Trinitarian Order Celebrates Eighth Centenary

Author: LOR


L’OR staff

The Trinitarian Order is celebrating the Eighth Centenary of its Foundation (1198-1998) and the Fourth Centenary of the Reform (1599-1999) from 17 December 1998 until 17 December 1999. The Order was founded by John of Matha for works of mercy, and in a special way for the ransom of Christian captives. Now the Trinitarians turn to face the Order's Gospel and charismatic origins. They want to launch it with new determination to fulfil the mission of charity and redemption for the victimsof persecution, martyrdom and oppression. The new types of slavery ask for help in a special way from the Trinitarians of our time.

The Trinitarians proclaim true freedom for those who lack it, promote the dignity of the poor and oppressed, receive refugees, emigrants and travelers, help those most in need, proclaim the Gospel in mission lands, perform pastoral ministry according to the proper nature of their charism.

The first Trinitarians arrived in the United States in 1906 to work with the Italian emigrants who needed priests who spoke Italian to preserve their faith and establish their parishes along the eastern coast of America. Today the Province has 16 communities, two of which are in India. Pastoral work in parishes and education are the most significant ministries for the religious of this Province. The De Matha Catholic High School near Washington, D.C. has on two occasions been awarded the national prize for education.

The Trinitarians are also developing their missionary apostolate, social works and chaplaincies in prisons, hospitals and nursing homes. In New Orleans with the marginalized and terminally ill, in Washington a reception centre for persecuted believers, in Baltimore lodgings for homeless young men. The work for persecuted Christians has a special emphasis, for two Trinitarians of the Province are becoming members of the Committee for Human Rights of the Congress of the United States. For almost 30 years, the missionary spirit of this American Province led the Trinitarians to India, to settle in the State of Kerala. That effort is producing fruit, since today the Trinitarians have two houses in India: one in Trichūr (Kerala), a minor seminary with about 30 aspirants, and the other in Bangalore (Kārnataka), a major seminary with a dozen students: a few facts which foretell a promising future for native Trinitarian vocations in this country.

To celebrate 800 years of being in the Church at the service of the human being, captive and poor, the Trinitarians renew their Trinitarian-redemptor commitment. In a world in which people and cities suffer persecution and oppression by new and old types of slavery and are stricken in their fundamental values and rights of faith and justice, we want to continue to be vehicles of solidarity, signs of communion and witnesses of renewed hope in the light and love the Most Holy Trinity. Trinitarian International Solidarity (SIT), as an organization of the Trinitarian Family, feels called in a special way to prom awareness of and commitment to the who suffer persecution, captivity or discrimination, by means of information, formation, prayer, guidance and shared projects, Trinitarian International Solidarity is open to all people without distinction of race, culture, sex, language nationality or religion, who want to work with the purpose, objectives and projects of SIT. Delegations of SIT are established in all the nations in which I Trinitarians are present.

Taken from:
L'Osservatore Romano
Weekly Edition in English
25 August 1999, page 8

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