The annual meeting of the Theological Commission of Latin America (CTDLA) took place in Recife (BRE Province), January 22-26. All the entities were represented: Fr. André Vital (BRE), Fr. João Carlos Almeida (BSP), Fr. Manuel Antonio Teixeira (SEES), Fr. Hugo Salas (ARG), Fr. Cristhian Gatica (CHI, presently a part of the Paraguay mission), and Fr. Rubens Rieg (BRM) who was able to take part by Skype from Rome during four sections of the meeting. Fr. Arthur Sanecki, General Counselor and chairperson of the International Theological Commission, was also present.
The Theological Commission of Latin America started its activities ad experimentum in 2010 at the request of the superiors of the Latin American entities. It was a response to the proposal of the 2009 General Chapter. In May, 2015, the bylaws of the commission were approved by the Major Superiors of Latin America. On October 13th the bylaws received an official confirmation from the General Government. The meeting in Recife can be considered to be the first official meeting of the newly approved commission.
The meeting started with a welcome from Fr. Carlos Alberto da Costa Silva, provincial superior of the BRE Province and the representative of the Major Superiors of Latin America. Immediately afterwards the challenges of the commission were evaluated for the triennium of 2016-2018. We have read the recent minutes of the International Theological Commission and have studied the new programmatic letter of the General Administration. Helpful for this work was the presentation of the document by Fr. Sanecki.
During the same morning we reviewed the already approved statues of the commission and then elected the secretary (Fr. André Vital) and the chairperson (Fr. João Carlos Almeida).
The second part of the meeting was dedicated to the study of and reflection on works done by several members of the commission. Fr. Antonio Teixeira presented his paper titled “Mercy, Reparation and Devotion for Fr. Dehon;” Fr. Cristhian Gatica presented a sketch of his work, “Mercy in the Social Doctrine of the Church;” and finally Fr. João Almeida shared the elements of his study, “The Works of Corporal and Spiritual Mercy.”
The final evening was dedicated to the preparation of the program of the triennium 2016-2019. It is important to align our efforts with the work of the International Theological Commission in view of preparation of the next theological seminar that will take place in Indonesia in 2017. We prepared several considerations for the Major Superiors of our entities too, proposing January, 2018, as a possible Continental Week of Dehonian Studies as was suggested in the Programmatic Letter of the General Administration.
The next annual meeting of the commission is planed for January 24-28, 2017, in Paraguay.