May-June 2006 In short......... some news from Margineni


Fr. Celeste Pianezze in Bulgaria

He spent a week in Plovdiv meeting the brothers of the Assumptionist community there, to talk a bit about the expectations and the difficulties of the “Mission d’Orient” (our presence in Eastern Europe), and to come to understand a bit more the rite and the mission of Bulgaria. From May 28 to June 5 Fr. Celeste was in Bulgaria for the third time, not as a “tourist,” but rather with the intention of strengthening the bonds of those who work in the same “vineyard”: the “Mission d’Orient.” The presence of the provincial delegate for this apostolate, Fr. Bernard Le Léannec (a member of the community in Moscow), who had been invited for the patronal feast of the Assumptionist parish in Plovdiv (the Ascension of the Lord), which the Eastern Church celebrated on June 1 this year, facilitated the exchanges and communication in this regard. Of central importance, there was a discussion regarding the future of the community in Plovdiv.

What about the rest of the “Mission d’Orient”?
How can we create a common spirit in this “Mission”?
If the Assumption opens a community in Bucharest, what would the objectives be?

After discussing these questions, it was concluded that the goal is to foster the growth of a common spirit even if the realities of each of the communities is quite different: the social and religious context in which the community of Margenini lives is not that of the community of Plovdiv nor that of Moscow. These realities are very complex; as a result, meetings, exchanges, and dialogue are indispensable in a common search based on common goals.

A Day of Fraternity in the Woods of Margineni

After a long, hard winter with a lot of rain, spring also arrived in Moldavia..... but it struggled to arrive. The Oblates of the Bacau region and the brothers of the Margineni community enjoyed an outing in a local forest. This Assumption outing has become a custom. Brothers and sisters get together to share experiences on a chosen topic (the common life according to St. Augustine, the situation of the Church in the East, the Word of God in our lives.....). The goal is to grow together in the Assumption spirit, in the climate of friendship dear to St. Augustine. At the June 8th get-together Fr. Gica introduced the day with a Scripture text, which was followed by a rich sharing of reflections. Of course, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have a great cookout either.

Human and Christian Formation: Getting Parents Involved

On Saturday, June 10, Fathers Celeste and Gica met with the parents of the young people who had been invited to live in the Margineni community during the 2005-6 school-year. Educating teenagers isn’t easy. Those responsible for the Assumptionist community wanted to meet the parents of these young people in order to exchange ideas, to fill in some missing information, and to examine new educational directions.

There was a year-end evaluation based on the requirements demanded of the young people: the search for God, self-knowledge, community living.... The assessment was done taking into account the capacities of those in charge, responses given by the young people themselves, and the living conditions of the community. The aim is to educate the young person for freedom; the educator can’t be a “policeman,” nor can he tolerate an “anything goes” policy; rather, he must help young people discover what is God’s will, inscribed in their heart. As for parents, what is demanded is greater involvement in this educational program. The meeting was followed by a moment of prayer in the chapel and then a meal in the kiosk located in the garden.

Fr. Celeste Pianezze

Witnesses inspired and guided by the Spirit

On June 3-4, on the occasion of Pentecost, the brothers and the sisters of the Assumption for the second time, in collaboration with the local pastor and some diocesan sisters, organized two days of pilgrimage to BARATI. In order to help the children and teenagers to understand better the working of the Spirit in their lives, we chose four witnesses of faith and of the virtues they put into action:

Mother Teresa of Calcutta CHARITY for those aged 7-10
Brother Roger of Taizé UNITY for those 10-12
Anton Durovici, Romanian bishop MARTYR for those 12-14
John Paul II PEACE for those 15-20

Although it rained Saturday morning we were able to carry off our little skits in the afternoon; there were quite a few children and teenagers. For two hours children and teenagers were able to speak about their reasons for participating in the pilgrimage as well as their reflections on the life of the witness who had been chosen for their age group.

Later, we joined the other pilgrims to stage a Way of the Cross through the streets of the village. Children, teenagers, couples, consecrated persons, and the elderly all had an opportunity to carry the Cross .

An hour before Mass we recited the Rosary. During the Mass all of the young people presented the work they had done and portraits of the witnesses they discussed.

Afterwards, about a thousand people, candle in hand, participated in a procession with the statue of the Virgin Mary, once again through the streets of the village.

It should be said that, since 1986, Barati has been known as a Marian shrine. Later, many people stayed to spend the night in prayer.

We ourselves stayed a while with them and helped them to recognize the working of the Spirit in their lives often in the midst of trials.

The next day, the day of Pentecost, with the sun shining brightly, the day began with an early morning Mass followed by a short program organized by the brothers and sisters of the Assumption family. At the Eucharist there were more than 1500 people. Young people colored the scene with their red and white scarves.

When they left, these young people were filled with a desire to place themselves at the service of the “least of Jesus’ brothers and sisters” and to work harder to become artisans of peace, in a spirit of sacrifice.

A number of people approached us to tell us how happy they were to have participated in this ecclesial moment and encouraged us to continue our work and even to think of some similar kind of animation for the pilgrimage on August 15. The voice of the Spirit had spoken. All we have to do is to put it into practice.


Fr. Gica Paulet