Rome, Italy. The Superior General of the Claretian Missionaries, Fr. Mathew Vattamattam, CMF, and his council have continued their recent tradition of spending the month of October together, holding multiple council sessions. After concluding their intensive sessions, Father General and his consultors began traveling again. The Superior General attended the celebrations of the first fifty years of Claretian presence in Nigeria before traveling to Madagascar. Sister Priscilla Latella, RMI, the Superior General of the Religious of Mary Immaculate Claretian Missionary Sisters (RMI), accompanied him on this trip to Madagascar.
In the month of October, the General Government started its month of councils, as is customary in March. The first three days were spent outside of Rome in a sharing session. The day that is usually dedicated to ongoing formation was different this time, as the General Governments of the Claretian Missionaries and the RMI spent several hours of work together. The encounter was of special value as the Claretian Sisters had celebrated their General Chapter last summer. The consultors with common responsibilities were able to exchange information and get to know each other.
A few days later, Fr. Mathew and his consultors received a visit from the Superior General of the Missionary Sisters of St. Anthony Mary Claret, M. Ana Bruscato, MC, with whom they also had the opportunity to go over some issues and projects that affect both congregations.
The Government held work sessions that included virtual meetings with various Major Superiors, Councils, and Prefects. They also paused their regular program to attend the inauguration of the new academic year at the Institute of Consecrated Life (Claretianum) in Rome and to celebrate the feast of St. Anthony Mary Claret with the Claretian Family of Rome.
The General Consultors were also able to participate in two particular moments of prayer called for by Pope Francis to pray for peace in the world.
The Council made a special arrangement to separate on Wednesday afternoons from the local community of the General Curia to have a unique moment of prayer. During this time, they read and reflected on the documents that framed the celebration of the Synod and followed the proceedings with intercession and interest. This was a novel experience for the Council.
On October 28th, 2023, Father General presided over a Mass for the deceased Claretians at the Verano Cemetery in Rome. Afterward, he left for Nigeria. Father Joseph Mbungu-Mutu, CMF, had left a few hours earlier for the Independent Delegations of Congo (Democratic Republic of Congo), Cameroun (Republic of Cameroon), and Padre Xifré (Equatorial Guinea and Gabon). On November 6th, 2023, Fr. Manuel Tamargo, CMF, General Econome, also left for Indonesia for the Assembly of Indonesia-Timor Leste Independent Delegation. In the coming days, Fr. Henry Omonisaye, CMF, General Prefect of Bible and Communication, will be travelling to Kenya. Meanwhile, Fr. Carlos Sánchez Miranda, CMF, General Prefect of Spirituality and Community Life, is currently in Rome, accompanying the confreres who are participating in the Forge experience and have gone on pilgrimage to the Eternal City.
During the intense council meetings, one of the most significant decisions was to convert the Northeast India Independent Delegation into a Province. This decision was executed on November 1, 2023, on the Solemnity of All Saints. The Government spent many hours studying reports sent by the Major Superiors of the Congregation on their Provinces and Delegations. They also prepared for the upcoming meeting that will bring together Fr. Mathew, all the Consultors, and the General Secretary with the Governments of the Claretian Provinces of Europe in Vic in December. During the month-long intensive council meetings, they discussed the canonical visits made to Europe this year and planned for those to be made to the Major Organisms of Africa in 2024. The Superior General also gave a report on his visit to the communities of Mozambique at the end of September.
As it has become a tradition in recent years, the General Government spent an afternoon with its closest collaborators. These included members of the communications and finance teams, the archivist, postulator, and procurator general, the mission procurator, the JPIC secretary, and the secretary of the prefectures.
Source: General Prefect of Apostolate