(Rome) – Two Oblate Sisters, Ana María Barandiarán, in charge of the Congregational Historical Archives, and Julita Núñez, General Treasurer, participated in the International Congress “Charism and Creativity. Cataloguing, management and innovative projects for the cultural heritage of the communities of consecrated life”, held in Rome on May 4 and 5.
Organised by the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life and the Pontifical Council for Culture, together with the International Union of Superiors General (UISG), the Union of Superiors General and the Secretariat for Assistance to Nuns, the congress is concerned with the cultural heritage of communities of consecrated life in all its expressions. It seeks to consolidate and make effective the actions of care and appreciation shared with all the actors who deal with this cultural heritage.
The Pope’s message
In this context, the Pope wrote a message to the meeting participants. He affirmed that it is possible “to elaborate a theological discourse on cultural goods, considering that they have a place in the sacred liturgy, in evangelisation and in the exercise of charity”.
Thus, he indicated that “the value they assume consists essentially in their capacity to transmit a religious, spiritual and cultural meaning which, for the cultural goods of the Institutes of Consecrated Life, consists above all in recognition of the relationship they maintain with the history, spirituality and traditions of the specific Communities, in practice with their ‘charism'”, exhorting them as “testimonial goods” in which to preserve this charism “to proclaim it anew, rethink it and bring it up to date”.
He also suggested that the burden of preserving the goods “can become an opportunity to renew, to rethink one’s own charism, to recompose it in the present socio-cultural context and to project it into the future”.