The day began with the celebration of the Morning Prayer incorporated in the English Mass presided by Fr. Marek Grzegorz Sadowski, CM, Visitor of New England Province, USA.
The session started with the singing of the Veni Sancte Spiritus. It was followed by a video presentation of an excerpt of the Visitors’ Meeting from day one with interviews from some confreres about their views on the question: “Why it is important for the Congregation to be present on the digital continent?
Then Fr. Jerome Marquez, SVD, Philippine Province gave an inspiring talk about the topic: “General Assembly: a privileged moment for a Congregation”. He stressed that the General Assembly (GA) is primarily the work of the Holy Spirit and there is a need to listen and be open to him.
He explained how to understand the GA from the context of a Filipino socio-cultural milieu. He used an image of the way a Filipino used to greet another person, whose dialogue is more personal (How are you?), relational (Have you eaten?), foundational (Where did you come from?) and directional (Where are you going?).
He encouraged the group to see the GA also in this way: personal (How is the status of the Congregation?, relational (How do we relate with confreres in the GA?), foundational (Where did we come from? What are the intentions of our founder? What has been the nature, purpose, spirit, apostolate charism in consonance with how our constitution lay down the founding generations of St Vincent de Paul?) and directional ( Where are we going?)
Then he explained how the GA has become a privileged moment. Using the jargon of social media and youth, he described it in these following parallelism: (1) news feed moments in facebook are filled with updates so is the GA with updates of the status of our Congregation, the General Council, the Provinces and demography to see the truth of where we are. (2) chill moments where the young experience belongingness so is the GA with moments of camaraderie and bonding with one another, expressing our internationality and inculturality that leads to brotherly concern (3) Throwback moments in facebook means sharing and reliving past experiences so is the GA with moments to refresh our understanding of the past to see where our traditions, charism and heritage are heading us to, as we are challenged to be renewed so as to be relevant (4) Waze moments is a mapping and navigation application for mobile devices which provides direction so is the GA with moments to see new directions, new ways of doing things in our evangelization, mission, life, community, formation, and apostolates.
Finally, he added that the GA is also a moment of hope for our congregation because change happen, that is managed, envisioned and executed, the very essence of where we move.
Then he shared a video presentation about the missionary life in the Philippine Province of SVD (Society of the Divine Word)
After the coffee break in the morning Fr. Yosief Zeracristos, CM, Assistant General invited the assembly to separate by language groups to reflect on the following three points: (1) Suggested topics for GA 2022 (2) the methodology to be used (3) and the Final Document or other suggestions as the case may be. .
After siesta, there was a plenary session where the secretaries of the groups shared their answers to the points raised. This was facilitated by Fr. Zeracristos, CM. The rest of the time was spent to evaluate the Visitors meeting.. .
After the coffee break in the afternoon there was a panel discussion with all the members of the General Council.
The Evening Prayer was led by Fr. Marek Grzegorz Sadowski, CM
Fr. Raymundo A. Regua, CM
Chronicler, Philippine Province
July 5, 2019