Rome, Italy. The committee responsible for the revision of the Claretian Vocation Directory (CVD) recently convened at the General Curia in Rome for an intensive on-site session from 11 September to 23 September 2023. The committee, consisting of members of the Claretian Congregation, embarked on this significant endeavor after months of online meetings.
The opening session on September 11, 2023, was marked by a moment of “recollection” led by Bro. Carlos Verga, CMF, General Prefect of Youth and Vocation Ministry, and Fr. Joseph Mbungu, CMF, General Prefect of Formation. This reflective time allowed members to express gratitude to God for their vocations and for the opportunity to welcome new vocations into the congregation.
During the subsequent discussions, the committee delved into personal and group reflections on key areas, including developments in their personal lives, the congregation, the Church, and the world since the last edition of the CVD in 2000.
A crucial part of the meeting involved working in groups on three key areas: feedback and responses from a 2022 survey conducted by the Prefecture of Youth and Vocation, teachings of the Magisterium, especially those of Pope Francis, and developments within the Congregation since 2000, such as General Chapter exhortations and Circular Letters from the General Superiors.
Guided by the facilitator, Fr. Lucas Emanuel Smiriglia, a diocesan priest from the Diocese Quilmes (Argentina) belongs to the Fraternity of Diocesan Worker Priests, the discussions focused on the evolving nature of youth and vocation ministry within the congregation. The committee praised the existing Claretian Vocation Directory but recognized the need for revision to align it with modern-day realities. Subsequently, discussions ensued regarding the possible title, content, arrangement, and overall structure of the directory.
Each sub-team received feedback from the central team, facilitating further revisions and refinement of their respective chapters.
A highlight of the meeting was the visit by Fr. Mathew Vattamattam, CMF, the General Superior, who shared insights into the challenges and prospects of vocation promotion within the congregation. Emphasizing the importance of living one’s vocation joyfully and rooted in Christ, he encouraged the team to consider missionary mysticism, welcoming of new vocations, collaboration with other Claretian Family members, and promoting vocations for the Church.
Enriched by these reflections, the committee continued its discernment process, engaging in various stages of sharing and listening. The team also took breaks from their work to visit the Juridicum (Claretian community) and participate in a papal audience. Additionally, the committee welcomed Sister Priscilla Latela, RMI, who had been a member of the group until her recent election as the Mother General of her congregation.