VIII Meeting of Religious Brothers in Rome
On the afternoon of November 26, about 90 Brothers from 17 Institutes gathered at the General House of the De La Salle Brothers in Rome. Twelve Superiors General of these Congregations also participated.
This was the VIII meeting organized by the Tutti Fratelli Group which is composed of Brothers from different Congregations present in Rome. This group meets monthly to "promote our vocation as religious Brothers and to reflect on our identity and mission in the Church and in the world, being visible signs of the gift of fraternity".
For the formation aspect of the meeting, Fr. José Cristo Rey García Paredes, CMF, was invited to develop the theme "Accomplices of the Spirit: Brothers in Missio Dei". With his distinctive ability to communicate, Fr. Cristo Rey encouraged reflection on the concept of mission. We can summarize the change in the concept of mission to which we are called in these expressions:
- We usually think of "mission" as a characteristic of the Church; as something that belongs to her and for which she is responsible and is the protagonist.
- "Mission" is a verb whose protagonist is the Triune God. It is, above all, "Missio Dei", "Missio Jesu", "Missio Spiritus".
- The Church, the congregations, our communities, each one of us are mere accomplices - collaborators in this Mission of God.
After the input, the brothers formed small language groups to share feelings, ideas and reflections related to the exposition. Upon returning to the plenary, some groups gave feedback and posed questions to Fr. Paredes. At the conclusion, Fr. Paredes underlined the changes that we must make to assume this new way of understanding the mission. This new perspective tells us that the mission does not end when we retire from active life.
From the session hall, the group moved to the main chapel, next to the tomb of St. John Baptist de La Salle, for a moment of prayer. The gathering was capped by a fraternal dinner hosted by the Superior General of the De La Salle Brothers, another sign of the fraternal welcome that the De La Salle Brothers always extend to us.
As in previous meetings, the "Gift of Fraternity" was manifested in an atmosphere of welcome, joy and commitment to make our lives living testimonies of fraternity.