How our group was created:
Along the history of the Stigmatines in Brazil – since the first Stigmatines arrived here, in 1910 – many devotees of St. Gaspar Bertoni existed, as well as many collaborators to the Stigmatine congregation. Also, many works about the Bertonian Charism have been developed along this time. In particular, in 1991, a group of Stigmatine laity was formed at the Stigmatine parish of the Holy Family, in São Caetano do Sul, SP; and in that same year some lay Stigmatines began to develop works on the Bertonian spirituality at the Stigmatine parish of St. Benedict, in Campinas, SP.
However, there was Fr. Paulo Staut, a Stigmatine priest of the Province of the Holy Cross at that time, who had the initiative of join all the individual and group efforts under the spiritual direction of the province. This group, as a unity, was named ‘Bertonian Family’, commonly known by the nickname of ‘FABER’.
The province-wide Bertonian Family began to be shaped in the year 1999, and one of our first activities was an ‘afternoon of prayers’ in early July, for the upcoming parish missions in the city of Ilhéus, in the state of Bahia, where the bishop was (and remains to date) the Most Rev. Mauro Montagnoli, CSS. This event was held at the Seminary of Philosophy in Campinas, in the state of São Paulo.
Still in the year 1999, in December, the Bertonian Family held the first annual formation meeting of the Stigmatine Laity, at the Seminary of Philosophy, in Campinas, SP, with the motto: “Living our Christian Life under the light of St. Gaspar Bertoni’.
The Superior Provincial, Fr. José Odail Pertile, CSS, addressed the laity about the wish of the province of developing a work with the laity, inviting the ones devoted to St. Gaspar Bertoni to join the just-created Bertonian Family.
Fr. Paulo Staut spoke about how Fr. Bertoni, with the strength of his faith and abandonment in God’s hands, faced and overcame all the difficulties of his time and founded the Stigmatine congregation, being this an example and encouragement for the laity, for do not discourage before difficulties.
In that opportunity, Fr. José Odail Pertile, CSS, the Superior Provincial, inaugurated at tat same building a hall for the Stigmatine laity, for studies and meetings.
In that same encounter, several Stigmatine priests addressed the Stigmatine laity, and the first documents of formation were presented and discussed:
Our rules and guidelines:
The Bertonian Family. since of the beginning, has been counting on one of the Stigmatine priests as our spiritual director.
With the grace of God and the intercession of St. Gaspar Bertoni, many other groups continue being created in other places, including the ones of the other Stigmatine province in Brazil, the Province of St. Joseph.
Every group holds regular meetings of formation and studies, and each province holds an annual encounter of all the groups, usually at the Stigmatine Retreat House and Conference Center (‘Santana Farm’), in the interior of the state of São Paulo.
Our rules and guidelines can be found in further details in our ‘Manual of the Bertonian Family’: