Here is the theme for July’s 400th anniversary retreat.
We remind you that the programme, the various documents and all the necessary information are at the following link
Synodality raises the theme of the relationship between memory, witness, and prophecy as keys to the Church’s self-understanding. In fact, as a living memory of the Gospel, the Church is a witness to the love of the Father who reveals himself in Jesus Christ and acts through the dynamism of the Spirit. Her
prophecy is born precisely of what she is in her mystery: icon of the Trinity, sacrament of the Kingdom, sign and
instrument of salvation for all humanity. This prophecy is reflected in her identity as a pilgrim people of God, in which all the baptized have the same dignity and are called equally to holiness in the diversity of vocations, charisms, and ministries. Such prophecy is verified in its mission to evangelize, proclaiming the unfathomable riches of Christ in order to promote and defend the life of all, with particular attention to the poorest.
Exercising this multiform prophecy, in the most diverse contexts where the mission of the Church is carried out, many have handed over their lives with Christ and, like Christ, giving the greatest proof of love for their brothers and sisters, moved by the faith they professed. The martyrs are the most convincing expression of the Synodal Church’s prophecy. The Church’s prophecy still is manifested in her ongoing effort of conversion, as Vatican II recalled when it spoke of the “ecclesia semper reformanda” which “always follows the way of penance and renewal” (LG 8). This in view of the growing communion among its members and its mission in the service
As a living cell of the Church, the Congregation of the Mission also understands itself as memory, witness, and prophecy. It does so from the specificity of the grace bestowed on it by the Spirit: the Vincentian charism. Thus, the Congregation is called to be, in the heart of the Church, a living memory of God’s predilection for the poor, extending the saving mission of Jesus Christ in the power of the Spirit. As witnesses to the missionary charity of
the Son of God and clothed in his spirit, the Priests and Brothers of the Mission are committed in a decisive way to the evangelization and service of the poor and the formation of the clergy and laity, through an enormous multiplicity of initiatives, ministries, and works. The identity of the Congregation is radically kerygmatic and diaconal, precisely because it is rooted in the Gospel and oriented towards charity. This is witnessed by those
who have left indelible traces on the path of holiness that we are called to follow, especially our martyred confreres. The more the Congregation understands its missionary identity and assumes synodality as the inspiration for its lifestyle and actions, the more the
Congregation becomes a prophecy for the Church and the world. Hence, prophecy is not confused with a strategy, a discourse, or an ideology, but is the overflow of a charismatic identity historically incarnated, under the impulse of a vocation welcomed in faith. To become prophecy, both the Church and the Congregation need to allow themselves to be led by the Spirit of the Lord and to be ready for conversion and reform, without which every effort of revision and revitalization will lack depth and consistency. The last General Assembly wanted to move us in this perspective, inviting us to “place our fragile clay at the hands of the potter (Is. 64: 8), to welcome creative ways of living our charism, and to live a ‘new Pentecost’ so that the palpable signs of God’s Kingdom might shine among us. In the midst of the uncertainties of the times, we are challenged to undertake ‘a journey of conversion and purification… to rediscover the foundation and identity of our call without giving way to pessimism or to the tiring frustration of those who feel powerless and prepare for the worst.’” So, all the members and structures of the Congregation truly are summoned to welcome the grace and to take up the challenge of Synodality as a path of revision and renewal in order to become a promising prophecy of the Kingdom for the Church and the world.