February 9, 2013
Dear Friends in Jesus and in the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I am pleased to send you Fr. Gabrielli’s annual letter which he has asked all of the national directors around the world to share with their members. The bishop in Fr. Gobbi’s native diocese of Como, Italy is so open to the Marian Movement of Priests, that he is going to provide an office for the MMP and a residence for Fr. Gabrielli. This is wonderful news and a gift from the Blessed Mother to provide a permanent home for her Movement.
Many of you have asked us about Fr. Gobbi’s cause for beatification. Canon norms regarding the procedure to be followed for causes of saints are contained in the Apostolic Constitution ‘Divinus Perfectionis Magister’, promulgated by Pope John Paul II on January 25, 1983. To begin a cause, it is necessary for at least 5 years to have passed since the death of the candidate.
Reports of miracles received through Fr. Gobbi’s intercession may be mailed to our Headquarters or sent directly to Fr. Gabrielli in Italy (email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Some of you have heard that Fr. Gobbi kept a personal diary which contained private messages from Our Blessed Mother. Fr. Gabrielli stated very clearly at the 2012 international retreat that this is true; however, these messages are not going to be made public by the MMP. If they are private, the Blessed Mother intended them to remain as such. If anything does get published in the future, it will be at the discretion of the Church.
Fr. Gobbi is buried in a cemetery plot outside the Shrine of Our Lady of the Tears in his birthplace of Dongo, Italy. They want to eventually move the body into the Shrine, as he had requested, but they have to await the permission of the town and the diocese. In Italy, things move quite slowly.
The Shrine of Our Lady of the Tears is mentioned in Message #29. Fr. Gobbi received a message after visiting this site with his mother on December 19, 1973, the anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. Our Lady told him,
“This morning, my son, you came with your mother to my Shrine, before the image of Our Lady of the Tears, which you have always loved and venerated from your earliest childhood, to celebrate Holy Mass on the ninth anniversary of your priestly ordination.
This is a gift that I have wanted to make to you: your returning on this day with your mother, before me who have always looked upon you with eyes filled with special love, who have chosen you from your infancy and have always led you by the hand. Never have I abandoned you (…)
I have chosen you and prepared you for the triumph of my Immaculate Heart in the world, and these are the years when I will bring my plan to completion.
It will be a cause of amazement even to the angels of God, a joy to the saints in heaven, a consolation and great comfort for all the just on earth, mercy and salvation for a great number of my straying children, a severe and definitive condemnation of Satan and his many followers.”
(Message #29, Dongo (Como, Italy), December 19, 1973)
A few persons have asked for directions to make a pilgrimage to Fr. Gobbi’s final resting place.
Dongo is located almost at the end of Lake Como.
By bus: From Como, you can take a bus direct to Dongo.
By train: From Milan, take the Milan-Tirano line, and get off at Colico.
You can contact Alberto Cappi in advance of your arrival. He will take you to the burial site and also
to the places where Fr. Gobbi lived. Email: email@example.com Tel. 3331186999 / 034492377
Growth of the MMP after Fr. Gobbi’s Death
We see a revival of cenacles in every country, especially with the participation of new priests.
Fr. Gobbi wanted the priests to be actively involved by having a cenacle in their area at least once a year. In the past, I myself have conducted many cenacles in the United States, especially because Fr. Gobbi could not come to the U.S. and Canada. The Blessed Mother wants more of her children to participate, especially in this year of Faith and of the new evangelization, as the Holy Father stated during the Synod of Bishops.
At the end of this letter, I have included a listing of cenacles that will take place in different parts of the country during the month of May, moderated by some of our MMP priests. Everyone is invited to participate. We encourage you to try to attend one of these as a demonstration of unity and solidarity with the other cenacles that are regularly meeting around the country.
Priests who would be willing to host and coordinate a cenacle in May 2014 are encouraged to contact the Headquarters. I ask also the laity to inform us if they know a priest who might be interested.
