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West Europe Province - Conclusion of the General Canonical Visitation

The General Canonical Visitation to the West Europe Province (Ireland and England) was conducted by Brother Rudolf Knopp on May 10 -- June 6, 2015. The visitation will take place In the communities and centres in Malawi/Africa later in the year as part of theGeneral Canonical Visitation to Africa. The visitation was conducted under the motto, Living hospitality hopefully and boldly.

 The closure of the visitation in Ireland on 1-6 June, 2015, was also attended by the Prior General, Brother Jesús Etayo. What is particular about the West Europe Province (http://www.stjohnofgodvocation.ie) is the fact that since 2012 all the Province’s centres and services have been merged into an ecclesiastical juridical corporation (PJP) called “HospitallerMinistries“ ( http://www.sjog.ie ).

 The visitation of the Prio rGeneral began on June 2, attending the “Hospitaller Ministries” annual formation and reflection “Hospitaller Leadership Conference”, at Stillorgan/Dublin,on the theme “Living the Dream”.  The speakers at the conference also included the Archbishop of Dublin, Mgr. Dr. Diarmuid Martin.

 The whole of Day 3 was devoted to meeting people with disabilities. Throughout the morning and the afternoon, the visitors from Rome went to the centres for people with disabilities in the metropolitan area of Dublin, which is mainly where the“Hospitaller Ministries” activities are focused. During the day, the officials of the services were able to present their activities while the guests of the centres and the other members of the Saint John of God Family had the opportunity to personally meet the Prior General, and the other people accompanying him.

 On June 4, all the departmental heads of Hospitaller Ministries were able to give an account of their activities and share their plans for the future with the Prior General, Brother Jesús, and General Councillor Brother Rudolf. The meeting took place at the Hospital Ministries head office at Stillorgan/Dublin. In the afternoon, the Provincial Council met in joint session with the guests from Rome.

 The visitation was officially closed on June 5th  with a Provincial Assembly at Stillorgan/Dublin at which Brother Rudolf Knopp presented his conclusions and impressions of the canonical visitation to the West European Province. Brother Rudolf thanked the Co-workers for their commitment, deploring the difficult situation created in the centres of the Province because of cutbacks and new quality standards. Referring to the life of the Brothers, he spoke of the critical period which the Church in Ireland is currently experiencing, and urged the Brothers to seek out signs of hope at the same time. Taking up a few of the issues raised by BrotherRudolf regarding the life of the Brothers in his concluding speech, the Prior General emphasised the importance of joyfully living their vocation to Hospitality, and with reference to the mission of Order, he spoke of the need to create a dynamic Family of Saint John of God, faithful to the Order’s values and ethos. After the plenary discussion, the closing Eucharist was celebrated as the official conclusion of the general canonical visitation. At the convivial supper, everyone had yet another opportunity to meet one another and share  their experiences.


During the weekend, thePrior General, Brother Jesús, the General Councillor, Brother Rudolf, flew backto Rome.


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