The Church commemorates today Our Lady of Sorrows. To give atmosphere to the Morning Praise, Fr. Joseba Kamiruaga, President of the Iberian Conference, in-charge for the prayer today, offers a video in which, with the background music of the Stabat Mater of Pergolesi, the suffering of the world and the sorrow of so many mothers is stressed. At the end of the prayer, a video is projected on the missions of the Provinces of Iberia in different parts of the world.
Fr. Miguel Ángel Velasco, new General Prefect of Apostolate, leads the morning activities. He proposes meeting by Continents to debate on two points:
1. To determine which are the two most important priorities; and
2. What would be missing in each one of the themes presented yesterday.
In the second morning session, the secretaries of each group (Africa, America, Asia and Europe) present their conclusions.
About the biblical ministry the groups favour the biblical schools with a popular sense (counting on the collaboration of specialists, Fr. General adds), adapted to the environment of each place. They stress the importance of training leaders for this apostolate and suggest connecting it with the youth ministry, with justice and peace, and with the Forge.
Training for the new technologies is important, but we are reminded that they are not reduced to Internet, and the training cannot be limited to the education field, but it should have an evangelizing outlook and function. It is very good that a Secretariat was constituted with this mission. With regard to the Secretariat of JPIC, what has been done so far is well appreciated, but it is necessary to inform and motivate both persons and communities; its materials must be included in the programmes of initial formation and we must work with others in shared mission.
The Missions Procure should be constituted in all the Major Institutes and information should be given about the local entities that can collaborate and offer resources. It would be good to link the Procure with the vocational ministry and with JPIC at the time of elaborating materials.
Other interventions stress the observance of the criteria adopted six years ago in Vic, in the Encounter of the General Government with the Major Superiors. It would be useful, in the opinion of one member, to prepare a booklet in which the objectives, criteria and procedures would be gathered, and models would be offered for them. The work done by the Secretariat of vocational ministry is positive. In addition to the school of animators, several suggestions are made: the work in the university environment, the creation of an atmosphere of vocational enthusiasm by cultivating the experience of faith and the commitment with justice, linking the vocational ministry with all the apostolates, especially with the youth and family ministry; rebuilding the experience of God from childhood and preparing materials that will make Claret and the Congregation known.
If it is necessary to coordinate the publishing work that is being done in our Major Institutes, and to train people who can manage the publishing houses, it is most important to encourage some persons to write and to publish Claretian themes, that popular materials with wide dissemination be published, even for free distribution.
The participation in the World Youth Day is also dealt with. In principle, the participation of the youth from the south hemisphere, where it is winter and people are in full academic or labour activity, does not appear easy. We will have to study the way to get the greatest possible number of participants and to give continuity to this event.
In the afternoon, Fr. Domingo Grillía, General Econome, presents the part of economy of the dossier of the General Government. He reports on the movement of the general Administration, on its economic situation, on the constructions and their financing.
In the opinions of Fr. Domingo, in view of the present economic situation, it is necessary to increase the goods of the Major Institutes and to open them to the universality of the mission of the Congregation, by studying the possibilities of obtaining greater productive income from the patrimony and for the Major Institutes that are financially dependent on others, to seek the way to become self-sufficient.
Another way to follow is the centralization and coordination, in accordance with the dispositions of the Directory, with a good information and always with transparency at all levels. And finally, to improve the quality of our administrations through the co-responsibility of all the government instances, the religious and professional control of our economic management, the use of updated instruments and actualized administrative and accounting techniques, and the formation of economes and administrators.
The questions that are posed to the reflection of the groups are: what concerns or worries are aroused by the information given and what clarifications or additional information do they want?
After a time of discussion by linguistic groups, some questions are presented in the hall, which the participants in the Encounter wish to have clarified.
The celebration of the Eucharist begins with a few minutes’ delay. It is prepared by the Conference of Iberia, and presided over by the Cardinal Archbishop of Madrid, Card. Antonio M. Rouco. At the beginning of the Eucharist, Fr. General addresses a welcoming greeting to the Cardinal and explains the motive of our meeting. The Cardinal shares also the meal with us.