The minutes of the Tempo Forte October 1-6, 2017 are now online.
Circular – Tempo Forte 1-6 October 2017
One must be firm and unchanging with regard to the end but gentle and humble as to the means.
(Letter of Vincent de Paul to François Dufestel (CCD:II:332))
We began our tempo forte on Sunday, 1 October, with the presence of Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State. On Sunday morning, we were able to share the Eucharist with the Cardinal and then the members of the Council dialogued with him about the Church in China and Iran as well as the Church’s concern for the evangelization of Europe. Our time with the Cardinal concluded with the sharing of a meal.
Initiatives of the General Council with regard to the whole Congregation
1. Presentation of strategies (continued)
With regard to initial formation, Father Javier Álvarez presented a proposal for the Latin American provinces: on the one hand, better the initial formation in light of the Ratio Formationis; on the hand, take steps that will lead to greater intercultural and international formation as stipulated in the Lines of Action of the 2016 General Assembly.
The General Council views the formation of formators as vitally important. Their formation is more important than any formation plan, more important than the Ratio, and more important than any infrastructure. If there are quality formators, then formation is guaranteed. The General Council encourages CLAPVI to continue the annual encounters for formators and, if necessary, SIEV is willing to collaborate in that endeavor.
This formation plan will be sent to the Visitors of CLAPVI and to the three Visitors of the Provinces of the United States in order for them to be aware of what is being proposed for the Provinces of CLAPVI and, at the same time, to see if there is some way in which they could participate in that plan.
2. The Meeting of New Visitors
This meeting will take place in Rome (8-17 January 2018) and it is foreseen that there will be 20 participants. The objective of this gathering is to deepen the Visitors’ understanding of A Practical Guide for the Visitor and to provide them with an opportunity to reflect on their service of animation and encouragement, a ministry in which the Visitor is called to engage with the missionaries and with the local communities. The various presentations will be brief and are intended to foster dialogue among the participants. All the details have been concretized.
3. Missionaries in difficult situations
This is another priority for the General Council during the years 2016-2022. Following up on the reflection of the previous Tempo Forte, the Superior General asked all the members of the Council to contact the Visitors and ask them to send information with regard to members who are absent from their province. That information should be sent to the Curia in time for the December Tempo Forte. More concretely, information should include what is being done to resolve those situations and/or what type of help is needed in order to resolve the situation.
4. The problem of translators/interpreters
This is an ongoing problem. The Congregation needs a team of translators/interpreters in order to assure good simultaneous interpretation during the General Assembly and the various international gatherings. There is also a need for translators who would work on written documents, for example, Vincentiana and other documents from the Curia and the Vincentian Family. The General Council established a small commission composed of Miles Heinen, Álvaro Mauricio Fernández, and Giuseppe Turati to present a list of names (members of the Congregation or non-members), so that this matter can be discussed at the next Tempo Forte.
5. Other initiatives
During the time of the March Tempo Forte, a Commission will be appointed to revise and publish a third edition of A Practical Guide for the Visitor. This Commission will not have to begin from nothing. The members will be given the concerns and suggestions that will come forth from the gathering of the new Visitors (January 2018) as well as the reflections of the General Council about the Guide. This Commission will also be given the task of revising the Practical Guide for the Local Superior. Again, the Commission will be given suggestions and the reflections of the General Council.
The members of the General Council have put together their reflections on the Canonical House, local community, and community ad instar domus. The General Council would like some of the specialists in Canon Law and our own Common Law to offer some organized reflections in order to clarify those concepts that have concrete legal implications. The same can be said about to the privilege of affiliation in the Congregation.
Offices dependent on the Superior General and his Council
For the purpose of organizing in a professional manner both the Library and the Archives at the Curia, a three-year contract has been with signed with a specialist in this area, Ms. Giulia. She began her work at the beginning of October
We have also contracted Girolamo Grammatico as a collaborator for Jorge Rodríguez (the Office of Communication). He began his work in July and in the coming months much material will be available on our website.
We are still searching for a Vice-Director of CIF. Some steps have been taken but, at the present time, we have not found anyone to take this position.
The Coordinator and the Secretary of SIEV, Corpus Delgado and Fransiscus Xaverius Armada, in accord with the Statutes of that organization, have been confirmed for another term of three years.
