The celestial vault: work of Your fingers, everyone’s responsibility

Sep 16, 2022 | Nairobi 2022

The morning begins in the cool of the day. After adoration, we thank the grace of being brothers and sisters in the Eucharist animated by ECLA and presided by Juan Martín Askaiturrieta Ezkurdia (Sanctus Paulus). The homily by Adolfo Lamata Muyo (Santiago) reminds us that women appear in the gospels at key moments in the life and mission of Jesus and how today, they continue witnessing the Good News of Jesus. In 1968 Chairman Mao remarked that women held up half the sky; as for the ecclesial sky, they certainly hold up much more than half the celestial vault… and their efforts and work are not always recognized; thank you all.

We began the morning session listening to the parable of the unforgiving debtor from the Gospel of Matthew 18:23-28 and QC 63 and its dream of audacity, itinerant, sending, periphery, youth, converging paths… that invites us to a responsible Claretian mission.

Four dense themes and an experience of good practices awaited us this day.

Manuel Alfredo Tamargo shared the annual and multi-annual economic plans of the Major Organisms in view of economic efficiency and serving the mission adequately. We must trust in God’s providence, but we must not put what is incumbent on us in God’s hands: to foresee and plan the development of our life and mission projects in an economically sustainable way. The second part was devoted to the principles and foundations of the management of patrimonial goods.

The second topic, given by the Prefect of Apostolate, Pedro Belderrain, was on the Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Adults in our life and mission environments. Protocols are already present in all organisms; the General Government seeks in this sexennium to ensure their compliance and to renew the Congregational Protocol in the light of the new General Formation Plan and the legislative and canonical changes introduced by Pope Francis. We need to be humble and recognize that it is a reality in all cultures and that we are fragile, and no one is immune. We need to grow in transparency and honesty and foster environments of trust and mutual accountability in communities: taboos only cover up, they do not heal. Rosendo Urrabazo ended his presentation by sharing his experience in the USA-Canada Province. Let’s treasure this anecdote: a missionary commented to him in a meeting that “a father never denounces his son” to which he wisely and evangelically replied: the victims are also our children. Let’s hope we can cross the road and look at this painful reality from the “Sitz im leben” of the survivors.

In the afternoon, we began by sharing about the specializations in the congregation and how to coordinate this important academic universe as a common patrimony at the service of the “Missio Dei” entrusted to the congregation. It is necessary to plan with criteria and in coordination, mindful of the selection process, the follow-up work, and the evaluation of the process of academic specialization and its outcome.

Then, Carlos Sanchez, Prefect of Spirituality, shared about the Charismatic and Congregational Forge Renewal Process, in which 7 of those present participated. It has been a long journey from the beginning in Castilla in 1993 until today, with a very positive balance. The Forge has been evolving, and we have to integrate it as a fundamental moment of our ongoing formation. There was a fluid exchange of ideas about the future of this instrument of renewal.

Finally, we ended the day with the sharing of the Superior of Cameroon, Jude Thaddeus Langeh, on the work of Solidarity and Mission (SOMI) in Cameroon. In a country divided by language, religion, Boko Haram violence and “child soldiers…” how to live together in a fragmented country? “Ut Unum Sint“, That All May Be One, is the Claretian answer. The Claretians in Cameroon have chosen the provision of basic services “education and water” as instruments to build the path of dialogue and reconciliation. We work to restore hope even if on the way we suffer in our own flesh the scourges of that very violence we seek to overcome; the example of our Master is light on a path that, although still dark, is a promise because it keeps alive the hope that nourishes the dream of a world attuned to the values of the Kingdom. So be it.

Francisco Carin, CMF, chronicler of the day

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