In a fraternal atmosphere, the preparatory committee for the 2018 General Conference had its first meeting today (February 6) at the Generalte in Rome.
The day began with a simple prayer led by Fr. Carlos Enrique, vicar general and coordinator of the committee. Committee members then introduced themselves to each other. They are: Fr. John Karl Cabaluna (PHI), Fr. Grzegorz Piatek (POL), Fr. Carlos Lobo (MOZ), Fr. Quang Nguyen (USA) and Fr. Joao Carlos Paschoalim (BSP). Along with a short introduction each person also spoke of his involvement and commitment to the social apostolate in the Congregation, both specific social works and in the formation of religious and laity.
Fr. Carlos Enrique then presented the agenda of the week, including the work that needs to be accomplished by the committee. One of the most important objectives of the meeting is to propose a concrete theme for the General Conference. That theme will be based in the conclusions of the XXIII General Chapter, the Programmatic Letter of the General Administration, and discussions that took place at the 2016 Major Superiors Meeting.
Fr. Heiner Wilmer, superior general, met with the committee to share the hopes of the general administration for the General Conference. In particular, the general administration would like the conference to focus on formation and mission with an emphasis on the poor. How can the conference help the congregation, based in its Dehonian spirituality, to not only reflect on social concerns but also identify concrete ways to express its commitment to the poor? What types of meaningful missionary experiences can take place during the various stages of formation?
The committee concludes its meetings on February 10.