Seville, Spain. The 21 Local Superiors of the European communities belonging to the Province of Fátima (United Kingdom, Portugal, and southern Spain) held their Assembly with the Provincial Government from Monday, 16 to Thursday, 19 October 2023, at the Provincial Curia in Seville. One of the participants joined digitally due to problems with his visa, and the Major Superior authorized two Local Superiors to be represented by their respective Vicars.
On Tuesday 17th, each Superior presented his respective community, marking the beginning of the new triennium 2023-2026. The situation of many of these communities was striking, given their members’ advanced age and health conditions. This is a crucial aspect to consider in the ongoing review of positions. The provincial panorama was enriched by the intervention of Fr. Pedro Belderráin, CMF, General Prefect of the Apostolate, who shared his impressions through an online connection after making the General Canonical Visitation of the Province.
In the afternoon of the same day, the Provincial Prefect of Formation and Spirituality recalled what is stipulated in the Constitutions and the document of the 1st Provincial Chapter on the characteristics of a “healthy community” and a “living mission”, reflecting the ideal proposed by the said Chapter. The Provincial Prefect of Apostolate then presented a dynamic to foster dialogue and reflection on their missionary work. Four discussion groups were formed after a period of individual reflection, guided by a set of questions.
The day concluded with an act of prayer where the Congregational Cross was distributed to the Local Superiors, who in turn will give it to the members of their communities upon their return to their respective houses.
The last day began with an exchange of the results of the group dialogues. In this session, the Provincial Government had the opportunity to listen and understand the perspectives and needs identified by the Superiors. Afterward, Fr. Carlos do Nascimento, CMF, the Provincial Superior, presented the concerns of the Provincial Government for this new triennium after four years of the life of the Province: the difficulties in forming communities, the need to review the positions and the “dispositions” in the positions – as the Canonical Visitor pointed out -, the search for a structure of government that responds better to the complex reality of the Province, but of greater simplicity that is adjusted to its real possibilities, the centralization of the mission in three foci in accordance with the Mission Plan presented last Christmas 2022 at the Provincial Assembly, after a long participative process of elaboration, and the new organization of the Zimbabwe Mission. The various Prefects supplemented this information throughout the day with information specific to their respective prefectures, all of which was given to the Local Superiors to share more easily with their communities.
The meeting concluded with a visit to the church of Santa Ana and a tour of the emblematic Triana neighborhood.
Source: Fr. Juan Carlos Monroy, CMF, Provincial Secretary of Fatima