Silent Workers of the Cross Association
ALSO KNOWN AS
Silenziosi Operai della Croce
SODC was established in order to direct and coordinate and guarantee continuity to the Apostolate of the Suffering (see page 131) which had been founded in the 1940s by Mgr Luigi Novarese (1914-1984) in cooperation with Sister Elvira Myriam Psorulla. In 1952 Mgr Novarese led the spiritual exercises for the first SODC group, and it was decided to build houses for the sick and disabled wishing to repeat the experience every year. The first house was dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In 1957 the first SODC community entered what was to become the Mother House of the Association near the Shrine of Vallelungo in the diocese of Ariano Irpino (Avellino). In 1960 SODC was given canonical approbation by the diocesan bishop, Mgr Pasquale Venezia. The development of the work of the Association led Mgr Novarese to make plans to expand SODC beyond Italy’s borders in order to create what he defined as the "world union of the sick". On 17 May 2001 the Pontifical Council for the Laity issued a decree recognising the Associazione Silenziosi Operai della Croce as an international association of the faithful of Pontifical Right.
The members of the SODC set out to imitate Christ who was called and sent by the Father to do his will to bring life and salvation to the world (cf. Heb 10: 5-8). Consecrating themselves to our Lord through Mary, they live their total self-giving through the practice of the Evangelical counsels. In the wide and varied world of suffering, the SODC members set out to share with everyone else a path of growth and maturity in the faith, so that the light of Easter can enable all men and women to discover that they are called to find the meaning of their own suffering and to proclaim the joy of salvation. This spirituality of communion with the crucified and risen Christ is pursued through an organic pastoral ministry, and an apostolate that values the worth of each one who suffers without distinction.
SODC is divided into a male branch and a female branch, each headed by their respective leaders. The Association is governed by a Council, chaired by a Moderator who implements the resolutions adopted by the General Assembly. The members of the SODC take part in the life of the Association in two ways: either practising the common life, or living alone or with their own families. Whichever they choose, this state of life is considered to be permanent and is permitted whatever the physical state of health. The members have the same rights and the same duties, respecting the differences and peculiarities of their own particular state of life, the form of participation they have chosen, and the branch to which they belong. The clerical associates perform their ministry for the purposes of the Association on the basis of agreements between their bishop and the members of the SODC. The bishops who wish to live the spirit of the Association and support its apostolate are known as aggregate members.
There are presently 150 members of the Association in five countries: Europe (4), and Middle East (1).
SODC members work in the field of social welfare and rehabilitation through different types of structures depending upon the services performed: they manage spirituality and accommodation houses in Jerusalem, Fatima (Portugal), Glogow (Poland); they organise courses of spiritual exercises for the sick and the ablebodied who are members of associations linked to SODC.
L’Ancora, a monthly information and educational magazine; L’Ancora nell’unità di salute, a six monthly scientific research and discussion magazine.
Associazione Silenziosi Operai della Croce
Via dei Bresciani, 2 - 00186 Roma - Italy
Tel. [+39]06.6877127- 06.6877070 - Fax [+39]06.6868032