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About Us

Who we are?

Our-history

The Camillian Disaster Service International (CADIS) is inspired by the heroic commitment of the Camillians in witnessing the corporal and spiritual works of mercy during the massive plagues, epidemics and wars in Italy and Hungary - the so-called Festivals of Charity of the 16th-17th centuries. Hundreds of Camillians died while assisting the people in the plague-stricken areas. The Camillians vowed to serve the sick even in danger to their own lives and promote the new “School of Charity” (caring for the sick like a mother caring for her only child both corporally and spiritually)  which St. Camillus founded. The corporal and the spiritual works of mercy stand as the primary purpose and the fundamental charism of the “new school of charity of St. Camillus. Today, the Camillians are  engaged in the healthcare ministry of the Church in 37 countries in Europe, Africa, Americas and Asia.

In 1994, the Order has instituted May 25 as the Feast of the Martyrs of Charity in honor of the 300 Camillian martyrs of charity who died witnessing the 4th vow, i.e., service to the sick even in danger to their own lives.

In 1995, the 54th General Chapter of the Order has mandated the General Council to study and establish a Task Force that would respond to the socio-health emergencies of the time. A Central Commission was formed by a group of Camillian religious and lay collaborators whose special task is to organize a special team of health professionals, lay and religious ready to intervene in any event of disasters which was then called the Camillian Task Force (CTF).

The frequency and growing magnitude of natural and man-made disasters calls for the creative engagement of the Camillian Task Force with the vulnerable communities often affected by disasters. In 2015, the CTF was transformed into a legal foundation duly registered to the government of Italy called the Camillian Disaster Service International (CADIS) Foundation. CADIS adherents serve the most vulnerable families with passion and focused commitment, rooted as it were on the prophetic spirit of St. Camillus de Lellis.

The Camillian Disaster Service International (CADIS) Foundation is a non-profit, legally registered humanitarian and development organization of the Order of the Ministers of the Infirm (Camillians), a Catholic religious Order founded by St. Camillus de Lellis in 1586.

CADIS serves the humanitarian, psychosocial-pastoral and development needs of people affected by the natural and non-natural disasters. It is an expression of the Order’s commitment and support to the global humanitarian mission by witnessing the mercy and compassion of Christ to those who are sick, suffering and most vulnerable populace.

CADIS is composed of lay people, religious (sisters, brothers and priests) and organizations who share its mission and respect the Catholic social teachings and principles and the Camillian spirituality of service to the sick and suffering even at the risk of their own lives.

CADIS has programs in highly disaster-prone countries of Nepal, India, Pakistan, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Haiti, Burkina Faso, Benin, Peru and Chile as well as in Italy and Austria. It works in partnership with the local Church where it is present and with other humanitarian organizations in the ground. In most of these countries, CADIS has strategic local offices as well as local partner organizations to ensure timely, coordinated and organized response to emergencies.

Our Story

Our Inspiration

Our Vision and Mission

Our Core Values

Our Approach (4RS)

Where we work

Rendering service to the victims of disasters and emergencies (wars, epidemics and pestilences) has been in the Heart of the Camillians. From 16th -17th century, those who are joining the Camillians were pretty much aware of its three principal ministries of service to the sick in the a) hospitals, b) homes and c) in times of pestilences or epidemics. In fact, during the 24-year Generalate of St. Camillus 240 Camillian religious died as martyrs in places marred by epidemics and pestilences in Italy. 


In 1994, the Order has instituted May 25 as the Feast of the Martyrs of Charity in honor of the 300 Camillian martyrs of charity who died witnessing the 4th vow, i.e., service to the sick even in danger to our own life. The fourth vow is the very linchpin that opens the door to the Camillians and to all those who share in the spirit of St. Camillus to develop and experience its richness in responding to the signs of the times.

In 1995, the 54th General Chapter (in Bucchianico) of the Order has approved the establishment of a task force that would respond to the socio-health emergencies in the different parts of the world. In April 2000, the General Council, headed by Fr. Angelo Brusco, the former general superior has created a Central Commission led by Fr. Antonio Menegon, together with Frs. Pietro Magliozzi, Sergio Palumbo, Scott Francis Binet, Massimo Miraglio and Mr. Renato Bicego, whose main task is to organize and form a special team of lay and religious ready to intervene in any event of disasters which later on they called the Camillian Task Force (CTF).

