Chronicle of the 43rd General Assembly of the Congregation of the Mission, July 7

by | Jul 9, 2022 | Congregation of the Mission, News

After the community celebration of the Eucharist, the Assembly initiated its work with the invocation of the Holy Spirit. A video was presented about the ministry of the Congregation of the Mission at the United Nations and its work with the network of Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation.

The minutes from the previous day were approved and the moderator explained the task for the morning: the delegates will meet in linguistic groups (ten groups) and after reading the synthesis of the consultation with the younger confreres about their dreams for the Congregation of the Mission, will dialogue about the following question: In the context of this General Assembly which seeks to establish priorities for the next six years, what are these dreams of the younger confreres telling us? This dialogue should continue until the time for lunch.

The afternoon session began with a video about the work of the Commission for the Promotion of Systemic Change. Then, after some announcements with regard to the organization of the weekend, the various groups shared their reflections. What follows is a brief summary of those reflections.

  • English Group #1: we spoke about our dreams, about our commitment with the poor and a vibrant community life. We also spoke about service on behalf of the poor and our desire to better know one another and live together as missionary/friends. We ought to renew our call to the mission and to community life. Our vision should be directed to the peripheries.
  • English Group #2: we have to renew our Vincentian identity and offer good formation to the members so that they are able to fulfill their mission. We ought to be attentive to the dimension of human formation, to be faithful to living our common life, to live and minister with joy, and to be attentive to the needs of the poor. We also need to maintain a balance between prayer, pastoral ministry and our common life.
  • English Group #3: we felt it would be necessary to develop a decalogue of priorities for the next six years. We ought to be especially attentive to growth in our vocation and our Vincentian identity.
  • English Group #4: the document upon which we reflected invites us to be faithful to our vocation, to maintain a balance between our pastoral ministry and our life ion common. As evangelizers of the poor, we have to be attentive to the relationships that are being established, work together, dream together, live together. It is important to have in place programs of initial and on-going formation that take into consideration the needs of all.
  • Spanish Group #1: we were happy to see that the first point highlighted by the young confreres was the option for the poor, who are indeed our priority. We have to be mindful of our formation programs, community life, renewal … the dreams of our younger confreres invite us to abandon our comfort zones and live as prophets, faithful to our identity as followers of Jesus Christ, evangelizer of the poor.
  • Spanish Group #2: we ought to be creative and present our charism to the world as we continue to search for the face of God in the midst people who have countless needs. We dream of an empathetic Congregation that is attentive to the signs of the time and seeks for excellence (that is, is not content with mediocrity).
  • Spanish Group #3: it is necessary to revive our Vincentian identity and to be faithful to our call to serve the poor. As missionaries we should be concerned about bettering our formation in order to serve the poor in a more effective manner.
  • Spanish Group #4: we are called to overcome those obstacles that separate us from our vocation of following Christ who calls us to live with and for the poor. Our integral formation ought to be shared and lead us to a commitment with those who are most in need. Three key elements can help us in this matter: an incarnated spirituality, Vincentian witness, and a lifestyle that is appropriate to our vocation.
  • French Group #1: we ought to know how to identify the new present-day poverties and engage in ministry from the perspective of systemic change. Because our ministry includes the formation of candidates for the brotherhood/priesthood, we need competent formators. We also need to revitalize our lifestyle and our common life.
  • French Group #2: four points about the dreams of the younger confreres drew our attention: [1] closeness to the poor as the origin of our vocation; [2] the focus on formation as a life-long process; [3] intensify the practice of charity in the common life; [4] be true witnesses to our missionary vocation.

After this enriching exchange of ideas, the session was concluded with evening prayer.