Rome, Italy. The General Curia of the Claretian Missionaries in Rome hosted a meeting of the General Team of Solidarity and Mission (SOMI) of the Congregation during the first days of November 2023, with the participation of its six members.
Frs. Pedro Belderrain, CMF (General Prefect of Apostolate), Lord M. Winner, CMF (General Mission Procurator) and Antonio Llamas, CMF (Secretary General of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation), residing in Rome, were joined by the three Claretian Missionaries who carry out tasks at the United Nations in New York and Nairobi, Frs. Rohan Dominic and Henry Ramirez, CMFF, assigned in the United States of America, and Br. Robert A. Omondi, CMF, in Kenya.
The meeting brought together the heads of SOMI area departments in person for the first time. Their usual meetings are held online.
Those gathered discussed the Dream of the Congregation and the beautiful and demanding proposal made in its sixth clause, which calls for a Congregation committed to universal fraternity, justice, peace, and care for the common home, which walks in synodality, collaborating with all types of people to transform the world according to God’s plan (cf. QC 79-86).
During the meeting, the participants discussed the importance of ‘Solidarity and Mission’ in the Congregation’s life. They expressed gratitude to the individuals and groups who shared their thoughts on the topic from different places and continents. The presence of two missionaries who had previously participated in the ‘JPIC and Solidarity’ meeting in 2014, and members of the last five General Chapters, added value to the dialogue. The participants’ experience in missionary work on the ground, animation of the missions, and the area of JPIC, enriched the quality of the discussion. Additionally, the presence of the participants before the United Nations added to the overall significance of the meeting.
The Team members have scheduled a series of online meetings to plan for the year 2024. They plan to share their reflections with the Congregation to enlighten the SOMI commitment in communities, positions, and Major Organisms. During their week of work, the team had two lengthy meetings with the Congregation’s Communications Team (iClaret), participated in an ongoing formation session of the General Curia community, and held an informal meeting with the members of the General Government present in Rome.
Fr. Vincent Anes, CMF, who has served the Congregation for six years as Secretary General of JPIC, shared his experience and vision for the future with those present. The team meeting began in the Curia chapel, where time was spent in contemplation of the mural painted by Fr. Maximino Cerezo CMF and in prayer with the poem-prayer composed on it by Bishop Pedro Casaldáliga CMF, made his own by the General Chapter of 2015. The team, which shared several moments of prayer with the Curia community, animated the Eucharistic celebration on November 2, during which they remembered so many innocent people and pastoral workers who died as a result of injustice and violence.
Meeting with Proclade Internazionale Onlus
On Friday, November 3, 2023, the team interrupted its sessions for a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Proclade Internazionale Onlus. This circumstance allowed the three missionaries assigned to the United Nations to spend some time with the Board, to which they usually send two reports every year. Proclade Internazionale Onlus is recognized by various United Nations bodies, especially the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), as an organization accredited to the United Nations. In this capacity, Fr. Rohan Dominic, CMF, and Br. Robert Omondi, CMF, will represent the foundation and present the Congregation at COP 28, the Conference on Climate Change, to be held in a few weeks in Dubai.
SOMI, a widespread Claretian commitment
Those gathered noted with joy that many missionaries and Christian communities are encouraging commitments related to Solidarity and Mission throughout the Claretian Congregation. The team intends to be at their disposal and help make the Chapter provisions a reality. By 2027, “respect for and protection of the integrity of creation” will have substantially transformed the Claretian way of life, and “the struggle for justice, peace-building and care for the common good” will – God willing – be hallmarks of their spirituality.
During the meeting, the team had a discussion about the Claretian Spirituality Congress that will be held in 2024, organized in the context of the Jubilee Year of the Congregation. They were pleased to note the depth of faith and spirituality of many people who are committed to SOMI and its values. Additionally, the team explored the experience of the Vatican Dicastery for Integral Human Development, which was established in 2016. They also studied various texts from John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis on the social dimension of faith, the divine preference for the poor, and the importance of commitment to creation, peace, and justice.
Source: General Prefecture of Apostolate