This initiative has been supported and developed by the Order in the course of time and reaffirmed by the series of general chapters of 2001 and 2007. Re-inventing and re-creating the original vision of Camillus of a Camillian who is conscious of the new challenges and opportunities of the modern times and willing to live in creative fidelity to his prophetic vocation and preferential choice to serve the poorest of the poor, the Camillian Task Force came to its birth. “It is commonly held belief that it is in opting for the most abandoned that the Order fulfills the prophetic role […] by defending the rights of the weak, […] exposing injustices, intervening with task forces, and focusing attention not just on the individual but also on the formation of healthy and healing communities.” (Cf. 55th Gen. Chapter, 2001). Furthermore, “it is our responsibility to work for justice and solidarity in the world of health together, promoting good cooperation between the Provinces, the Delegations and the great Camillian Family of St. Camillus, and also with members of the laity [...] expressed in different ways, such as, supporting the Camillian Task Force in its urgent interventions in situations of natural catastrophe.” (56th General Chapter, 2007).

In 2004, CTF was raised into an office of the General Council headed by Fr. Scott Binet. In 2007, it was integrated into the office of the Secretariat for Mission headed by Bro. Luca Perletti. In 2010, a reorganization and expansion of CTF were called forth. Since then, the CTF expands to the various provinces and delegations of the Order such as the Philippines, Thailand, India, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Kenya and USA. These offices serve as the primary arm in responding to disasters in their respective places or region. The central office assists these offices in developing their capacities through formative activities, developing emergency intervention plan (short/ long-term programs), and seeking funds and grants to sustain local project/s initiated. The CTF central office does not envision to be a super body that manages and operates in all local disaster intervention projects but maintains its character of being an animator and protagonist to humanitarian missions of the Order.

Our People

Fr. Leocir Pessini, MI

Fr. Leocir Pessini, MI

General Superior

Father Leo is originally from Brazil. He joined the Order of the Ministers of the Infirm (Camillians) and made his solemn profession of vows in 1978 and in 1980, he was ordained priest. He finished Theology at the Pontifical Salesian University of Rome. His passion for research and studies made him pursued specializations in the field of Bioethics (Edinboro University, PA) and a doctorate in Moral Theology (Pontifical Catholic University of Sao Paolo). 

In Brazil, he held various positions in the Camillian Province. He became the vice-Rector of the St. Camillus University Centre, Sao Paolo; President of the Camillian Organizations' Foundation which manages 56 hospitals all over Brazil; provincial superior; and presently the General Superior of the Camillians.  Fr. Leo has authored more than 300 scholarly articles and published books in field of ethics, bioethics, and pastoral care. Above all, he believes that all these gifts he garnered in his life are meant to be shared especially to those who are in the “peripheries” of life (geographical and existential) and CADIS is a concrete expression of it.

Fr. Biju Sebastian, MI

Member, Board of Directors

Fr. Biju Sebastian is a psychotherapist and freelancing trainer. He belongs to the Order of the Ministers of the Infirm, popularly known as Camillians. He obtained his Ph.D. in psychology from Christ University, Bangalore, India. He has been a psychotherapist for more than a decade and has thousands of hours of practice in both individual and family therapy. After his initial training in Christian Medical College, Vellore, India on Care and Management of HIV/AIDS he has been trainer’s trainer in HIV/AIDS care and management for Kerala State and also been HIV/AIDS care and management consultant for Catholic Health Association of India (CHAI). He has authored a couple of books on HIV/AIDS and has also published articles in the same area both in India and abroad. His paper titled “Illness perception and meaning-making of people living with HIV” was awarded the best paper in the international conference on ‘Youth and HIV/AIDS’ organized by AMITY University, Lucknow, India in 2014. Formerly Catholic Chaplaincy co-ordinator in King Edward Hospital for Women and Children, Perth, West Australia, his current interest is in Hypnosis as a psychotherapy method and is a member of California School of Hypnosis. He is currently the director of Snehatheeram Care and Support Centre for people living with HIV, Cochin, Kerala and the chief counselor of Sneha Counselling Centre, Cochin. He is also part-time faculty at the Department of Psychology, Rajagiri College of Social Sciences, Cochin, Kerala. Currently, he is pursuing Bachelor’s in Law (LLB) from the Karnataka State Law University. 

Fr. Biju Sebastian, MI
Fr. Shukrani K. Mbirigenda, M.I.

Fr. Shukrani K. Mbirigenda, M.I.

