After the conclusion of the XXVI General Chapter, the delegates are back to their communities with joy and renewed enthusiasm. In the words of Claret, I would say “This is the finger of God” (Aut. 609) that made it possible for us to celebrate this General Chapter in this pandemic time. It was an event in which the promise of the Lord – “I am with you” – became yet another tangible experience in our congregational history.
The Chapter exhortation, Querida Congregación, Rooted in Christ, Audacious in Mission, is now made available to all of you and to all those with whom we share the Missio Dei. Now is the time for the “Fiat”, like that of our Blessed Mother, to the Lord’s Dreams (Somnia Dei) for our Congregation.
We shall say our “fiat” together through concrete commitments to realize the dream woven together in the spirit of discernment through generative conversations which we have had at various levels during the preparation and the celebration of the Chapter.
Pope Francis added his share in these conversations confirming our longing to be rooted in Jesus and be audacious in mission. The Pontiff also reminded us of the importance of proximity, compassion and tenderness in our life and mission. In this year dedicated to St. Joseph, we do well to weave our life and mission into the Dream that the Spirit of Lord has evoked in us through the process of the General Chapter. Indeed, to dream is “to open the door to the future, to be fecund in the future” as Pope Francis affirms.
I invite you to personalize the Exhortation of the General Chapter and bear fruits in your personal life, in the community, and in your ministry. We live at a time of epochal changes which necessitate transformative changes in our way of thinking, relating, and missioning. The discovery, dream, designs, and commitments become transformative when each Claretian, every community and all our Major Organisms own them up and act in accordance with them.
Dear brothers, together let us walk the synodal path to be a Congregation rooted in Christ and audacious in mission.
We shall take care that the phrase rooted & audacious does not become merely a slogan, but rather the core dynamism of the three transformative processes initiated by the XXV General Chapter which we shall continue with renewed impetus.
The exhortation of the XXVI General Chapter is accompanied by two guides to assist both the transmission of the spirit of the Chapter as well as the preparation towards the forthcoming provincial Chapters and assemblies in all Major Organisms. You will do well to creatively adapt these guidelines to your context.
When we walk in the Spirit of God, the architect of human history, we would be at our best without denying our human limitations, seeking in all things the glory of God, sanctification of our members, and the salvation of people throughout the world (cf. CC 2).
I commend our onward journey to the Immaculate Heart of Mary who ever accompanies the sons of her heart.
Fr. Mathew Vattamattam, CMF
Rome, September 30, 2021
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