First Meeting of Extended General Council

At its first meeting of the Sexennium, the Enlarged General Council had a very full and varied agenda to transact. For the time being, the Enlarged General Council comprises the members of the General Definitory and the two Regional Delegates, Brother Joseph Smith (Asia-Pacific and North America) and Brother Jairo Enrique Urueta (America Latina). In future, the Enlarged Council could also include other members, but it has been decided for the time being to wait until the plan to reorganise the General Curia has been finalised.

 Considerable space was devoted to reports on events in the four regions of the Order (Africa, Asia, America and Europe). The reports revealed serious concern on all sides for the Pastoral Care of Vocations/Vocations Promotion and the Formation of the Brothers. Another common concern that was very widely discussed was the future functioning of the Regional Commissions and their linkage with the General Curia. This aspect will also be one of the key issues to be addressed when reorganising the General Curia.

 Other reports given to the meeting were on:

-           The Canonical Visitations already completed (or in progress) to the Polish, Andalusian, Korean and French Provinces;

-           The ?Hospitality Europe? office in Brussels;

-           The beatification of the 24 Spanish martyrs in October this year;

-           The Missions and International Cooperation Office.

 

The members then gave progress reports on the work of the following Commissions:

-           Reorganisation of the General Curia;

-           Pastoral Care of the Sick;

-           Vocations Promotion/Pastoral Care and Formation;

-           Bioethics.

 

Almost all the reports were followed by wide-ranging and detailed discussions.

 Another agenda item was the way in which the English-speaking world interprets and practises the theology of the Religious Life and the identity of Religious. This discussion was expanded to include cultural diversity in general, and to see how all these differences might be able to be integrated under the common denominator of ?Hospitality?.

 Another item to which considerable space was devoted was on the preparations for the Assembly of Major Superiors scheduled to be held on 7-October 11, 2013 in Rome.

 Work also began on preparing for the 2014 Provincial Chapters. The theme for all the chapters will be ?Living Hospitality hopefully and boldly?.

 One sensitive issue addressed by the Enlarged General Council, and which will have to be debated further by the Assembly of Major Superiors in October, is the obligation on the General Curia to guarantee financial oversight over the whole Order. In future, it will certainly be necessary to identify new procedures for this to be done.

 The meeting ended with a series of briefings on Tiber Island Hospital and the reorganisation of AFaR (Associazione Fatebenefratelli per la Ricerca Biomedica) and FIF (Fatebenefratelli International Foundation for Formation). In future, these two entities will be amalgamated into one corporation to be called the Fatebenefratelli Foundation ? Fondazione Fatebenefratelli (FF), reporting directly to Tiber Island Hospital

 All the participants expressed their satisfaction with the meeting and said they had found it useful and productive. The meetings of the Enlarged General Council together with the meetings of the General Definitory at the beginning of the year dedicated to planning and evaluation will certainly become an increasingly important animation tool for the General Government to express and put into practice the spirit of collegiality.

 

 

 


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