Being Superior during a pandemic


Webinar organized by the USG/UISG Health Commission

"Serving as superior in times of pandemic: Leadership in Religious Communities at the Time of Covid-19", was the title of the webinar that was held on 2 December from 15.00 to 17.00.

The speakers at the meeting were: Rev. Carmine Arice, Superior General of the Brothers of St. Joseph Benedict Cottolengo and President of the USG/UISG Health Commission, and Prof. Tonino Cantelmi, psychiatrist, founder, Scientific Director, and President of the Institute of Cognitive Interpersonal Therapy, who has extensive experience of working with religious families in the management of various fragilities, including those related to the pandemic.

Below is a small excerpt from Father Carmine's speech, which he says:

Something radical in the history of humanity has changed, and, as Father Sosa, Superior of the Jesuits and President of the USG states, "We do not yet know what the impact of the pandemic will be on Religious Life and where it will take us!" As men and women religious we are called to live this challenge that history imposes on us, in very real ways, with a prophetic look and a spirit of faith.

In these times, there has been no lack of luminous and even heroic examples of a life given, but we cannot deny that, in any case, being close to such great suffering is a reality that wounds and the danger of exorcising evil without facing it really exists! The emotional wreckage (anger, fears, identity crisis, sense of failure, disorientation, crisis of faith and fear...) can weigh heavy even in the hearts of those who have made a choice to follow Christ, and we must have the courage to admit it.

Being superiors in a time of pandemic means trying to intercept the needs of so many religious who have been or are still marked, affected, wounded by the experience of the disease, both as patients and as workers.

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