|RMG – GC27: Material for the work of the Moderators of the Provincial Chapters|
|RMG – GC27: Preparing with prayer|
|RMG – Witnesses to the radical approach of the Gospel: a new letter from the Rector Major|
(ANS – Rome) – The Moderator of the 27th General Chapter, Fr Francesco Cereda explains the role, the meaning, the structure, the genesis and the significance of this most important event for the Salesian Congregation in an interview published in the June issue of the Italian Salesian Bulletin.
“A Chapter is like the sea,” Fr Cereda explains. “Large rivers which gather the water from smaller rivers flowing into it. They in their turn have been fed by torrents and streams. The Moderator is the controller of this whole “water” system, so as to ensure that all Salesians can make their own contribution.” It is an event that is meant to involve all of them. “The letter convoking the GC27 is intended to set in motion a process of deep reflection, directed towards the conversion of every confrere, of every community, of every Province”. The Letter of the Rector Major (AGC 413) “launches a wide-ranging process over a considerable period of time which involves the whole Congregation. […] Each one is responsible for the success of the Chapter.”
The chosen theme – Witnesses to the radical approach of the Gospel – arises from “the need to ensure more conviction with regard to our identity (who are we?), our activity (what are we doing?), our educative pastoral project (what are we offering?), all aspects which refer to a radical approach to living the vocation of consecrated apostles. […] The choice of this theme is meant to ensure the vitality of Don Bosco’s charism in the Salesian Congregation today.”
A General Chapter is an important event for the Salesian Congregation, “but the next one will need to provide a strong input of confidence in the future.” This is required because of the new situations, the cultural challenges and the difficulties within Consecrated Life. “In the face of the current situation in which we are living it is urgent that we change our strategy; and this is not easy.”
The GC27 will also provide a fresh impetus for the Salesian Family, “The radical approach of the Gospel in fact is what Jesus demands from every one of his disciples in order to overcome spiritual apathy, pastoral neglect, any lack of effort. It will help all of us to life the Salesian charism more dynamically; and for all of us produce the benefits of visibility, credibility and fruitfulness.”
The Salesian icon chosen for the GC27 is the dream of the 10 diamonds. “This dream speaks in dramatic form about the responsibility every Salesian has with regard to his own vocation and to the contribution he makes to making the face of the Congregation clear or clouded.”
In the interview Fr Cereda also recalls the other tasks facing the GC27: the election of the Rector Major and the members of the General Council for the six-year period 2014-2020; the re-thinking of the structure of the Departments for the Salesian Mission; the organisation of the three Regions of Europe; an assessment of the decision to entrust the Salesian Family to the Vicar of the Rector Major.
He also says something further about the three key issues in the theme of the GC27. “They refer to what ought to be the characteristics of the Salesian of the future; as the Rector Major says in the letter convoking it, he is called be a mystic, a prophet and a servant. Mysticism, prophecy and service are linked to the fundamental aspects of our apostolic consecration: to spiritual experience, to fraternal life in community to the mission to youth. Therefore we need to be more and more mystics in the Spirit, prophets in fraternal life, servants of the young.”
The full text of the interview is available on the site of the Italian edition of the Salesian Bulletin.