Superior General’s homily – Closing Eucharist July 15
After a long and intensive preparatory road leading us to the 42 General Assembly of the Congregation of the Mission on a personal, communitarian, provincial and international levels, the delegates from all the Provinces of the Congregation gathered at DePaul University in Chicago from the 27th of June till the 15th of July, 2016, sharing, discussing and deepening the materials prepared by the preparatory commission, came at the end to witness the birth of the final document of the 42th General Assembly of the Congregation of the Mission, that will show us, the members of the Congregation , the path to follow in the next six years.
I would like to thank the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Jesus, the Holy Spirit for accompanying and leading us throughout the Assembly!
It was because of God’s presence and Mercy we were able to bring such a monumental undertaking, organizing a General Assembly to a closure, that leaves us with very concreate signs of hope, faith, love, zeal , and with the invitation of being prophetic witnesses in what we say and do.
In the light of next year’s celebration of the 400 years of the Vincentian Charism “the theme of the General Assembly was “ 400 Years of Fidelity to the Charism and the New Evangelization .“
We bring back to our Provinces, Vice-Provinces, Regions, communities and to each confrere individually, concreate lines of action, concreate commitments to incarnate them in the period of the next six years and beyond.
At different moments during the Assembly, in different shapes and forms we had heard the thirst for deepening our own Vincentian call, to be able to fulfill the prophetic call Providence had placed in front of us.
Allow me to name two sources that synthesize our Vincentian Spirituality, our Vincentian way: the Common Rules and the Constitutions and Statues.
They are two chapters that I would like to invite us to read in the light what was shared during the Assembly: the 10th Chapter of our Common Rules( the proper title of the chapter in English ) and the 4th Chapter of our Constitutions on “ Prayer “.
It is this foundation, this source that will make our commitments, our lines of action we had together worked so hard to articulate into a final document, a lasting reality.
St. Vincent de Paul in our Common Rules in the last 12th Chapter, in the last 14th point urges us for the Common Rules to be rooted in our mind and heart, to have the Common Rules always with us and to read them every three months.
It is my invitation and my deep wish that every one of us, every confrere of the Congregation of the Mission will on a regular basis, every day read one article or point of the Constitutions and Common Rules alternatively.
Three books or holy books that always need to follow us wherever we are or wherever we go: being at home, going on a trip, being on vacation: the Bible, the Breviary and the Common Rules and Constitutions.
As we together embark on a six year journey as members of the “ Little Company “ as St. Vincent de Paul loved to call, where better for us to start this journey than at the Chapel of the Apparitions on Rue du Bac in Paris at the Mother House of the Daughters of Charity, as well as in the Chapel of St. Vincent de Paul in our Mother House at Rue de Sevres in Paris, and ask Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal as well as St. Vincent de Paul to intercede for the Little Company and for the world wide Vincentian Family.
It is to this two places that I would like to make the pilgrimage in the name of all the members of the Congregation of the Mission before traveling to Rome and celebrate the Eucharist on Sunday August the 14th in the Chapel of St. Vincent de Paul and Monday August the 15th in the Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal.
I will place all our dreams, hopes and desires into the hands of our Heavenly Mother and our Founder , for us to be able to understand and follow Providence, Jesus’s plan for us for the journey we started to embark.
Let’s keep dreaming, but let’s dream together.
If one person dreams alone, the dream remains a dream, if we dream together, the dream becomes a reality.