XXVI GC: New wine in new wineskins! (September 3, 2021)

Sep 4, 2021 | Congregation, General Chapters, Noticeboard, XXVI General Chapter

Nemi, Italy. September 3, 2021. The day began with the Eucharistic celebration in the Syro-Malabar rite, presided over by the capitulars of the Province of St. Thomas. We met the Syro-Oriental tradition and rite, sharing the table of the Word and the table of Bread in two languages: Malayalam and English. After the Eucharist, our confreres presented each capitular with a cross of St. Thomas, the emblem of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church. We also congratulated and prayed for our confrere Ricard Costa-Jussà, Provincial of Sanctus Paulus, who is celebrating his 27th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood.

The first session of the Chapter was enlightened by the proclamation of the inspiring Gospel passage that calls attention to the need to put new wine into new wineskins (Lk 5:36-39). Never more timely! The application of the text to the dynamics of these days has arisen spontaneously. We too want to put the new wine of our discernment into new wineskins, capable of containing all the audacity that has inspired our conversations and is manifested in the Chapter methodology. New must be the forms proposed for forming synodal communities; new must be the ways of achieving consensus.

Little by little, and with the feeling of being at a certain impasse, we have begun to design a congregational project for the next six years: our Agenda 2027. To do this, first of all, we studied the initial two dreams in detail, reformulating them in personal and group dialogue. In the afternoon session, which began in the chapter hall and continued in group work, we repeated the dynamics of the morning, but oriented it to the visualization and concretization of the commitments that we want to propose to the Congregation for the future that we are already building. The new wine that Jesus offers us today effectively obliges us to change our wineskins.

We ended our day by entrusting ourselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, praying and contemplating the sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary. In this moment of Marian prayer, the spiritual sentiment of the whole Congregation that accompanies us from afar pulsated. Tomorrow we continue working: the conversations on the road continue and, without a doubt, they have many surprises in store for us.


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