Jeremy Dixon continues his daily chronicle from the General Assembly with Day 6, July 2: Discerning Hearts
After approving the minutes, Guiseppe Turati, the Secretary General, gave a report on the statistical data of the Congregation. Members total 3,187, a 3 percent decrease from the last assembly, yet new vocations equal those who have died in the past six years. Some places have fewer vocations, but overall vocations are strong, especially in Asia and Africa. There are currently 41 provinces, 5 vice-provinces and 8 regions. In addition to the book catalog, there is an online catalog for confreres (cmdb.cmglobal.org). (To get access, email Guiseppe.) The Curia has also updated its own computer databases. He also discussed how to communicate with the Superior General and Curia.
After a short coffee break, Shijo Kanjirathamkunnel, the Procurator and Postulator General, reported on his work with the Vatican. The procurator general works with the Holy See in requesting faculties, dispensations and other business of the Congregation. The postulator general helps guide the process of beatification and canonization of members of the Vincentian Family. He gave updates on various Vincentians and members of the Vincentian Family who are in the process of becoming declared saints.
Next was a panel presentation on the ministries of communication and formation. Jorge Rodriguez, director of the Curia’s communication, gave a detailed report about his work, which includes CM Global, Nuntia, Vincentiana, documents from the Superior General, creation of videos, sending news about this General Assembly and social media. Dan Borlik, the director of CIF, the International Center of Formation in Paris, spoke about what CIF does and the importance of ongoing Vincentian formation. He encouraged delegates and provinces to send confreres to the formation programs to help people grow in Vincentian understanding. Lastly, Corpus Delgado, the coordinator, spoke about SIEV, the International Secretariat for Vincentian Studies. He talked about more online resources and seeking to offer a graduate degree in Vincentian studies in order to continue to pass on the Vincentian charism.
After lunch, the mood in the room became more serious as the delegates returned to hear Fr. Greg begin a discernment process for the elections. He reflected on what qualities the Superior General and his council should have. He said that the new superior general and council should reflect the various regions of the Congregation (especially where it is growing), be servant leaders, understand the internationality of the community, be collaborative and energetic and have a global vision. The delegates then discussed this in their continental groups.
After returning, there was a plenary session of the assembly to discuss whatever they desired. There were many interventions on the floor, on many of the topics that have been brought up in the past few days. We ended with evening prayer and the assembly prepares for its retreat tomorrow.
Jeremy Dixon, CM