Member, Board of Directors

Fr. Shukrani K. Mbirigenda (Ph.D.) is a priest in the Order of St. Camillus (OSC) born 7th January 1973 and ordained in 2005. He is currently a lecturer of Development Studies at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) of the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. His Ph.D. in Development Studies was on “Corporate Governance and Corporate Social Responsibility.” He also possesses M.A. degree in Development Studies (University of Dar es Salaam), B.A. in Philosophy (Urbaniana University, Rome -Italy), B.A. in Religious Studies (Catholic University of Eastern Africa, CUEA, Nairobi -Kenya), Diploma in Social Communication (Tangaza College, Catholic University of Eastern Africa, CUEA, Nairobi -Kenya), Certificate in Theory of Music (London Royal Schools of Music, London -UK), and also studied at the Master’s programme for Development and International Cooperation at the Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy (Jyvaskyla University, Finland) and Research Methods, Climate Change and Sustainable Development (University of Helsinki, Finland). Some of his areas of research interest include Corporate Governance and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), ethics, global economic inequalities, philosophical sagacity, youth risk behaviors and HIV/AIDS (health and development) and Development Management. He has been a Delegate of Camillians in Tanzania for 7 years and a president of Religious Superiors’ Association of Tanzania (RSAT) for 5 years. He has sat as a board member of Jordan University College that is affiliated to St. Augustine University of Tanzania (SAUT), has held positions as Undergraduate Studies and Postgraduate Studies Coordinator at IDS. At present, he is a board member of the Catholic Scholarship of Tanzania (CSPT) and a member of Editorial Board of International Journal of Creative and Innovative Research in All Studies (IJCIRAS).

Br. Jose Ignacio Santaolalla Saez, MI

President

Brother Ignacio is from Spain. In 1978, he joined the Camillians and made his solemn profession of vows in 1992. He finished Theology at the Pontifical University of Comillas (Madrid). He went to Rome and obtained his Licentiate in Theology of Pastoral Health (Camillianum). He finished also Business Administration at the University of Madrid and master’s degree on Management of Social Centers for the Elderly at Pablo de Olavide University (Seville). 

In 2014, he was elected to the General Council of the Order and assigned as the General Bursar and the legal representative of the Order. He is the President of the Camillian Disaster Service International (CADIS) Foundation. While in Spain, he held various positions in the Camillian Province of Spain. He was an administrator of the Centre for the Humanization of Health, provincial councilor, director of the St. Camillus Home for the Aged in Seville, and vice-President of the St. Camillus Hospital Foundation of Sant Pere de Ribes. With his impressive track record of being an administrator, he believes that he can contribute to make CADIS innovative and faithful to its vision and mission.

Br. Jose Ignacio Santaolalla Saez, MI
Fr. Aristelo Miranda, MI

Fr. Aristelo Miranda, MI

Executive Director

Father Aris is from the Philippines. He joined the Camillians and made his solemn profession of vows in 1994. In the same year, he was ordained priest. He finished Philosophy at the St. Camillus College Seminary (Marikina) and Theology at the Loyola School of Theology (Manila). He obtained two licentiates in Theology of Pastoral Health at Camillianum and in Social Sciences at Angelicum (Rome). 

In the Philippines, he held various positions as rector of the seminary, registrar, finance administrator, council member of the Camillian Philippine Province, hospital director, international coordinator of the Camillian Task Force (CTF), and at present a member of the General Council and the executive director of CADIS. Fr. Aris has served the humanitarian missions of the Order since 2011 in Asia and Africa, facilitating greater capacity for disaster response within the Provinces of the Order, and coordinating responses to disasters. His compassion towards the most vulnerable and socially excluded populace is an impetus that make him enthusiastic about CADIS.

Fr. Gianfranco Lunardon, MI

Secretary

Father Gianfranco is from Italy. In 1993, he went to University of Padua and obtained his degree in Mathematics specialized in Economic Statistics. In the same year, he joined the Camillians in Verona and studied philosophy and theology at San Zeno Theological College. In 1999, he made his solemn profession of religious vows and was ordained priest in 2000. As a dedicated person, he combined his pastoral activity at the hospital while attending the faculty of Theology. Then, he moved to Rome where he obtained his licentiate in Moral Theology  at the Alphonsianum University and currently, doing his doctorate in the same university. 

