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Closing of the canonical visitation to India (Brs.)

The canonical visitation of the General Government to the Region of India took place from 13 September to 7 October 2022. It was undertaken by Fernando Cordero and Thomas Sukotriraharjo. The visitors spoke with 22 brothers: 21 in India and 1 in Rome.

On Friday, October 7, an Assembly of the brothers of India took place to hear and discuss the report of the visitors that they had drawn up as a result of their having met with brothers, communitie4s and seeing their works. After a power point presentation of the "photographic gallery” of the visit, the General Councillors shared their report with the Brothers. This was followed by a proposal for a spiritual conversation in groups and a final moment for brothers to share what was most important to them. This final sharing resonated most with the brothers. In the homily during the Eucharist, reference was also made to some elements of Indian culture that need to be integrated into our rhythms and ways of life.

This closing day ended with games, dinner and dances typical of the country, as well as a meeting with the regional government.

Some elements referred to in the report:

  • We find the Region composed of young brothers, most of them engaged in ministry and pastoral work. This is a remarkable fact and, at the same time, a challenge because it requires a great channelling of forces to proclaim the Good News of the Gospel based on the apostolic zeal of our Founder, the Good Father. We must also emphasise that this community in India has vocations and a carefully planned initial formation programme. However, vocations are declining in this country, as is happening in other larger Congregations as well as our won.
  • There is a feeling among some brothers that the Region's growth is slow. There is a feeling among some that the growth of the Region is slow. There is a desire for a greater number of brothers, for more works and vocations, for greater financial growth, even for the possibility of becoming a Province. However, it seems that the rhythms are different, like the parables that speak about the growth of the Kingdom which clearly has its own process and which does not operate immediately or quickly.
  • The brothers of the Region, coming from different states of India, with different languages and customs, are called, in keeping with the environment in which they serve - an environment characterised by diverse religious and cultural traditions - to live the culture of encounter.
  • The variety of pastoral services that the Region carries out through the works that you animate in parishes is quite striking, the works that you animate in parishes and in the small college in Calcutta, the Damien Social Development Institute, initial formation and, above all, your dedication to the poorest of the poor. Many brothers are very much in contact with very poor people. Some communities even have leprosy sufferers, the most excluded of society, as their neighbours and to whom they dedicate themselves to working towards their inclusion.

Furthermore, the report highlights a number of values found in the religious life of the brothers, communities and in the pastoral options. The report is written in a tone of animation, having the aim to inspire the present and immediate future of the regional community, in communion with the Province of the United States and the rest of the Congregation, especially CAP in which, more and more, we want to take more and more steps together.

The whole Church is wanting to live the synodal style that has been genuinely present since the beginning of its history. Our congregation is also involved in this dynamic process. In this historical moment, the new way of being and acting in the Church, walking together, listening to reality, is the condition for responding in an evangelical way and out of our SSCC charism to the current challenges, among which are our own clericalism and our way of exercising leadership, sometimes far from the synodal style.

Today's Church and society require us to exercise ourselves in the prophetic dimension of community life. Committing ourselves to the utopia of fraternity is the most authentic witness we can give in today's community. May we walk along the paths of listening, dialogue and the implementation of a creativity that presupposes an openness to the Spirit of Jesus.

Link to the photo gallery of the visit: https://bit.ly/3qGi0Cr