11 October 2021
11 Oct 2021

Looking ahead without regrets

The meeting of the Major Superiors of Europe has begun in Krakow. Almost all the Major Superiors and the small Dehonian entities of the European Continent are present. The Superior General and four councilors of the general government are also present. 

by  Sergio Rotasperti, scj

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Europe is home to charismatic roots and places that are the living memory of what the Dehonian Congregation is today; a patrimony that is at risk of survival.

In Europe, Dehonians find themselves proclaiming the Gospel in a context in which Christianity is becoming increasingly irrelevant. Internally, the various Dehonian entities are faced with the problem of aging and a dramatic lack of personnel.

There are many expectations and equally urgent responses that cannot be further delayed.

Because of the pandemic, the meeting of the Superiors was postponed and then cancelled. And now finally all the entities will be present in person.

The Major Superiors have been invited to reread the letter that Pope Francis wrote on the occasion of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Holy See’s presence as Permanent Observer at the Council of Europe: “The Pope,” writes Fr. José Agostinho, coordinator of the event, “challenges Europe not to stop in a contemplation of the past, seen as an album of memories, but to project itself towards the future.”

Pope Francis’ letter is the starting point for the assembly’s work. Participants were previously sent some questions to which they will try to give a shared answer:

  1. How can we preserve our past and our history – Foundation places, houses and structures – without nostalgia or conservatism?
  2. What contribution can we make to a more welcoming and hospitable Europe, attentive to the last in society, to the excluded, to refugees?
  3. Since interreligious dialogue is one of the greatest challenges in the construction of Europe, how can we integrate this dynamism?
  4. How can we reconcile the need to welcome confreres from other entities and, at the same time, continue to send confreres to mission lands?
  5. How can we make an effective and coordinated common formation of our candidates and religious in initial formation?
  6. What common strategies can we use to integrate the laity more effectively into the Dehonian project?
  7. In order to optimize our human resources, how can we reorganize the various entities in Europe?

The week alternates between conferences and group work. It only remains for us to wish you good and fruitful work for the future of Europe and the entire congregation.

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