|RMG – Opening of the 80th half-yearly Assembly of the Union of Superiors General|
|Italy – 79th Six-monthly Assembly of USG in progress|
(ANS – Rome) – On 24-25 May the work continued of the Half-yearly Assembly of the Union of Superiors General, dedicated on this occasion to an examination of Consecrated Life (CL) in Latin America.
On the second day talks were given by Fr Ángel Darío Carrero, OFM, from the Caribbean ; Bro Carlos Gómez Restrepo, a De La Salle Brother for Colombia and a Mexican Jesuit Fr Alex Zatyrka. From the three talks a detailed picture emerged of the situation in Latin America and the Caribbean, of a continent in transformation and subject to radical change between the past and the present.
Fr Joseph Maria Abella Batlle, CMF, Vice-President of the USG then summed up the day's procedings. Faced with the great challenges and worries the Superior of the Claretians spoke about the importance of CL in Latin America, as throughout the world, being measured by the ability of religious being men and women of real depth; “we want to pursue a path, a style of CL which is renewed and which responds to the new situations that worry us, so that our fraternal lives may be more human and create a better world,” he said quoting the message of the XVII Assembly of the Latin American and Caribbean Confederation of Religious Men and Women (CLAR).
The theme for Friday 25th, the concluding day of the assembly, was communication. Starting from the qualities of Jesus, a great communicator, a man of the word and of silence, of meditation by night and by day, Sr Joanna Puntel, a Brazilian sister of the Daughters of Saint Paul, focused her attention on the current model for digital culture, which uses a technological medium but which is oriented on each individual. With a broad vision, referring also to material from New Evangelization, the Pauline sister recalled that “it is not sufficient to have equipment or professional training; cultural, doctrinal and spiritual formation have become indispensable.”
Sr Joanna invited the superiors to take account of the fact that young people entering religious congregations today come from a very different world, more media and digital centred that that of adult religious. She encouraged them to see new possibilities for a prophetic presence through the new media.
In the closing message Fr Abella Battle emphasised the need to give attention to the actual situations of CL, but also pointed out that it needed to be constantly re-thought in its theological dimension and in close connection with the demands being made on it by the poor and the marginalised especially in the context of Latin America , a continent with extremes of inequality.