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Joint meeting of Superior Generals (Italy)

From November 22nd to 24th, the first joint meeting of the UISG-USG (Union of Superior Generals) took place at the Fraterna Domus in Rome.

Fernando Cordero sscc attended on behalf of Alberto Toutin, superior general, who is at the Provincial Chapter of Brazil. The motto of the conference was: “Synodality: a renewed call to the prophecy of hope.” The 237 participants followed a spiritual conversation method, “a narrow path” which was very useful with the 30 round tables arranged in the large room.

On the 22nd, Arturo Sosa (“it is not up to us to make a map of the path, but rather to let ourselves be led by the Spirit”), along with Pat Murray and Mark Hilton, shared their experiences as participants in the Synod on Synodality. For their parts, Mary T. Barron (called to deepen collaboration in religious life), Mauro Lepori (moving the earth: discarding the withered and urging the fruit), Maria Nirmalini and Ernesto Sánchez communicated aspects of the Synod that they considered most important. 

In the afternoon, the question for discussion was: What challenges do you see for consecrated life from the synodal experience? Contributions were made by Elizabeth Davis, Tesfaye Gebresilaasie Tadese, Elysée Izerimana and Cardinal Robert Prevost. Several challenges emerged from this reading of the Synod’s Synthesis Report including.

On the morning of the 23rd, there was a meeting with Pope Francis lasting an hour and a half in the old Synod hall. The Pope requested we “not cage the Holy Spirit” and affirmed that “the process of transformation must continue.” He responded to 11 questions that were prepared by different groups the previous day on a range of topics. He spoke with total freedom, as is typical his style in this type of meeting.

At the end of the event, the Pope greeted the participants. Fernando told him: “Holy Father, our Congregation of the Sacred Hearts (Picpus) today celebrates the feast of its Foundress, Henriette Aymer. We celebrated by meditating and praying on your homily ‘worship and serve’ from the final mass of the October Synod Assembly. Please know that we pray a lot for you and appreciate your ministry.” To which the Pope responded: “Thank you, thank you! Please continue praying for me.” 

In the afternoon, groups of three walked the road to Emmaus, discussing these questions: What signs of hope do you see in our society and in the Church? Where are the places that call for hope today? Miriam Altenhofen and Miguel Márquez responded with concrete and inspiring examples from their religious families to this question: What does this renewed call to the prophecy of hope mean to you?

On Friday, November 24th, the last day of the meeting, we attempted to see what we can do together as consecrated life. Hope is something that takes us beyond where we are. Different proposals came out that will be studied by the executives of the UISG and the USG, such as: enhance the intercongregational and intercultural style, propose concrete actions in the field of health, peace and education, intercharismatic dialogue, etc.