From September 19th to September 28th, 14 new Spiritan superiors came from 13 countries, but two Nigerian superiors could not make it, because they did not get a visa.

The opening liturgy, presided by Fr. Joseph Shio, one of the assistants from Tanzania, emphasised leadership as service. For that reason there was a ceremony of washing of feet incorporated into the Mass, carried out by the principal celebrant assisted by the Superior General, John Fogarty, from Ireland, and his first assistant Fr. Bede Ukwuije from Nigeria.

The meetings and the discussions benefitted from simultaneous translation into the three official languages of the Congregation, English, French and Portuguese. One by one the superiors presented an account of their circumscriptions, then there was time to listen to specialists giving input on leadership and animation, canonical processes, justice and peace, financial autonomy and formation.

The spiritual focal point of the meeting was a pilgrimage to Montefalco and Assisi, in the steps of Fr. Francis Libermann, our second founder, who undertook this journey in 1840.

Another key experience, on September 27th, was an audience where the Pope spoke about hope, and about a Church which should be “open, inclusive and welcoming”, especially for migrants and refugees.

The session came to a close with a mass celebrated by the Superior General followed by a cultural evening with barbecue. Let us hope that the new superiors return to their countries full of enthusiasm and happy memories.

Jean-Yves Urfié

Circumscriptions represented:

  • Angola
  • Cameroon
  • Central Africa
  • Congo (Brazzaville)
  • Croatia
  • Gabon-Equat. Guinea
  • French Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Nigeria North-West
  • Nigeria South-East
  • Mozambique
  • Paraguay
  • Sierra Leone
  • Zimbabwe

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