There will be at least one cenacle in nearly all of the fifty states this year, and we hope for an even greater participation in 2014.
Will You Consider Starting a Cenacle in this Year of Faith?
As the time of the fulfilment of Our Blessed Mother’s promises is approaching, she needs our assistance more and more. We should never grow tired of helping her and allowing her to take us by the hand through these very difficult times, until that moment when she will call us to be with her forever.
How many persons are needed? Only two!
Format is very simple: Invocation to Holy Spirit; five decades of the Rosary; prayers for our Holy Father; reading from the messages; consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. To help you, we can offer our booklet, “Cenacles of the Marian Movement of Priests – Purpose/Guide.”
Are you looking to join a cenacle? Just contact us! We maintain a database of cenacles that have registered with our Headquarters. There may be a listing for your area.
As Fr. Gabrielli pointed out in his letter, Pope Benedict encourages praying the rosary in this year of Faith. Our Lady told Fr. Gobbi:
“The Rosary is the golden chain that binds you to my Heart; it is the lightning rod that will keep far from you, and from those who are dear to you, the fire of the chastisement; it is the sure means of having me always close to you.” (#264h, May 1, 1983)
She often repeats her urgent request that we form cenacles:
“Give your support to my invitation; multiply your cenacles of prayer and fraternity; consecrate yourselves to my Immaculate Heart; frequently recite the holy rosary! Then the powerful Red Dragon will be shackled by this chain, and his margin of action will become ever more restricted. In the end he will be left impotent and harmless.
The miracle of the triumph of my Immaculate Heart will be made manifest to all.”(#275s-t)
First Blessed of the MMP
Blessed Fr. Gabriele M. Allegra, OFM (1907-1976), an Italian Franciscan missionary to China, was a member of the MMP. He was a scholar in Holy Scripture, and the first to translate the Bible from the original texts into Chinese characters. Bishops in China still now trust his translation of the Bible more than any other. He also translated the first years of the messages given by Our Lady to Fr. Gobbi. His secretary, Fr. Thomas, recounted the following when I met him in Taipei. On his death bed, Fr. Allegra asked Fr. Thomas if he had printed the messages. These would be his last words. After Fr. Thomas replied ‘yes’, Fr. Allegra died. For years, Fr. Thomas continued to translate and print the messages of our Blessed Mother. Due to Fr. Allegra’s influence, the MMP is present everywhere in China, because all the Bishops there trusted his discernment about the messages being authentic. Fr. Allegra was beatified on September 29, 2012. We now have another powerful intercessor in Heaven.
Clergy Retreat Cenacles
All priests are invited to attend both the international and national retreats in 2013. Please return the enclosed reply card if you are interested. We will try to sponsor all those who require financial assistance. If sponsorship funds get depleted, the aid will be offered on a first come, first served basis.
International Clergy Retreat Cenacle
Shrine of Merciful Love – Collevalenza, Italy
The dates for this year’s retreat are June 23-29, 2013. Priests who are interested are urged to contact us as soon as possible for rates and registration info. The priests who are unable to attend and the laity throughout the world are encouraged to be united with us in prayer during that week.
Fr. Quercia, who is responsible for registrations, writes: “Let Us Form a Worldwide Cenacle! During that week when the spiritual exercises are being held in Collevalenza, in many parts of the world cenacles of prayer are intensified, spiritually united with the priests who are in attendance. In this way the MMP priests who are absent can give life to a real and authentic worldwide cenacle. Even if you cannot be present, you and the faithful whom you know can, during these days, unite yourselves in prayer with the priests who are in Collevalenza, and all of us together can form a real and authentic worldwide cenacle that encompasses all of the members of the MMP scattered throughout the world. Thanks to you, the cenacles are increasing from year to year! Together let us form a great worldwide cenacle in unity with the International Cenacle being held from Sunday, June 23 to Saturday, June 29!”
