After a two-day retreat, the Capitulars started ordinary Chapter business, as scheduled. Thursday morning, during the first session, moderated by Fr. Joaquim Parron, Fr. Michael Brehl, Superior General, presented his concise report on different conferences of the Congregation. He summed up the last six years for one and a half hours. He gave an account to what extent the Congregation succeeded to embody in the inputs and decisions given by the previous General Chapter in Pattaya, Thailand.
Fr Brehl’s report consisted of several parts. First, he gave the social and cultural context of our apostolate, which has had a substantial impact on our lives and activities – in particular, he mentioned the Covid-19 crisis and the war in Ukraine.
Starting from the social level, Fr General described the signs of distrust and the spiritual disorientation that affect the whole society and the consecrated life. That’s why we need to reflect on our redemptorist identity and mission and put the accent on the formation of all stages of our missionary vocation to be able to respond to the needs of the wounded world of today.
In the further part of his presentation, Fr. Brehl talked about all five Conferences: Europe, North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia-Oceania, Africa, and Madagascar. As he was describing the general situation of the Redemptorists in those continents, Fr. General pointed out the important developments, challenges, and concerns.
The third part was entitled “seeds of hope.” Fr. Brehl included among them: the growing solidarity in mission, creation of the international redemptorist communities, partnership in mission with lay persons, reconstruction, and reconfiguration for the mission, prompted by the desire for ongoing conversion and affirmation of Redemptorist missionary identity.
After Fr. General’s presentation, there was a time to ask questions and clarifications, and then the capitulars went to work in small groups, divided according to the language spoken.
The afternoon session will continue the discussion on the report of the Superior General. It is worth saying that the first days of the Chapter assembly are intended for various reports that can help better understand the current state of the Congregation and evaluate the fidelity to its charism and mission, which is one of the goals of the General Chapter.