European Novitiate in Brescia (Italy)
Last Saturday, 30 November, the Feast of St. Andrew, saw the inauguration of the European Novitiate of the Order of St. John of God, in Brescia, Italy, attended by Brothers of the communities of the Lombardy-Veneto Province and a number of Co-workers and volunteers from the Order’s Centres in Brescia.
The European Novitiate project began life in April 2016, to provide facilities for this important stage in the formation of men who felt called to become Brothers of St John of God.
The Novitiate is a fundamental phase in which novices experience a personal encounter with God, and discern, clarify and deepen the Lord's call to enable them to freely and consciously take their decision to follow Christ in the Hospitaller Order.
Brescia is the city chosen for the location of the novitiate, as it has a long tradition of hosting other Congregations and various formation entities. Brescia is also host to the Order’s Lombardy-Veneto Provincial Institute for Research and Care for People with Mental Health Problems, and a Night Shelter for the Homeless and Immigrants. These two projects will give the novices first-hand experience with practising hospitality there.
One curious detail is that the decision to dedicate the novitiate to St Richard Pampuri was because he did his novitiate in Brescia and, according to first-hand witnesses, he practised as a dentist in the very House which now hosts the European Novatiate.
The Fatebenefratelli European Novitiate also has its own Facebook webpage. The Formation Community is also on the Internet, and the social networks, offering an area of dialogue which will publicise the work being done here.
Let us pray to St. Riccardo Pampuri, whose jubilee we are celebrating this year, and our Founder St. John of God, as examples of hospitality, to intercede for this new formation project of the Order.