His Most Reverend Excellency the Servant of God Mons. Antonio Bello, our Bishop from 1982 to 1993
Molfetta, 29th June 1985
Most reverend P. Pancrazio, with the present I wish to officially express not only the recognition and approval for the Associazione ‘Casa Betania’ that you preside, but I also intend to communicate my best wishes and my encouragement. I am certain that Our Lord will use this peaceful instrument to promote an inner renewal among the people of this territory, and to give to today’s people, torn apart by a hectic life, that supplement of soul for which we all feel the need. May the Holy Spirit give the gift of hope, the width of utopia and a concrete discernment to you and to all the members of the Fraternity. May the blessings of the Holy Virgin, and my affectionate personal regards, reach you.
(Episcopal decree of recognition of the community ‘Casa Betania’ as Private Association of Faithful, by HE Mons. Antonio Bello).
His Most Reverend Excellency Mons. Donato Negro, our Bishop from 1994 to 2000
Terlizzi, 8th December 1998
Today is a day of grace for this community as Our Lord concedes, through Mary’s hands, the decree with which, starting from today, 8th December, the Association ‘Casa Betania’ becomes an Institute of Consecrated Life of diocesane right, with the name ‘Fraternità Francescana di Betania’. For all this, let us give thanks and praise to the Lord.. An historical event for the community, for the Diocese and for the universal Church, because this is the first experience, in the prospect of the new forms of consecrated life, to receive the authorization on the part of the Holy See to be recognized, with the Bishop’s decree, Institute of Consecrated Life. This event of grace, and historical event, bestows on us great responsibility, so that we may be able to fully respond with enthusiasm and joy, like Mary, to this gift that God has given to our Community. I would like to thank the Lord for the gift of P. Pancrazio, for the gift of the community given to this Diocese and thanks to the Lord for what He will do in his Church, in today’s history, for the salvation of mankind. Best wishes to you all.
(from the speech of H. E. Mons. Donato Negro on 8th December 1998, day of the signature of the decree of recognition of Fraternità Francescana di Betania as Institute of Consecrated Life of diocesan right).
His Most Reverend Excellency Mons. Luigi Martella, our Bishop since 2001
Molfetta, 25th July 2003
[…] The Providence has wanted to give our local Church the privilege to host the first historical core of these pioneers of the Holy Spirit, in the convent of the Capuchin Friars of Terlizzi. From here, as from an irradiating centre, the fresh and sparkling wave of the Spirit moves towards sites of a wider and wider territory.
On the other hand, the expectations of a world that thirsts for God and His love are made evident by many signs often hidden behind deceiving manifestations of plenty and beyond ostentations of fulfilment. The awareness of all this calls urgently for the presence of human lives especially consecrated, bearers of a reconstructive sap of inner life. My wish, therefore, is that the experience of the Franciscan Fraternity of Bethany may represent a new season, filled with evangelical dynamism and may sail toward the boundless horizons of the third millennium of the Christian era.
(from the preface to the book “Sulle Strade di un carisma”- “On the Ways of a charism”- written by His Heminency Mons. Luigi Martella, Bishop of Molfetta-Ruvo-Giovinazzo-Terlizzi).
His Most Reverend Eminence Cardinal Franc Rodé, Prefect of C.I.V.C.S.V.A. (Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life ) since 2004
Terlizzi, 10th December 2007
[…] I must say that I am happy to see you with a frock that indicates your identity, that manifests your vocation and the call which you have answered. And I see you as a large family. Shun any individualism and there may be a great, great internal cohesion among you. Cultivate mutual friendship, so that you may be a great family of brothers and sisters in Christ.
If then you are faithful to your identity in prayer, communal life, poverty as it is stated in your Constitutions, then you will go on and you will be a great movement in the Church, for the world. If you are faithful to your Founding Father and to the spirit that he has left to you, then you will go on and you will be a blessing for the Church and the world.
Thank you Padre Pancrazio: really the guarantee of your family of consecrated is the fidelity to the Church, the fidelity to the Pope. And history clearly shows that the congregations that have been faithful to the Church and to the Pope have been a great blessing for her and have done a huge work among God’s people. If this truthfulness starts to falter, problems ensue. Be faithful to the Church then and to the Holy Father. It is a guarantee for your future.
(from the speech delivered by H. E. Most Reverend Cardinal Franc Rodé, Prefect of C.I.V.C.S.V.A., on the occasion of the closing of the Jubilee of the Fraternità Francescana di Betania).