Our history

Our history

1974 – 1980
The first steps in Sardegna...

t all began in the house of the Xaverian missionaries in Cagliari. A group of young people, led by Fr. Luigi Prandin and Maria Luigia Corona, lived an experience of community, friendship and missionary spirituality, choosing to live the Gospel daily. The awareness of a call of consecration to God gradually matured in many of them, giving life to a new missionary reality in the Church.

Foundation of the Missionary Community of Villaregia

Msgr. Sennen Corrà, bishop of Chioggia, welcomed the young group into the Venetian diocese and established the community as a pious union of worship and religion. Msgr. Corrà recognized in this first group of young people so eager to live a life of evangelical radicality the action of God who, through His Spirit, arouses new charisms in the Church that respond to the needs of the times.  

The name "Missionary Community" describes our reality: people who wish to live in fraternal communion, therefore "community"; called and committed to living the mission, in the specific connotation of “mission ad gentes” (to the peoples).  

The specification “di Villaregia” refers to the name of the small town set in the Diocese of Chioggia, where the mother-house of the Community is located. 

New legal status and development

Under the new code of the canon law, on March 25th, Msgr. Corrà erected the Community as a public association of the faithful of diocesan right. In December 1985, the Community crossed the European borders to settle in Latin America, namely in Belo Horizonte (Brazil) and in Lima (Peru). 

"Go to all over the world"

The number of members was increasing and new houses were opening in Italy, in the dioceses of Nola (1989) and Pordenone (1991), and abroad in the Ivory Coast (1991) and, in years to come, in Mexico and Puerto Rico. 

Pontifical recognition

On May 26th the Pontifical Council for the Laity established the Community as an international public association of the faithful. The Statutes, after five years ad experimentum, obtained final approval on May 26, 2007. 

The family becomes bigger. Towards Mozambique

The Community is supported by affiliated non-profit organizations, one of which is active in international cooperation and promotes development projects. The NGO Missionary Community of Villaregia for Development (Comivis, Comunità Missionaria di Villaregia per lo Sviluppo) was founded in Italy and collaborates with other associations in projects for the local population in countries where the Community is present.  

In 2009 some missionaries left for Mozambique where a new mission in the suburbs of the capital, Maputo, was started. 

A delicate phase in the life of the Community

In 2012, the Pontifical Council for the Laity, after an in-depth investigation, decreed the removal of the founders of the Community from the role of presidents, and appointed Fr. Amedeo Cencini as Pontifical Commissioner for guiding the Community until 2015.  

The Pontifical Council for the Laity accompanied this phase of the life of the Community with great concern, fully confirming the validity of the charism and encouraging the members to continue their mission with dedication to the charism and further initiatives for evangelization.  

In July 2015, the General Assembly was convened: Fr. Amedeo Porcu, the new president, and the members of the presidential council were finally elected. 

A new presence in Burkina Faso and the birth of Cuoremondo

Cardinal Philippe Ouedraogo, archbishop of Oaugadougou, capital of Burkina Faso, welcomed the missionaries to start a new mission on the outskirts of the city.  

In the meanwhile, in Nola, inspired by a group of volunteers, Cuoremondo was created as a volunteer association affiliated to the Community to promote solidarity, volunteer and cultural activities, environmental responsibility and the fight against poverty throughout the Italian territory. Among its actions, Cuoremondo supports projects in so-called development countries and social activities in Italy. The objective of the association is to support the missionary activities of the Community and the development projects of the Missionary Community of Villaregia for Development (Comivis). Cuoremondo has offices set in Lonato del Garda (Brescia), Pordenone, Quartu Sant’Elena (Cagliari), Rome and Villaregia (Rovigo). 

At the service of local poverty

CMVper is the third civil society organization affiliated with the Community. Established in Porto Viro, it originated from the commitment of the Missionary Community of Villaregia to provide a response to the challenges of immigration and local poverty in Italy. The focus is to humanize the hospitality of political asylum seekers and immigrants, facilitating their integration and social inclusion. It also works to sensitize and mobilize Catholic people and all citizens to the values of welcoming foreigners, and to make them witnesses and builders of a more fraternal and supportive society. CMVper has currently five offices in the following Italian regions: Veneto, Campania, Emilia-Romagna and Sardegna. 

A new presence near Bologna

A new community began its journey in Vedrana in 2018, a few kilometers from Bologna. The Archbishop of Bologna, Matteo Zuppi, invited the Community to serve migrants and develop missionary and charitable animation activities, focusing especially on a greater involvement of the local youth. 

A new destination: Ethiopia

Missionaries Fr. Emanuele Ciccia, Teresa Zullo, Elisabetta Fabbri and Maria del Carmen Pagan reached Ethiopia to give life to a new mission. The Community has been invited by Fr. Angelo Antolini, apostolic prefect of Robe, to enliven the Church in Ethiopia. The Community has been called to bear witness to the Gospel and to promote social and development actions in the Kofele region. 

Together for the Covid emergency

First there was the flooding in Belo Horizonte, then the Covid-19 pandemic emergency afterwards. All this has led the Community to mobilize in all its headquarters around the world to respond to the needs of those affected.

The V General Assembly

From June 29 to July 18, the general assembly is convened to elect the new presidency and define the programmatic document for the years to come.

Briseida Cotto Ayala is elected president. The vice-president is Fr. Giorgio Parenzan, the councilors are Angel Gabriel Cortes Colon, p. Antonio Serrau and Antonietta Tufano.

The ecclesial family

The journey towards the new configuration as an Ecclesial Family of Consecrated Life begins with which the Community will assume a juridical guise and a physiognomy more in keeping with its plurivocational charism.