XXVI GC: Making God’s dreams our own (August 28, 2021)

Aug 29, 2021 | Congregation, General Chapters, Noticeboard, XXVI General Chapter

Nemi, Italy. August 28, 2021. God’s dream remains a just and peaceful world, a world where gratitude has diluted every anxiety and generosity has eclipsed every greed. God dreams of a time when love and mutual respect will unite humanity and the profound beauty of creation will be treasured. For his part, the human being contemplates, dreams and questions, and when he does so, he is already in the space of the inner self. This dreaming begins in the contemplation of creation, to which the silent word of its beauty responds: My questioning them, was my thoughts on them: and their form of beauty gave the answer (Conf X, VI, 9); so would say St. Augustine, whose memory we celebrate and ask for his intercession.

This is precisely what we were invited to do on this second day dedicated to dreams: to dream for our Congregation the dreams of God. After sharing and dialoguing in groups, we selected the most common dreams in the fruits of our reflections. It is enough to mention some of these dreams to realize that we are still vibrant with the charism and apostolic zeal we have inherited: Which are the peripheries we need to be present today and what does it concretely imply by caring for God’s people and his creation in shared mission?; how can we make the new generations passionate about Jesus Christ and his Kingdom?; In what ways can we promote the intercultural and intercontinental character of the Congregation?; how to build community and mission projects in synodality and interculturality?; how can we be rooted in the Word of God as Mary did?; how can we deepen the centrality of the Word of God in our communities and in the reality of the people we serve?; how can we inspire Claretians who have lost their missionary enthusiasm?

The facilitators then gave us the guidelines to work by groups and, considering the previous work, write in the present tense a statement of our dreams for the congregation, taking into account that language transforms and shapes our reality.

In the second part of the morning, we put together our dream statements and noted that in all of them we expressed the elements of our mission life that are a source of rootedness and that at the same time are a source of audacity in the face of current challenges. We closed this phase of the Chapter in prayer and thanksgiving with a song that brought together all that we have experienced so far, a song that expresses “the beauty of the weft” (Humberto Pegoraro):

The more threads are woven together,

the more beautiful the design,

reflecting the colors

that paint the universe.

The beauty of the weft

comes from its complexity.

It requires a lot of patience

to weave a new fabric.

It takes courage,

to embroider joy and suffering

with the strength of your hands,

the beating of your chest.

It is necessary to inaugurate workshops

where diversity lives,

shelters of hope,

places of birth,

where no one is left out

of the feast and of the encounter […].


In the afternoon we moved on to round tables to begin the stage of discernment and sounding. Placing ourselves in God’s hands, we set out to invoke the Divine Spirit to enlighten the Chapter community and keep us in tune with our brothers in the peripheries. The president of the Chapter proceeded to consult the chapter assembly on whether it was opportune to move on to the election stage. With an affirmative and unanimous vote, the facilitators explained to us the process that will give continuity to the dynamics of the Chapter, letting go of the old and welcoming the new.

Thus, with the maternal assistance of the Heart of Mary, the voting process is also inserted in the dynamics of conversation and discernment. For this reason, it was decided that after sharing the dreams for the Congregation, we would proceed to fulfill the task entrusted to the capitulars of electing the Superior General and his team.

The evangelical criteria that God uses to elect his servants were also present in our Chapter. God has not looked into their chosen ones as human beings do; He has looked into their hearts. For this reason, we also want to choose, remembering the dreams and congregational projects that are emerging in the light of the Word and Congregational Doctrine. We want to look at the Congregation with all its missionary and communitarian dimension, challenges, and great hopes, just as we have lived these days. We ask for the grace to know whom God chooses to guide the Congregation, giving us his charism.

We ended the day with the celebration of the Eucharist, presided by Archbishop José Rodríguez Carballo, O.F.M., Secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, who urged us to focus on Jesus, to concentrate on the mission and to decenter ourselves, that is, to go forth to the peripheries.


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