INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS ON CONSECRATED LIFE, ROME
The first ever International Congress on ‘Consecrated Life’ began on 7th April 2015, with the registration of the participants at Augustininuam. The Congress was held at Ergife Hotel, Rome with over 1300 participants from 106 Countries.
The aim of the Congress was to reflect upon the fundamental aspects of consecrated life in the Church and the world in a multi-cultural context, and the demands on formation that this contemporary context entails. This International Congress was organized by the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. On first day of the Congress, the participants were made to reflect on the following themes: ‘The Apostolic Letter for the year of Consecrated Life’, ‘Journeying along the streets of the world with the Heart of the Son’ and ‘Formed by the Father throughout life by the power of the Holy Spirit’ through presentations by different speakers on these subjects.
On the second day, we had presentations by Sr. Claudia Penacy on ‘The Formation Process: unification in Christ for the world’s benefit and ‘To learn how to learn’ by Fr. Richardo Volo.This was followed by workshops conducted by Sr. Nicla Spezzati, Under Secretary. On the third day, the participants reflected on ‘Adapting the Gospel style to be joyful witnesses in the outskirts’ by Sr. Lola and ‘The formation of Formators: necessity for every Congregation Educational Process, Criteria and Aims’ by Fr.P. Michael Mc Guire. And on the fourth day, we had the presentations of different Formation Experiences of Congregations by different eminent persons and by continent-wise. Every presentation was followed by reflective sharing in the groups.
Brothers Arockiaraj from France, Gregoire Coly from Senegal and B.A.Kurian from India represented our Congregation for this International Congress. The Congress was very useful for the participants for better insights, exposure, to learn techniques and methods in formation and for updating the current formation techniques for the present day youth, who knock at our doors, wondering about their vocation to Religious life.
The Congress concluded with the Eucharistic Celebration at St. Peter’s Papal Basilica presided over by His Excellency Cardinal Joao Braz, Prefect and an eagerly awaited audience with the Holy Father Pope Francis at the Paul VI Hall. Pope Francis asked the Formators to be patient, Listening and be witnesses of the Gospel to the formees. He asked the Formators not to be discouraged as we are doing a ministry, which is thankless but God’s grace is with us and we need to go ahead doing this mission joyfully with patient accompaniment even if no visible results come on your way.
(Bro. B. A. Kurian)