Sr. Rosalie Kahambu, O.A., bringing the relics on a platter of flowers
The renovated chapel of the General House in Rome was blessed and its new altar consecrated.
The result of a project several years in the making, the chapel at “Due Pini” during these last months was completely transformed according to the plans of Brazilian architect Claudio Pastro (cf. AA News no. 11, pp. 3 and 7 and no. 12, p. 7).
The Provincials spent the morning of the next-to-last day of the Council of the Congregation sharing ideas about the apostolic life, the important apostolates of the Congregation, and the continuation of our pastoral commitments.
The discussions of the assembly underlined the need to have a common project, drawn up in the local chapter of each community, in order to encourage sharing, mutual support, and enthusiasm for the extension of the Kingdom. Otherwise, we can easily fall into apostolic individualism.
First, there was a sharing among the provincials, followed by a discussion about what it means to belong to the congregation and to have a sense of the local and universal Church. It is important to keep reminding our communities that they must remain open to the broad mission of the Church, already during the years of formation of the religious as well as in the way they live.
There exists, in each of our provinces, “flagship” apostolates whose influence extends beyond the borders of the country where they are located. Assumption as a whole benefits from these apostolates. We should all sensitize ourselves to the importance of maintaining the apostolic vitality of the following: the university in Worcester, our educational institutions, Bayard, etc.
“Young people and vocation ministry” was the theme of the discussions held on Monday, April 7, by the Provincials of France and of Congo.
This theme gave rise to a useful debate on the relevance of continuing our efforts in this domain despite the many difficulties that exist especially in the West: secularization, de-Christianization, etc. We are convinced that God is still calling and that we must transmit his call to young people without giving up hope. We believe that we must have happy, prayerful and missionary communities in order to attract new brothers to Assumption.
Everyone was in a festive mood this Sunday morning: there was no work foreseen for the Council of the Congregation, and there was radiant sunshine, despite the fact that the weather forecast had predicted rain.
We left the house immediately after Morning Prayer in the company of the local community and of two aspiring Assumptionists. Four visits were planned: the Buddhist Temple of Song Gwang, the fortified village of Nagan, the National Cemetery where are buried some of the victims of the democratic insurrection of May 1980, and, toward the end of the day, the Oblate Sisters for a celebration of the Eucharist to which the Lay Assumptionists were invited.
The road leading to the Temple of Song Gwang is lined with cherry trees, forsythia, and magnolia trees in bloom. The fresh colors were already inviting us to become serene, even before we entered the temple precincts.
Using the same procedure as on previous days, the Council heard the reports of the Provincial of Spain and of the Vice-Provincial of Madagascar. These reports were followed by the reactions of the assembly.
The Council discussed the theme of “Consecrated Life”:
- Consecrated life invites us to focus our lives on the Lord and the Kingdom.
- We were called and we have responded: this is a grace!
- We find it difficult to speak about it … out of modesty?
- A requirement: “To be sincere and transparent,” which supposes great trust in our brothers.
- Importantly, we must know how to evangelize cultures by frequenting the Gospel and the Rule of Life.
- Saint Augustine insisted very much on interiority.
Visit of the Archbishop of Kwangju and his Auxiliary
Today, Friday, in light of what the Provinces have said, the assembly chose “Community Life” as its theme.
A few inescapable aspects were touched upon:
- First, the importance of the Local Chapter! The Local Chapter is a real occasion for sharing in which – in all truthfulness – the community draws up its “charter.” It is a real occasion for sharing.
- The community is a reality of Faith.
One of the significant moments of the Council of the Congregation is to listen to what the various provinces have to say. It amounts to an overview of the Assumptionist world through the reports drawn up by the provincials.
This year we experimented with a new method of evaluation.