Dearest Brothers and Sisters of the Calabrian Family,
Peace and joy always in the Lord and his Divine Providence, which aroused the Opera for the present times.
With great joy and gratitude to the Father, today we celebrate the 110th anniversary of the beginning of our Opera. It was a humble and hidden beginning as it is for all the works of God; but it was a great beginning in the mind of God. A small seed thrown into the Veronese soil, and then spread in various places, with the main purpose to live the Gospel, and to witness to the Paternity of God with faith, trust and abandonment to his Divine Providence.
Fr. Calabria on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the foundation wrote these words; they are very significant also for us today, and I invite all of you to keep them in your hearts and to meditate upon: “… The divine Providence has founded this Opera with really special eye and care. The purpose was to make it light and health to so many souls; and in our mind many thoughts have passed… This Opera, as I told you many times, in the plans of God performs all these wonderful things nearly by existing. Believe me, it is great and it brightens many and many minds that live in the obscurity and that, illuminated by this light, they run towards God, and serve Him. Moreover God receives them as a gift.
Only in Paradise shall we be able to understand and comprehend both the good and the plans the Lord has performed by means of this Opera. This will be true if we really live according to its particular spirit. I am sure that this point has been object of great meditation and a spring of new and effective intentions in this twenty-fifth anniversary of its foundation. The Lord calling us to take part in this very great Opera has given us a very great grace. And He Himself has really crowned this grace with the approval of his Church.
But, my dear brothers, let us remember, at the same time, that a very great responsibility weighs on us, because it depends only on us – on us only – that this Opera lives, flourishes, and spreads, thus accomplishing the good for which Providence has founded it.” (J. Calabria, “My Beloved Brothers...”, Letter 2, November 26, 1932).
In all these years the Lord has guided us and accompanied us with his love and mercy. For this we give thanks to the Father; for all the good that the Opera performs in various countries where we are present, and where the Providence calls us to live.
A particular thanksgiving to so many brothers, sisters and laity of ours who live the pure and genuine spirit of the Opera, and are witnesses to the Gospel, bringing a prophecy of joy and hope to many people. Thanks to our departed brothers and sisters who have lived with simplicity the Calabrian radicalism and are now accompanying us from heaven. Thanks to all who, by the suffering of illness and old age, sustain us through their daily offer to the Father with serenity and trusting abandonment. Thanks for all the marvels that Providence has done and is still doing through so many benefactors, the “ministries” of the Providence.
To you, Father, is finally our thanksgiving and gratitude. Have mercy on all our faults, and grant us the grace of a creative faithfulness to the pure and genuine spirit through a careful attention to the poorest and abandoned creatures of the society and the world.
A fraternal embrace to all. I remember you in my prayer. Pray for me. I wish you a very happy feast.
God bless you.
Fr. Miguel Tofful