A World Union of the Sick
VATICAN CITY, 12 JULY 2006 (ZENIT)
Here is the description of the
Silent Workers of the Cross Association, which appears in the Directory
of International Associations of the Faithful, published by the
Pontifical Council for the Laity.
* * *
Official Name: Silent Workers of the Cross Association
History: SODC was established in order to direct, coordinate and
guarantee continuity to the Apostolate of the Suffering which had been
founded in the 1940s by Monsignor Luigi Novarese (1914-1984) in
cooperation with Sister Elvira Myriam Psorulla. In 1952 Monsignor
Novarese led the spiritual exercises for the first SODC group, and it
was decided to build houses for the sick and disabled wishing to repeat
the experience every year. The first house was dedicated to the
Immaculate Heart of Mary.
In 1957 the first SODC community entered what was to become the Mother
House of the association near the Shrine of Vallelungo in the diocese of
Ariano Irpino, Avellino. In 1960, SODC was given canonical approbation
by the diocesan bishop, Monsignor Pasquale Venezia. The development of
the work of the association led Monsignor Novarese to make plans to
expand SODC beyond Italy's borders in order to create what he defined as
the "world union of the sick."
On May 17, 2001 the Pontifical Council for the Laity issued a decree
recognizing the Associazione Silenziosi Operai della Croce as an
international association of the faithful of Pontifical Right.
Identity: The members of the SODC set out to imitate Christ who was
called and sent by the Father to do his will to bring life and salvation
to the world (cf. Hebrews 10:5-8). Consecrating themselves to our Lord
through Mary, they live their total self-giving through the practice of
the evangelical counsels.
In the wide and varied world of suffering, the SODC members set out to
share with everyone else a path of growth and maturity in the faith, so
that the light of Easter can enable all men and women to discover that
they are called to find the meaning of their own suffering and to
proclaim the joy of salvation.
This spirituality of communion with the crucified and risen Christ is
pursued through an organic pastoral ministry, and an apostolate that
values the worth of each one who suffers without distinction.
Organization: SODC is divided into a male branch and a female branch,
each headed by their respective leaders. The association is governed by
a council, chaired by a moderator who implements the resolutions adopted
by the general assembly.
The members of the SODC take part in the life of the association in two
ways: either practicing the common life, or living alone or with their
own families. Whichever they choose, this state of life is considered to
be permanent and is permitted whatever the physical state of health. The
members have the same rights and the same duties, respecting the
differences and peculiarities of their own particular state of life, the
form of participation they have chosen, and the branch to which they
The clerical associates perform their ministry for the purposes of the
association on the basis of agreements between their bishop and the
members of the SODC. The bishops who wish to live the spirit of the
association and support its apostolate are known as aggregate members.
Membership: There are presently 150 members of the association in five
countries: Europe (4), and Middle East (1).
Works: SODC members work in the field of social welfare and
rehabilitation through different types of structures depending upon the
services performed: they manage spirituality and accommodation houses in
Jerusalem, Fatima (Portugal), Glogow (Poland); they organize courses of
spiritual exercises for the sick and the able_bodied who are members of
associations linked to SODC.
Publications: L'Ancora, a monthly information and educational magazine;
L'Ancora nell'unità di salute, a six monthly scientific research and
Web site: http://www.sodcvs.org
Associazione Silenziosi Operai della Croce
Via dei Bresciani, 2 - 00186 Roma - Italy
Tel. [+39]066877127- 066877070
© Copyright 2006
Libreria Editrice Vaticana [adapted]