THE LOOM OF THE CLARETIAN FAMILY
We come to the end of our encounter and we thank God for all that we have shared during these days. Before leaving for the General Curia of the Claretian Missionary Sisters to celebrate together the Eucharist of the Solemnity of Mary Immaculate and to have lunch together, at the beginning of the morning, we gathered to listen to the reading of the minutes of the X Encounter which were approved with few modifications. We also approved the final letter of the meeting which we share with you below.
LETTER FROM THE 10TH ENCOUNTER OF THE CLARETIAN FAMILY
TO ALL OUR SISTERS AND BROTHERS IN THE CHARISM
Rome, 8 December 2021
Accompanied by the harmonious sound of the loom machines, the leaders and representatives of the eight branches of the Claretian family have held our 10th World Encounter in Rome, at the Retreat House of the Passionists in Rome’s Caelian Hill. Although the pandemic has made us reconsider our initial programme – this encounter was planned to be held in Londrina (Brazil) – the Spirit has allowed us to continue tuning our hearts and interweaving our threads to weave a beautiful cloth with the colour of our family together with the whole Synodal Church, which wants to shelter the world with the warmth of the joy of the Gospel.
These have been days of blessing, of joyful reunion, of cordiality and intense work, in which we have felt like a single community, a single family. We have made a pleasant memory of the immense gift of so many people who, throughout the ten meetings held in almost forty years of history, have marked our journey as a family. And we have celebrated all the seeds of life that in these last four years, starting from the Mühlberg commitments, have been germinating, producing significant fruits thanks to a work carried out as a family and energised by a general coordination team: the reflection on the common traits that identify us as members of the same family, the meetings and teams of Youth and Vocations Ministry, including the WYD in Claretian Family (CF), the impulse of the network of young people +18 “Claret Way”, the solidarity and emergency fund SOS-CF, the strategic plan of Laudato Si’ in CF, the coordinated work in Solidarity and Mission with the celebration of the world days of the UN and the ecclesial ones, the fourth Congress of Educators of the Claretian Family, the advances in communication (new website), and the whole process of preparation of this 10th encounter with the novelty of a motivating formative encounter by Fr. Adrián de Prado cmf on 13 November entitled “Where the threads cross. From family to familiarity“…. We recognised with joy the “so much good” that is being done, and at the same time we felt motivated to continue to glimpse all the much good that the creativity of the Spirit places on the horizon as God’s project for our family.
In an atmosphere of open and sincere dialogue, we have carried out a communal discernment enlightened by other ecclesial visions and experiences. In the light of this discernment, we dare to say that at this historic moment, the Spirit is calling us to go a step further, and to move from familiarity to communion. It is no longer a matter of simply being side by side, but of being intertwined, for a communion made of reciprocity, consonance, practice of sharing, common mission, discernment… where we all grow in the exercise of the exchange of gifts. A sense of belonging and intentional participation is necessary, while respecting the times of all.
Because “it is in communion – even if it is difficult – that a charism reveals itself to be “authentically and mysteriously fruitful” (EG 130). Claret dreamt of a family, and we are a family. We feel we are a family, which from the complementarity of gifts longs to place the shared charism at its centre. It is the responsibility of all of us to guard and make visible in the Church and in the world this gift received, strengthening our identity, and configuring ourselves as an entity at the service of evangelisation. To this end, we have decided to begin the process of acquiring legal personality as a charismatic family, giving witness to unity while respecting differences and particularities.
Drawing from our charismatic roots, like Claret we want to think only of seeking the greater glory of God, always imitating Jesus Christ in praying, working and suffering: praying as an invitation to a profound relationship with God until Jesus himself is imprinted in our hearts; working as an invitation to conversion so that our evangelising action is shaped by life; and suffering as an invitation to oblation and unreserved dedication to the mission entrusted to us by the Spirit.
And with this missionary identity, we intend to continue to grow as a family. To this end, we want to face the following challenges
- the promotion of common formative meetings at local, regional and world level,
- the reflection and establishment of a communication strategy,
- the use of the different meeting forums to continue sharing initiatives in Solidarity and Mission -in particular, offering our Claretian perspective within the sphere of the Non-Governmental Organisations accredited to the United Nations-,
- the enthusiastic spreading of the family spirit in all our local realities, encouraging the celebration of fraternal encounters that allow us to strengthen ties through the mutual knowledge of the different branches.
As Claretian family, we feel strongly called to share the synodal journey of the Church from the search for new and creative responses to the challenges of the contemporary world, from the prophecy of communion for a universal fraternity (cf. FT 95-96).
Commended to the Heart of Mary, our Immaculate Mother, whose feast we have been able to celebrate together, we wish to unite in a community prayer, so that the Lord may grant us the grace to continue to grow as a family and to be ever more sensitive to the voice of God who speaks to us through life.
The Lord has been great with us, and we are rejoicing, blessed be the Lord!
Participants of the X Claretian Family Encounter
Missionaries Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (CMF)
Religious Sisters of Mary Immaculate Claretian Missionaries (RMI)
Missionary Sisters of Mary Immaculate (MMI)
Cordimarian Missionary Sisters (MCM)
Daughters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary – Cordimarian Filiation (HICM)
Missionary Sisters of the Claretian Institution (MIC)
Missionary Sisters of St. Anthony Mary Claret (MSAMC)
Lay Claretians Movement (SSCC)