List of circular Letters by Dom Ambrose



November 16, 1982

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This is not the usual circular letter sent out about Christmas time but a special message to let you know about a special event. This morning, here in Rome, the plenary Congregation of the Cardinals in the Sacred Congregation for the Causes of Saints voted affirmatively on a miracle attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God, Sister Maria Gabriella SAGGHEDU. This means in practice that the way in now open for the beatification of Sister Maria Gabriella. All that remains is for the Holy Father to decide the date. Many are hoping it will be during the week of prayer for Christian Unity, January 1983. Needless to say this Beatification is an important event for our Order and for the Church, especially in the field of ecumenism.

I won't try to write a panegyric on Sr Gabriella as you already are well acquainted with the facts of her life. At the recent meeting of the Consilium Generale and the Preparatory Commission of Abbesses at N.D. des Neiges, we discussed the possibility of this beatification and it was agreed that the delegate of each Region should be entrusted with the task of "sensitizing" the monasteries of the Region to the importance of the occasion and also to see that the mass media be informed of the event and be supplied with appropriate material. In particular it seems indicated that special attention should be given to informing ecumenical circles of the beatification.

It was taken for granted at Neiges that our Italian communities will be represented at the ceremony. On the point as to whether other monks and nuns of the Order be present the Consilium Generale voted 10 yes 4 no 1 abst while the Preparatory Commission 3 yes 6 no 1 abst. Put together the votes were 13 - 10 - 2. In any case these votes were only a recommendation to the Abbot General. It is not easy to interpret this result. It seems that some felt that the Order should be represented in strength while others did not want to exclude the possibility of somebody being sent as a special favour; while still others felt it would be a greater witness to stay at home. I myself tend to be in favour of this third view. In any case I do not intend to invite monks and nuns of the Order to come to Rome for the ceremony but I will not be upset if de facto a few do come. However it will not be possible to offer accommodation at the new Generalate (to which we will be moving this month) because of the lack of rooms. We are hoping at a later date to add a few rooms but these will not be ready in January.

It is possible that you have already received a request for funds since there are a number of items to be paid - commemorative medals, the printing of mass booklets, the preparation of reliquaries, an honorarium for the use of the Basilica etc....Even if you haven't received such a request an offering will be gratefully received. These donations may be sent directly to the monastery of Vitorchiano or to F. Paolino BELTRAME the Postulator for the Cause.

In conclusion may I ask your prayers that this beatification will bring glory to God, vocations to the Order and a powerful stimulus to the work for the Unity of all Christians.

With all good wishes,

Yours sincerely,

Ambrose Southey