“Let us open ourselves to the outpouring of the Spirit into our hearts and into the heart of our Chapter community”
Nemi, Italy. August 15, 2021. A clear day dawns over the great lake of Nemi and, with it, a new stage in the rich history of our Congregation begins. The Divine Providence wanted St. Anthony Mary Claret to choose a Marian day to begin his great work; today, feast of the Assumption of Our Lady, a community of seventy-eight Claretian Missionaries unite our spirit in a common endeavor from all corners of the earth. In this community convoked by the Lord we are represented all the Claretians who, as of today, embark on the XXVI General Chapter. Fr. Mathew Vattamattam, who presided over the opening Eucharist and the first Chapter session.
Our charism impels us to recreate the experience of Mary, a woman filled with the grace of the Spirit to whose Immaculate Heart we want to entrust our life and mission in a renewed way. In the midst of the darkness of this world we open ourselves like her to a greater hope: rooted in the call of God we can always be audacious in mission. Even in these times marked by the health and social situation generated by Covid-19. Because we do not walk alone: we do it together with Christ, together with Mary, together with Claret, together with the rest of the Claretian Family, together with all the people of God on pilgrimage in the world. It is only necessary to be ready for the strength that comes from above. This is what Father General has reminded us, inviting us to the rootedness and audacity that has characterized our Congregation since its beginnings, one hundred and seventy-two years ago and, very singularly, in the lives of our most dedicated brothers:
Our reason to exist as Claretians can be found only in our fidelity to the Charism and its ongoing updating and renewal in different epochs. Let us situate ourselves in the present moment of our history to assume responsibility for living our charism today knowing that the past generations ran a good race and bequeathed a great charismatic heritage to us. Now it is our turn to live up to what we are called to be at a time of epochal changes and pass on the light of our charism to the coming generations.
[…] Our Congregation is born during an epoch of political crisis and has lived through hard times of persecution and hostility to the Church and her institutions. Our martyrs endured their ordeal by being anchored in God’s love and faithful to the Church just as our Founder remained rooted in the Lord and proclaimed the Gospel with audacity. Rootedness and audacity are essential components of our charism, and we need both of them all the more today.
With open hearts and a willing assembly, we concluded the day with our eyes fixed on the beautiful lake that will accompany us during this time. On other shores, not so different, the Lord called the first disciples to become His missionary friends: friends because they were rooted, missionaries because they were audacious. May it be in us as it was in them. And may our nets reach all the seas; may our feet reach all the roads. Happy and fruitful capitular journey!