IMG_7591Day, 15, July 11: Discerning Our Calling

After prayer and the approval of the minutes, the assembly began a discussion on the international missions. Based upon recommendations from the provincial assemblies, the delegates engaged in table discussions about how to animate these missions and to provide recommendations for their improvement.

Afterwards, Danny Pilario from the Central Commission discussed the process of the creation of the final document. This week, the assembly will work in small groups to discuss the three parts of the working document and provide input to the Central Commission. The synthesizers will then present their work to the assembly in plenary session for comments. Finally, the final document will be presented and approved. In addition, each continental conference will also approve lines of action for their particular region.

With that in mind, the assembly worked in table groups to discuss the first part of the document regarding the reality or context of today. What are the positive aspects of our present-day reality? What are the main challenges we face, both in the modern culture, and within the Congregation itself?

After lunch, Marcelo Manimtim of the Philippines, who is in charge of the synthesis with Orlando Escobar of Colombia, summarized the results of the morning conversation regarding the challenges faced by the Congregation today, noting both internal challenges and social realities. The floor was opened for comments and reactions. For over an hour, multiple confreres took to the floor to promote ideas and thoughts about the first part of the document. Many noted the importance of providing hope and inspiration in the document while we recognize the challenges, both internal and external. How do we read the signs of the times to discern God’s call for us today? How do we celebrate 400 years of the charism? What is the Good News we bring to the poor?

After a short break, the assembly returned to small group discussions over another question for the final document: What fundamental elements of our charism can we lift up today to continue the mission? After discussion and discernment, the assembly prayed and adjourned for the day, giving their table reflections to the synthesis committee.

Jeremy Dixon