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
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
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.
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
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