He has been active in the chaplaincy ministry in Milan (Sacco) and Bologna (Orthopedic Institute of Rizzoli). He became superior of the Spirituality Center of  Mottinello, Casa Rebuschini (Rome). In 2014, he was elected as General Councilor of the Order and assigned as the Secretary General, and rector of the Basilica of St. Mary Magdalene. His disciplined, articulated and critical thoughts are real challenges to ponder that can make CADIS more in touch with its vision and become creative in its mission.

Fr. Gianfranco Lunardon, MI
Fr. Laurent Zoungrana, MI

Fr. Laurent Zoungrana, MI

Member, Board of Directors

Father Laurent is from Lelgom, Burkina Faso. In 1974, he joined the Camillians and made his solemn profession of vows in 1983. Two years later (1985), he was ordained priest. He finished Philosophy at the Saint Jean Baptiste Seminary (Ouagadougou) and Theology at Saint Pierre-Claver de Koumi (Bobo Dioulasso). Then he went to Rome and did his licentiate in Spirituality at the Pontifical Gregorian University of Rome. 

He worked in formation at various levels for a significant number of years both in Burkina Faso and Italy. He held the following posts: General Consultor of the Camillians (1995), superior of the international community of Camillian students called Casa E. Rebuschini, vice provincial superior of the Burkina Faso Camillian vice Province, president of the Prisoniers Sans Frontière du Burkina (PRSF-Burkina), and presently the Vicar General of the Order (2014) and in charge of the Secretariat for Formation. His natural inclination to formation work made him convinced that humanitarian ministry is more than giving something (handouts charity) but it is being with the most vulnerble that entails serious formation and preparation.

Sr. Liberty Jaraula Elarmo, MI

Member, Board of Directors

Sister Liberty “Beth” Elarmo, MI is a member of the religious congregation sisters’ Ministers of the Infirm (a.k.a Camillian Sisters) and presently assigned in Rome as a member of the General Council of the said congregation. She hails from the Philippines. Sr. Beth is a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. She obtained two master’s degrees in Family Life and Child Development and in Special Education in Manila.

She joined the congregation in 1986 and took her profession of vows as religious in 1991 (Italy). She has an extensive knowledge and experience in Child Development education since 1994 as directress of the Maria Domenica Development Center. She became also a formator of the religious and a delegation superior of the Philippines. In 2014, she was elected to the General Council of the congregation. Her passion to work with the children and the less privileged families will be a great impetus for here in working with CADIS as a member of the board of directors. Sr. Beth is very much interested in doing project research and designing. She has been doing it way back in the Philippines.

Sr. Liberty Jaraula Elarmo, MI
Sr. Sabine Gueswindé Zida, FSC

Sr. Sabine Gueswindé Zida, FSC

Member, Board of Directors

Sr. Sabine is from Burkina Faso. She is a member of a Catholic religious congregation the Daughters of St. Camillus. She finished nursing in Italy and for sixteen years she served in different  hospitals in Burkina Faso, Ivory Cost and Italy as a nurse and administrator. Her zeal to serve the sick has given her the courage and inspiration to serve them without expecting any returns but just for the love of the Lord. Her long experience in the missions both in the least developed and developed countries made her understand the great value of this kind of ministry of caring for the most vulnerable persons.

At her young age, Sr. Sabine was elected to the General Council of the said congregation. Apart from her educational achievement in life and experiences of working in different healthcare facilities, her commitment to serve the sick and the poor is a valuable asset to CADIS to fulfill its vision and mission. She is excited to contribute to the growth and development of CADIS particularly in her congregation where they shared with the Camillians the same charism of mercy towards the sick.


Anita Ennis, RN

Member, Board of Directors
Anita Ennis, RN
Fr. Dietmar Manfred Weber, MI

Fr. Dietmar Manfred Weber, MI

Member, Board of Directors

Our Partners

Farmers' Development Center (FARDEC)

<p>Borne out of the belief that the peasants are an indispensable force in attaining sustainable development, individuals from the church, academe, and peasants grouped together to build an institution for the farmers. Thus in 1989, Central Visayas Farmers Development Center, Inc. was born. Since its inception until today, FARDEC continues to serve as a support institution for the farmers in Central Visayas. Given the situation of the farmers past and present, its development framework rests on the idea of working hand-in-hand with the farmers in attaining genuine agrarian reform and sustainable development. Throughout the years, FARDEC’s programs and services underwent changes to cater to the changing needs of the farmers but its development framework remains the same as the farmers’ situation continues to exist. </p> <p></p>

Our Resources