Nemi, Italy. September 6, 2021. The routine that often characterizes our daily life, preventing us from perceiving those bursts of transcendence present in our everyday lives, can be overcome thanks to the gift of fraternity, which always expresses itself in many ways. We experienced this yesterday, Sunday, on a day of rest for the Chapter community, which was strongly marked by the celebration of the Eucharist. Our confreres from Indonesia-Timor Leste, in charge of the liturgy, made us feel the cordiality, natural joy and hospitality that characterizes their people. At the moment of thanksgiving, they symbolically “crowned” the new members of the General Government, evoking an ancestral way of their culture to pay homage to those who lead or visit them. Among the main concelebrants were Ricard Costa-Jussà, on his fifty-fourth birthday, and Gonzalo Fernández, who remembered the forty-fifth anniversary of his first profession.
After the Mass, the table was served in the open air, in the courtyard at the entrance to the house. As it was the last Sunday of the Chapter, we toasted together and enjoyed a delicious roast, contemplating the lake of Nemi. The after-dinner conversation lasted longer than usual, with the consequent festive and fraternal sharing.
We also experienced good moments of joy and fraternity today, thanks to our brothers of the two flourishing Claretian organisms of Nigeria: East Nigeria and West Nigeria, who were in charge of leading the prayer of this Monday. The Eucharist concluded with a moving solemn blessing, traditionally reserved for great occasions. During Vespers, we continued to pray for the members of the two Nigerian organisms and for their apostolic projects. The days of the Chapter are not only an opportunity to discover how to celebrate the faith in different cultures, but also to grow in a sense of catholicity and intercultural awareness. All this can be perceived both in the chapel and in the chapter hall.
Today began the fourth and last week of this XXVI General Chapter. The first part of the morning was dedicated to continuing with the design of the last dimension of our congregational dream, that of formation. The method did not change: personal work, group work and presentation of the first conclusions in the hall. The second part of the morning was dedicated to several of the remaining topics proposed to the precapitular commission for study, especially that of the liturgical memory of our Martyrs.
In the afternoon, thanks to the hard work of the synthesis commission, it was possible to submit for everyone’s consideration a very advanced draft of the themes worked on during the last three days. All that remains is to review the designs of the last dimension. The work is progressing, but we are still far from completion. After dinner, there was still time for three “informal” conversations over coffee: one on aspects of the mission in Asia, another on the pastoral and personal care of homosexuals, and a third on formation.