• English
  • Français
  • Italiano
  • Español
Francia 1
You are here:Home / Family News / NEF 2015 / Family News - 2015 March 14th / Laity and the charism of Betharram
Mar 12, 2015

Laity and the charism of Betharram

Religious & laity side by side

Antonio, nicknamed “Tonino”, president of the Association Il Mosaico

The cooperation between the Betharramite religious and the laity of the Association “il Mosaico” is quite steady. It would not be possible to speak of the work done by the Family home of Monteporzio (Italia) without mentioning both of them. Thanks to this Association, some lay men and laywomen could walk a short or a long distance with our religious, siding them in serving the marginalized and giving witness of a betharramite lifestyle.

More than thirty years have passed since I met the priests of the “Villa del Pino” (Monteporzio, Rome). I shared reflections and discussions with them and I participated in the activities and initiatives of the parish, and friendships also developed. When the community closed the seminary, the local people felt its absence.

Then one day, the opening of a House of Welcome in Villa del Pino, designed to receive people with AIDS, was announced at a meeting held in the town hall of Monteporzio. On this occasion, I learned about the beginning of the association Il Mosaico launched by Fr Mario Longoni and supported by a fairly substantial group of young people he had rallied around the project of the Casa Famiglia. Thus I returned to the Villa del Pino, to learn more about AIDS, but also to understand more about this new form of volunteering in our country.

That was in March 23 years ago. Since then I have been involved quite regularly in the life of the House of Welcome and with initiatives of the association, such as study days and days of deepening understanding, organized to go to the heart of the problem and allow a more rational and conscious approach to a reality as complex as AIDS. Training courses were then set up to allow volunteers to support people with AIDS in the best possible way.

The reality of the Casa Famiglia was very hard, especially in the early years. At the time, the care was not very effective, so that in one way or another the problems associated with AIDS quickly overwhelmed our young people. For many volunteers, it was difficult to persevere in the long term faced with the reality of death and the abrupt discontinuation of newly formed friendships. Many have moved away. Some of us, however, have maintained commitment to the association.

Throughout these years of collaboration, we have come to understand the meaning and reason behind the principles of the association. In their daily activities, the association has in fact wanted to make the spirituality of St Michael Garicoits its own, which we can easily sum up, I believe, by the witness given by the Fathers of the Community of Villa del Pino and by the witness they continue to give through their involvement with those who have AIDS. This commitment is reflected by daily genuine gestures of welcome towards the poor, regardless of religion or social condition, without judging or censoring behaviour or personal choice, but by choosing to be with people by supporting them and being attentive to their needs. This was and remains for us a shining example in that it really adheres to the Gospel precept of solidarity towards the poor and marginalized, away from the spotlight and all forms of self-gratification.

Antonio Vicari

The experience of the Casa Famiglia, subject to the requirements of regulatory bodies, experienced difficulties due to its growth: the specifications and demands to be accredited to the Lazio Region have given rise to a number of procedural, administrative and economic obstacles, that have troubled the organisation in its operation and its economic viability. The association Il Mosaico, with the help of the Fathers of the Community and in close contact with their superiors, sought to find an adequate solution to allow the work to continue. This is how the management of the House came to be entrusted to a cooperative. Relieved of this management, Il Mosaico will continue its volunteer activity in working with guests to help maintain the spirit and family atmosphere that were the primary objectives of their presence in the House of Welcome.

Document Actions

Upcoming Events
XXVIII GENERAL CHAPTER Jun 09, 2023 - Jun 29, 2023 — The Seven Fountains - Chiang Mai - Thailand
Upcoming events…
« June 2023 »
NEF, Family news


Nef is the official bulletin of the Congregation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Betharram.
Nef is edited by the General Council.

You can read the NEF by going to the appropriate section of the portal, which also contains the archive of recent years.

Below you find the last three issues ...