Permanent formation, first of the topics of the 56th General Chapter
The capitulars discuss the need for permanent formation and adequate accompaniment of religious.
The 56th General Chapter celebrated its second day on Ash Wednesday. The capitular assembly addressed the first topics on the agenda and formed the working teams for the coming weeks.
During the course of today, one of the topics that had already begun to be discussed yesterday was addressed: permanent formation and accompaniment. The Prior General pointed out the crucial need in the Order of permanent formation, the formation of leaders and the formation of companions, something that the four priors provincial confirmed.
The President of the General Secretariat presented what has been accomplished in this area during the past six years as well as introduced the document PILGRIMS for the capitulars’ consideration. He also stressed the importance of a clear understanding of what permanent formation is.
Through various interventions, the capitulars emphasized that true formation involves “touching the heart”, establishing and helping to live one’s vocation, and living the life of Christ in the style of St. Augustine and the spirit of the Recollection.
Some proposals were presented on how to work at the general and provincial levels in the next six years. The whole topic will be taken up again next week, when Fr. Gonzalo Fernandez will help the capitulars to deepen the theme and to craft an effective program for the Order.
Furthermore, they began to discuss the proposals of the Prior General and his council on the Order’s structures and organisms. One thing that Fr. Miró emphasized in his report previous to the General Chapter was the necessity to lighten the structures so as to facilitate the procedures.
In the first session of the day, the Ordo Capituli, which established the norms and procedures of the meeting approved. Subsequently, the working commissions were created, which corresponded to the areas of spirituality and charism, ongoing formation and accompaniment; vocations and youth; initial formation; ministerial apostolate, mission and social action; educational apostolate; and government, economy, communication and protection of minors.
The 56th General Chapter also agreed to issue a message for peace in the Ukraine. They all participated in the day of fasting and prayer proposed by Pope Francis for Ash Wednesday.
The morning Eucharist was presided over by the Prior General, Miguel Miro, who invited the religious to take the Lenten season as an “opportunity to better serve their brothers”. All those present received the ashes at the celebration.