In order to provide the provinces with an ability to fundraise and thus finance charitable projects, the Vincentian Solidarity Office (VSO) will offer four courses to form five missionaries in each of them. One course will be given in English, one in French, and two in Spanish. These courses will take place during the years 2019-2022. The objective is to have 20 missionaries formed so that they can in turn raise funds for social projects. The General Council supports this initiative, which will benefit those who are poor.
Guillermo Campuzano is the representative of the Congregation at the United Nations. At the present time, the five branches of the Vincentian Family have representatives at this organization (there are ten employees and there are distinct budgets). It would seem that the Vincentian Family would have greater strength and efficacy if there were one representative. The Superior General will present this proposal to the Executive Committee of the Vincentian Family.
Ten provinces have responded to Father Campuzano’s invitation to develop an international Vincentian network for Justice, Peace, and the Integrity of Creation (Commitments of the 2016 General Assembly). Father will begin to work with the missionaries who responded affirmatively.
The Treasurer General presented the financial status of the Congregation to the members of the Council and responded to their questions. We will explore the possibility of joining the funds for the Strategic Planning Workshop (which at this time is not active) to the funds for the Vincentian Solidarity Office. Such a move could make it possible to raise more funds in order to finance projects in the provinces.
With regard to the contribution of the provinces to the General Curia, it was decided that there would be three types of contribution (dependent on the financial situation of each province).
We share with you the following news:
On 28 August, Nomenjanahary Norbert Raharison arrived at the mission in Sousse (Tunis) where he will minister with Claudio Santangelo.
In the mission in Benin, the missionaries have informed us that the members of the Vincentian Family in that country have a great desire to come together in order to deepen their understanding of the Vincentian Charism (Vincentian Formation). The last session took place on 18-19 July in Brio and some 80 persons gathered together to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the origin of the Vincentian Charism. During that gathering, there was a celebration of the Eucharist and the film, Monsieur Vincent, was shown. That was followed by a presentation on affective and effective love. The gathering concluded with a festive meal. The celebration took place in an atmosphere of prayer and joy.
On 25 January 2018, this mission will no longer be an international mission but will become a mission dependent on the Province of Poland.
In October, Rafał Bogdan Brukarczyk joined the missionary team in Punta Arenas (Chile). After three years of ministry in that region, Ángel Garrido returned to his province of origin (Saint Vincent de Paul, Spain). We thank God for his missionary work and pray that God will bless him in his new ministry.
In the mission in Alaska, Andrew E. Bellisario, was appointed bishop. Therefore, he is no longer a member of the mission team. In June of 2018, we will have a third candidate (thus a missionary team of three persons). Thank you for your ministry and may God bless in your episcopal ministry.
The mission in Tefé (Brazil) has a missionary team composed of three members: Rogelio Toro Isaza (Province of Colombia), Paulo Estaquio Venuto (Province of Rio de Janeiro), and Alexandre Fonseca de Paula (Province of Fortaleza). During the meeting of CLAPVI, which will take place at the end of October, the details will be concretized.
At the end of August, Aidan Rooney left the mission of El Alto (Bolivia) and returned to the Eastern Province (USA). He had ministered in that mission for eight years. Thank you for your ministry!
On 2 October, the General Council met with the sister of the recently deceased Jesús María Lusarreta Induráin, as well as with his niece, Mrs. Yolanda Torres. They expressed their concern with regard to the various charitable, promotional, and evangelization projects that Father Lusarreta had begun. They also expressed their commitment to continue to provide financial support to those projects. In contact with the Provincial Administrator, Gilbert Walker, the General Council is looking for a missionary who is willing to carry forward these various projects.
We concluded this section by reviewing the petition of Archbishop Goetbé Edmond Djitangar, Metropolitan of N’Djaména (Chad), who requested the presence of the Congregation in his archdiocese in order to take charge of the formation of the seminarians. At the same time, the Bishop of Doba (Chad), Martin Waïngue Bani, requested the Congregation to administer a parish there and take responsibility for the formation of the catechists throughout the diocese. It is wonderful to receive these requests because they reveal the manner in which the various bishops esteem the Congregation. Unfortunately, we were unable to respond in a positive manner to these requests because of a lack of missionaries. These invitations will be given to COVIAM for its study.
You are all in my prayers.
Your brother in Saint Vincent,
Tomaž Mavrič, CM