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New evangelisation in the context of consecrated life

 

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78th Half-year Assembly of the USG (Union of Superior Generals)

13/12/2011: General House

Br. Emili Turú, Superior General, participated in this Half-year Assembly of the Union of Superior Generals, which was held from November 23rd to 25th, 2011 at the Salesianum in Rome. About 130 Superior Generals from male religious Orders and Congregations, gathered to continue reflection on the Theological Seminar held in February 2011 and already begun at the second half-year assembly in May this year, entitled “Transmitting the Faith”.

The day began with an opening prayer and welcome by the Rector Major, Fr. Pascual Chávez, Salesian, as President of the USG; he started with the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans: “I am not ashamed of the Good News: it is the power of God saving all who have faith” (1,16).Fr. Chávez pointed out the characteristics of the “new evangelisation” to which the Church, including the religious, are called.He spoke about the need to gather the “seeds of the word”, that is to say, whatever is beautiful and true in today’s world opens the way to God; he also spoke about the need for new evangelisers, able to make a proclamation that is “more explicit and more disinterested”.“In the end, what matters is not that mankind today accepts our teaching or our institutions, but that it listens to the Son of God and his Gospel”, he concluded.

Fr. Salvatore Currò, from the Congregation of St. Joseph (CSJ), summarised the reflections of the USG at the previous Assembly:from the recognised need to have a theology for consecrated life, to the various sensitivities which are maturing among the religious, from the spiritual point of view, as well as fraternal communion and apostolic mission.

Fr. Mario Aldegani, CSJ, then reflected on some parables in the Gospel of Matthew, drawing from them some teaching useful to the service of authority and animation by the Superiors and the Councils in their relevant communities.He proposed some challenges about giving daily attention to the Word of God, to people and to events, to ecclesiality and to the charism.He concluded with three proposals: being committed to “leading the change,” animating local communities, which are focusing only on the present; undertaking administration and government as forms of group work; having confidence in God and in ones’ confreres.

The conclusions of the half-year assembly of the USG were based on the topic “New Evangelisation” and how this is intertwined with “Transmitting the Faith”.The reflections by Fr. Salvatore Currò, CSJ, on “New evangelisation in the context of consecrated life” suggest three possible areas of research:evangelisation in itself, this present time and the apostolic contribution that consecrated life can offer.

Evangelisation was considered from different perspectives.Fr. Eamon Fitzgerald, a Trappist, reflected on the “Lineamenta” for the XIII ordinary general assembly of the Synod, relating them to the present day situation of the monastic-contemplative life.

Fr. Bruno Cadore, a Dominican, briefly illustrated four ways by which the mendicant orders, remaining faithful to their origins, can collaborate in the evangelising mission of the mendicants: wandering, begging, meeting and studying.

Fr. Enrique Sánchez, Combonian, linked the meaning of evangelisation with bearing witness.He recalled some contributions that the missionary congregations can make: poverty, the prophetic role, the freshness of the faith and a joyful spirituality.

Lastly, the USG General Assembly elected the representatives at the Synod of Bishops to be held in October 2012: Abella Batlle Josep Maria, CMF; Aldegani Mario, CSJ; Cadoré Bruno, OP; Chávez Villanueva Pascual, SDB; Jöhri Mauro, OFMCap.; Nicolás Adolfo, SI; Rodríguez Carballo José, OFM; Rodríguez E. Alvaro, FSC; Tasca Marco, OFMConv.; Turú Emili, FMS.Substitutes: Gay G. Gregory, CM; Prevost Robert OSA.

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