Fr. Mark Francis, CSV, Provincial, reports that the General Chapter going on in Ariccia, Italy this month has come to an important moment, one where the listening and reflection has ended and delegates will respond to the agenda. Now, as Fr. Mark says, the real work begins. Here is his report:

Fr. Mick Egan with retreat leaders Fr. Gabriel Côté and Luisa Rossi

“Today, July 10, the members of the chapter and support staff finished their retreat in preparation for taking up the chapter questions. There was a consensus that the process of spiritual discernment of these last days, led by Fr. Gabriel Côté and Luisa Rossi, has placed the members of the chapter in a better position to respond to the chapter questions while being open to the grace of the Spirit.

“After much conversation and discussion, members discerned the overarching invitation to the Congregation at this chapter is expressed by the following statement: Rooted in Christ, we are called to build authentic fraternity in order to fully live out our mission.

Delegates in a plenary session

“This afternoon, under the direction of Br. Jean-Marc St. Jacques as Director of the Program, members will begin the establishment of the working commissions to study the 26 questions of the chapter submitted by the Provinces and Foundations.

“In addition to the questions, among the items to be included in the agenda of the Chapter is the reception of the Superior General’s state of the congregation report as well as the financial report of the General Treasurer.”

In closing, Fr. Mark sets the scene for those not in attendance. While the setting of their retreat house, Casa Divin Maestro, is beautiful, with its views of Lake Albano and the Alban hills near Rome, it’s nearly too hot to go outdoors.

“As the business part of the chapter starts, we are contending with very high temperatures—especially for Ariccia,” Fr. Mark says. “It is unusual that temperatures would reach the 90’s here, but we will have several days this warm. As one confrere pointed out — this will give us a chance to be in solidarity with the Viatorians in Las Vegas!”