communities of the diocese.
Profound esteem links me to all forms of association in the Church. My thought goes to the Confraternities, to Catholic Action, to the movements, to the new communities, and to all the realities that make communion visible in the various localities and life situations of our Church.

I know that by the grace of God there are many religious communities living in our diocese. Religious life is a privileged sign of renewed humanity. I entrust myself from now to their prayers and express my nearness to all those who in their dedication to God through the evangelical counsels are light for our times.
I also greet all the civil, political and military authorities, to whom I already express my readiness for a fruitful collaboration for the construction of a more just and better society.

I come as a friend. I come for every man and every woman. In the most absolute respect for everyone’s freedom of conscience, I humbly and firmly desire to be the means of the announcement of Jesus’ proposal: I am the way, the truth, and the life (Jn 14:6), whoever follows me will have the hundredfold in this world and eternal life (cf. Mt 19:29). I am thinking of the young in search of a definitive and strong meaning for their existence; of families; but also of those who, for the most varied reasons, live alone. I am thinking of the elderly, of those who through their work express their passion and art, and of those who are looking for a job or have lost it. I am thinking of the sick, the poor and those in prison. I would like my encouragement and God’s blessing to reach them all, above all those who are suffering the effects of the recent earthquake, to whom I wish to be close with particular affection.
I greet respectfully and affectionately the brothers in faith who do not belong to the Catholic Church, all believers in the one God, and those who do not profess any faith and do not identify with any religion. I feel myself a travelling companion and I would like to offer what has been given to me and to receive, in my turn, their spiritual gifts.
My eucharistic celebration and daily prayer already carry within them these faces as yet unknown and these hopes for the life awaiting us.

My ministry is inserted into a long tradition, rich with history, with fruits of faith, hope, charity, civilization, and art. From St. Prospero to my predecessor, Bishop Adriano Caprioli, whom I wish to greet with particular deference, along with the Bishop emeritus Giovanni Paolo Gibertini, the Church has always represented to the land of Emilia, now my land, a point of reference and of light for many people, even through the sacrifice of some of its children. I am thinking of the saints and martyrs, who with their life and their blood have given fruitful and brilliant witness to Christ, light of the world. In particular, my thoughts go to those whose causes for beatification are in being celebrated, the servants of God Fr. Giuseppe Dino Torreggiani and Fr. Alfonso Ugolini, and not least of Rolando Rivi who we hope we shall soon be able to venerate on the altars.
To Blessed Cardinal Ferrari, who in his life united my Milanese land to ours, in the years he spent as bishop of Guastalla, I entrust the first fruits of my episcopal ministry.
May our patron saints, St. Prospero, St. Francis of Assisi, the holy martyrs Chrysanthus and Daria, and the Mother of God, titular of our Cathedral, obtain for me and all of us every grace we desire from Heaven.

I bless everyone in the Lord Jesus.

+ Massimo Camisasca
Bishop Elect of Reggio Emilia – Guastalla
Rome, September 29, 2012
Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, Archangels

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