Davide Prosperi greets Monsignor Delpini (Photo: Pino Franchino/Fraternity CL)

Davide Prosperi's greeting

The words of the president of the Fraternity of CL at the end of the celebration for the anniversary of Fr. Giussani's death. Milan Cathedral, Feb. 23, 2023

Your Excellency, I thank you from the bottom of my heart on behalf of the entire community of Communion and Liberation of the Diocese of Milan for hosting us tonight in our beautiful Duomo, and for celebrating with us this Holy Mass dedicated to Fr. Giussani and the Fraternity.

The closeness and paternity that you have always shown toward us are a strong and reassuring testimony of the Church's embrace and support of our journey.

A journey that has recently concluded a very significant year, during which we celebrated the centenary of Fr. Giussani's birth in Italy and around the world. In particular we celebrated it here, in the land where Fr. Giussani was born and grew up; where he lived the experience of that "beautiful day" of the encounter with Christ that he later communicated to us with so much fervor; and where he generated a story of friendship and faith that has since spread far beyond his beloved Ambrosian land, while preserving its vigorous and concrete traits.

In celebrating the Centenary we have witnessed exceptional testimonies and experienced moments of unexpected fruitfulness and richness, involving many people. We have shared with the Church and with society what the encounter with Fr. Giussani has meant and still means for us, and the good that, in the ways and times the Holy Spirit has willed, his life has generated and generates for all humanity.

Your Excellency, you addressed these words to us in your homily during the Mass celebrated here a year ago for the Centenary: "the time has come when mission imposes an urgency that cannot linger on internal issues, that does not let itself be held back by the shackles of misunderstandings and resentment. What is needed is passion and service, spiritual freedom and magnanimity." I can say that in recent months we have tried to follow these directions of his. The steps we have taken have been important and decisive, and have made us more certain and grateful for the way the Lord is leading us.

All the way to the meeting with Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square last October 15: an extraordinary event, which helped us to become even more aware of how the inheritance received from Fr. Giussani has been entrusted to us first and foremost to serve the mission of the Church in the world, aware that we are living in times, as the Holy Father told us, in which there is a need for "missionary renewal and relaunching in the light of the current ecclesial moment, as well as of the needs, sufferings and hopes of contemporary humanity." We are therefore following this path.

Finally, I would like to mention the sorrow that has accompanied us for the ascent to Heaven of a father like Benedict XVI. In refocusing on what he has meant to us we have rediscovered the truth of that phrase of the then Cardinal Ratzinger that had struck Fr. Giussani so much that he made us learn it by heart: "Faith is the obedience of the heart to the form of teaching to which we were entrusted." This sentence expresses a fundamental indication for our journey: to live an obedience to the charism that the Spirit gave to Fr. Giussani and at the same time to remain centered on the objectivity of the faith of the Church, which through Fr. Giussani's charism has reached us.

It has therefore been a year of true Grace, which we conclude tonight together with you in order to reaffirm with even greater strength, aware of all our limitations and with the humility and gratitude that are born of faith and that we are called to renew every day, that which we hold dear more than anything else: Christ, "life of life."

Your Excellency, thank you for your prayer and your words!

Davide Prosperi