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Pope taps Little Brother of Jesus as rector of Rome's seminary


Father Gabriele Faraghini, right, a member of the Little Brothers of Jesus, has been appointed rector of the Diocese of Rome's main seminary by Pope Francis. The Little Brothers of Jesus, an order founded by Blessed Charles de Foucauld, usually do not hold positions in diocesan institutions, but live in small communities and often have jobs involving manual labor. (CNS photo/ courtesy of the Little Brothers of Jesus)

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VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- When Pope Francis chose one of the Little Brothers of Jesus to be rector of the Diocese of Rome's main seminary, members of the order founded by Blessed Charles de Foucauld were stunned.

"The explicit request of Pope Francis" that Father Gabriele Faraghini, 51, be released for service as the seminary rector "was, for our little fraternity, a bolt out of the blue, a novelty that literally floored everyone," said a note posted on the brothers' website. But the order's general chapter confirmed the nomination, which was announced July 31.

Most of the brothers live in small communities with a home life revolving around eucharistic adoration and prayer. Many of them, the priests included, are manual laborers, who strive simply to be a presence of friendship and solidarity with their co-workers and neighbors. Service in diocesan institutions and offices is not a normal part of their ministry, although it is not explicitly excluded.

Father Faraghini studied at the Rome diocesan seminary and was ordained for the Diocese of Rome in 1992, although he already had begun exploring the teachings of Blessed Charles and life with the Little Brothers of Jesus, according to the order's announcement of his appointment. Superiors at the seminary had encouraged him to continue toward ordination while discerning his "call within the call" to priesthood and religious life.

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