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A time of change



Province of North Central Brazil

28/04/2008: Brazil

The arrival of Bro. Seán, Superior General, together with Bro. Luis Sobrado, Vicar General, was awaited with anxiety by the Brothers in the Province of North Central Brazil. The meeting took place in Brasilia. To facilitate a closer contact, the Brothers were summoned according to their different situations, either by age groups or by functions. At the same time, the Brothers were allowed to participate in all the meetings, if they wanted to.

The Superior General always started with a reflection on ‘how to live in times of change, both religious and social’. Using power-point, he presented the religious life before and after the Vatican II. He underlined that Vatican II gave a clear definition of the role of priests and lay people in the Church, but it was not so clear about the religious men and women. According to Bro. Seán this lack of precision was beneficial, because it placed the consecrated life within the ‘charismatic’ structure of the Church and not in its hierarchical structure. John Paul II threw more light on our ecclesial role through his document Vita Consecrata.

In that way, seen from the charismatic dimension the religious life is better understood as the living memory of what the Church can be and must be. With that established, the necessary renewal task remains to be undertaken.

Bro. Seán highlighted sociological and psychological aspects that we should consider in our reflections when facing the solution to problems. He talked about modernity and post-modernity. He also spoke of the need to face the changes patiently, so that they can be given a serious deepening and a later acceptance. Finally, regarding the theological aspect, Seán stressed the value of charism, a matter that we have to deepen, in a prayerful atmosphere.

As regards the method used, first there was always a presentation by the Superior General, in English with a simultaneous translation by Bro. Luis Sobrado. Next, time was left for an open forum. That was the general dynamic followed with senior Brothers. There were other specific topics for young Brothers, formators, community superiors and school and social work leaders.

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