From 19th to 29th September 2022, the General Council held a meeting of 17 new Spiritan superiors.
The last such Meeting was in March 2019 which had concluded just two days before the official announcement of the COVID-19 outbreak and the lockdown.
The 17 new superiors were from many different provinces and groups around the globe, living and working in very diverse social, economic, cultural and political situations.
Seven superiors were from Africa, five from Europe, two from North America, two from Latin America and one from Asia. Among them, one was in his late 30’s, seven in their 40’s, five in their 50’s and four in their 60s. So it was a group of dynamic and motivated Superiors for the demanding mission of leadership and the animation of their circumscriptions.
The meeting is a very important annual meeting for the members of the General Council and it serves three basic purposes: Firstly, it gives the General Council an opportunity to get a sense of the challenges that are faced by our Spiritan leaders around the globe. Secondly, it enables our new superiors to get a sense of the different services that are at their disposal here in the Generalate and many different ways in which we can be of service to them in exercising their ministry. Thirdly, it is an opportunity for the members of the General Council and the new superiors to work together towards a common understanding and a common vision of what it means to be a Spiritan leader in the world today which is vital for a decentralised organization.
The opening liturgy, presided Fr. Alain Mayama, the Superior General, emphasised self-giving and leadership as service to others. For that reason there was a ceremony of washing of feet incorporated into the Mass, carried out by the Superior General, Fr. Alain Mayama and assisted by his first Assistant and the superior of the community.
The meeting started with presentations by each new superior on the reality of his circumscription and followed by some discussions. Then members of the General Council gave inputs on Leadership and Animation, Confreres in irregular situation, Interreligious Dialogue (IRD), Canonical process, Intercultural communities, Central Development Office/Mission Office, Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC), Mission Appointments, Finances, Spiritan formation, Safeguarding of vulnerable adults, Spiritan Education and Lay Spiritan Associates. The Superiors also had opportunity to visit and see different services at the Generalate. Fr. Brendan Carr from Ireland was invited to give an input on leadership and Br. Carmo Gomes from Portugal was invited to help in audio-visual communication.
The meeting was not all work; the new superiors had an opportunity to visit the city of Rome, to attend the Papal audience and to spend a day in Assisi, the birthplace of Saint Francis.
Our new leaders have dispersed; they have returned to their places of origin, to their places of work. We hope they have acquired new energy and new insights for the ministry that they exercise in the name of the Congregation.
You can watch the video about the new superiors on this link https://youtu.be/BfDgO41Z4zo