North American Clergy Retreat Cenacle
Again this year, the retreat for priests from the U.S. and Canada will be held at the Keller Convention Center in Effingham, IL from Monday, Nov. 11 to Friday, Nov. 15. We are pleased to welcome Fr. Donal McIlraith, SSC from the Fiji Islands who will give our two daily conferences and lead the Holy Hours. An Irish Columban Father ordained in 1971, he made his consecration and joined the MMP while on pilgrimage to Guadalupe in December 1981. At the time he was teaching Sacred Scripture at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. Upon his return, he joined cenacles in the twin cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul. Fr. McIlraith translated for Fr. Gobbi during his visits to Oceania in 1985 and 1993 and was asked by him to be the co-director for Australia during that first visit in ’85. Since 2011, he has been the MMP director for all of Oceania. He currently teaches Sacred Scripture at the Pacific Regional Seminary in Suva, Fiji.
Retreat for the Laity (Effingham, IL) May 24-27, 2013
See the enclosed flyer for details.
Thelma Keller Convention Center
The Keller family has been host to the MMP retreats for many years now. There is a beautiful large statue of the Blessed Mother in the main entrance of their facility, and it is moved to the Mass and conference room during the retreats. Chuck Keller loves the Church and its priests and has always seen to it that we are well served. Patty Greene, their events planner, sees to it that everything runs smoothly. She also coordinates all of the private complimentary shuttles to and from St. Louis Lambert Airport. I take the opportunity to thank them and their entire staff for their warm hospitality. May God bless them.
Clergy Retreat Sponsors
Owing to your generosity, last year we were able to sponsor several priests to attend the national and international clergy retreats. Once again, I invite our members to consider sponsoring a priest for the 2013/2014 retreat cenacles. The priests who were helped by your generosity have asked me to extend a special thank you on their behalf, and to let the sponsors know that they are being remembered in a special way in their Masses and prayers.
Please contact us if you have airline frequent flier miles that you would consider donating to a priest. We will “pair” you with a priest who wishes to go to the retreat, and you can assist him with booking
his flight to Rome using your rewards travel miles. These seats fill up very quickly, so it has to be done as early as possible. If it is too late for this year, you may wish to do so for travel in 2014. You may also want to donate miles for those needing assistance for domestic flights to attend the national retreat.
May Our Lady reward your generosity.
Last year, the contact persons for my 2012 regional cenacles were the targets of a scam. The wrongdoers used the contact information that was listed on our website to call or send text messages. Pretending to be acting on my behalf, they solicited money that would supposedly be used to help an alleged member of the MMP from abroad who needed money to attend the funeral of a relative in the U.S. Because we receive these types of scam emails on a fairly regular basis, we are aware and know they are bogus. Some of you fell victim, and for that we apologize. Please DO NOT engage these people in further communication or give them any of your personal information. Call us if you are in doubt.
I wish to express my gratitude for your continued prayerful and financial support, and to extend a very special thank you to those who have placed the M.M.P. on their last will and testament. If any of you are interested in doing the same, please call the Headquarters and we will provide you with our Tax I.D. number. We are recognized by the IRS as an organization described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; therefore, your gifts are tax deductible.
I take this opportunity to wish all of you a most holy season of Lent. In his letter, Fr. Gabrielli speaks about the redemptive value of suffering. I know that many of you are carrying very heavy crosses. You have been specially chosen to receive this beautiful gift. This is all part of the mystery of suffering. Daily sufferings are a part of each person’s life, and we accept and offer these for the salvation of the world. We are all called to be saints – to be heroic in virtue in imitation of Jesus the spotless Lamb. Our Lady told Fr. Gobbi: “The degree of your fidelity, which I desire to bring to the point of heroism, will be able to be measured by how you know how to suffer, to be silent and to offer things up.”(cf. 181h) May we all draw closer to the crucified Lord during this penitential time, as we prepare for the celebration of his Resurrection, in anticipation of his Second Coming in glory.
Most sincerely in Jesus and Mary,
Fr. Francis Geremia, c.s.