Italy: The first Chapter of the Province of Europe South is celebrated in Colle S. Alfonso

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The first provincial chapter of the new unit of Southern Europe began with the mass of the Holy Spirit, celebrated by the provincial superior Fr. Gennaro Sorrentino, in the church of San Michele, adjacent to the house of Colle S. Alfonso (about 20 km south of Naples), took place from 10 to 15 June. A historic event that brings together confreres from different areas of the vast Province, together with representatives of the Vice Provinces and officials. 

The moments of prayer, specially prepared in various languages, favoured community discernment in attentive listening to the Holy Spirit, who opens new paths to evangelization and raises strong and courageous heralds for his people, capable of bearing witness to the Gospel in a constantly changing world. 

Fundamental in this process of community listening is the detailed reflection (Paradigm shift in European consecrated life. Unsustainable lightness or regeneration?) by the Spanish Claretian Fr. José Cristo Rey Garcia, theologian and teacher, which is full of stimulating content.

The works took place in a fraternal and serene atmosphere, of open discussion and fruitful collaboration, with the aim of renewing and relaunching the Redemptorist mission. The presence of numerous young confreres, engaged on various fronts and bearers of new ideas and enthusiasm, made the assembly more lively and proactive. 

A lively and demanding chapter, with a fast pace, which saw the confreres alternate between the classroom and the four working groups in a construction site of ideas, proposals and common interests. The preparatory work of the Commission was fundamental and facilitated the carrying out of the work. Everyone had the opportunity to express themselves and get to know each other,  looking at the various realities of the Province and many expectations for its future. 

The focus was on central themes:  The Mission of the new Province, which must be thematized in the  Pastoral Plan and implemented by the secretariats, with the contribution of the commissions and missionary laboratories. And finally, the examination of the Draft Statutes, which must be approved after scrutiny by the communities.

Many challenges await the mission of the Redemptorists in Europe South in the coming years. Projects hopes, and expectations were presented to the Lord in the final celebration at the Basilica of S. Alfonso in Pagani, presided over by the superior general Fr. Rogerio Gomes, who delivered his message to the confreres, encouraging and supporting them in this stage of the Province’s journey. 

A final lunch strengthened the bonds of brotherhood that characterized these days of grace and lived in the name of creativity and missionary commitment. 

Fr. Vincenzo La Mendola, C.Ss.R.