From June 23-25 twenty-two of the thirty-two bishops are participating in this gathering. They come from Lebanon, Italy, Poland, Colombia, Brazil, Mozambique, India, Madagascar, Ethiopia, Albania, the Ukraine, Argentina, Guatemala and Peru.
These Vincentian Bishops gather together in order to facilitate mutual understanding among our brothers who are members of the episcopate and in order to create the possibility for a closer relationship with the Congregation of the Mission … doing all of this in an environment of shared dialogue, reflection, and celebration of the faith.
On the first day three themes were presented for reflection: “The Present Situation of the Congregation in the World” (presented by Father Gregory Gay, CM), “The Roots of the Vincentian Identity in the ‘Being’ and ‘Doing’ of the Missionary” (presented by Javier Álvarez, Vicar General) and the relationship between bishop-Congregation, Congregation-bishop (a dialogue led by Bishop Varghese Thottamkara, Apostolic Vicar of Nekemte, Ethiopia). The Eucharist was presided by Bishop Luca Brandolini (Bishop-Emeritus of Sora-Cassino-Aquino-Pontecorvo).
It is planned that during the morning of the second day the bishops will participate in the General Audience of Pope Francis. During the afternoon there will be a dialogue about the particular ministry which these individuals exercise in the Church.
The third day will be a time for a spiritual retreat directed by Bishop Alfonso Cabezas (Bishop-Emeritus of the Archdiocese of Villavicencio, Colombia). The gathering will conclude with the celebration of the Eucharist, presided by Cardinal Franc Rode (Bishop-Emeritus, former Prefect for the Congregation of the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life)
On numerous occasions the residents at Casa María Inmaculada (Via Ezio, Rome) have received guests who were to participate in different meetings related to the life of the Congregation of the Mission. This is the first time, however, that they welcome such illustrious guests as our Vincentian Bishops from throughout the world: from Brazil to Papua New Guinea, from Albania to Ethiopia. At a time when preparations are being made for the 2016 General Assembly, the members of the General Curia committed themselves to convoking and organizing this important event.
Translated: Charles T. Plock, CM