Here is the theme for July’s 400th anniversary retreat.
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SEE – A contemplative look

We are living a particularly intense and fruitful time in the Church since Pope Francis called us to walk the path of Synodality. It is a time of revision of life, prayerful discernment, and profound revitalization, which places us in the framework of the Second Vatican Council. This is with a view to stimulating and consolidating communion, participation, and mission among all those who form the People of God, called to live and bear witness to the faith received in Baptism in order to collaborate in building a world that reflects the values of the Kingdom. As the Pope reminds us, “we are called to: unity, communion, the fraternity born of the realization that all of us are embraced by the one love of God … In the one People of God, therefore, let us journey together, in order to experience a Church that receives and lives this gift of unity, and is open to the voice of the Spirit” (Moment
of reflection for the beginning of the synodal journey, 9 October 2021).

The method proposed by the Pontiff could not be other than that of attentive and respectful listening to all the members of the Church and of attention to the desires and concerns of our contemporaries in order to move forward together in the direction indicated by the Spirit of the Lord, the true protagonist of this process: “I want to say again that the Synod is not a parliament or an opinion poll; the Synod is an ecclesial event and its
protagonist is the Holy Spirit. If the Spirit is not present, there will be no Synod” (ibid.).

Always in search of unity in plurality, we all feel involved in this synodal journey, ready to collaborate so that the Church may manifest her identity as an icon of Trinitarian communion, sacrament of the Kingdom of God, and attentive servant of humanity in this world marked by so many challenges and contradictions, advances and setbacks. No one, therefore, can remain on the margins of this common task. “The words ‘communion’ and
‘mission’ can risk remaining somewhat abstract, unless we cultivate an ecclesial praxis that expresses the concreteness of synodality at every step of our journey and activity, encouraging real involvement on the part of each and all” (ibid.).

As members of the Congregation of the Mission, how do we place ourselves in this synodal itinerary? What is the contribution we can offer to the Church from the peculiarity of our missionary charism? How does the spirit of synodality affect our personal, community, provincial, and congregational life? Let us allow the Word of God and the experience of Saint Vincent to help us walk with a firm step in that direction.

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4th Centenary of the Foundation of the CM