Rome, Friday July 8, 2016
This morning, we received a visit from H.E. Card. Velasio De Paolis, canonist and President emeritus of the "Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See". He is the author of several books, among others, on the Consecrated Life.
The Cardinal celebrated the Holy Mass for us and in the homily, spoke about how the General Chapter is a moment of grace that the Lord gives us and that we must give thanks to Him for the flourishing of our Institute.
He also reflected on how the history of God and of man is a history of love, in which God daily makes Himself present, giving us the possibility of conversion, and how the "Good News" consists precisely in that we may daily take up the way of sanctity. He highlighted four important moments of this way, such as the Metanoia (conversion) that entails placing ourselves in a disposition of conversion. This Conversion should lead us to the Kenosis, or "self-empyting", in order to leave space in our interior for God, in imitation of Our Lord Jesus Christ who "emptied Himself", as the Letter to the Philippians states.
By being humble, generous, and by self-abnegation, we may be more available for others, for the Kingdom of God; this is what leads to Diakonia, (service) in the image of Christ who "did not come to be served, but to serve". This service brings about its fruit in the construction of the community, that is to say, "Koinonia" (communion).
Lastly, he emphasized that the job of the General Chapter is to build a future of the Institute by means of unity and the capacity of self-donation, all of which is possible with the grace of God.
After the Holy Mass, the Cardinal joined us for breakfast and during the first work session gave us a conference on the richness of the Consecrated Life, especially in light of the theological development produced by the Second Vatican Council, in the Dogmatic Constitution, "Lumen Gentium", reaching its peak in the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation, "Vita Consecrata", by St. John Paul II.
In the session that followed, M. María del Calvario Scaloni presented a report on the advancement of particular projects that had been commended to the General Council by the III General Chapter carried out in 2010.
In the afternoon, M. María de las Mercedes Piña (representing the commission formed by the prioresses who participate in this Chapter), presented the proposals (modos) submitted to the General Chapter that relate to the various corrections of the Monastic Rule.
When the elections and the celebrations had come to a close, there was a moment of free time, followed by Eucharistic Adoration and Vespers.
The Good Nights were given by M. María del Rocío Chirino, (Local Superior of the community that attends the Mercy Home, “Nuestra Señora de la Divina Providencia” in San Rafael, Argentina). M. Rocío spoke about the religious life in relation to the works of mercy.
Dinner and recreation were organized by the Mothers from the Province, "María, Puerta de la Aurora", that includes the countries of Northern Europe: Holland, Iceland, Lithuania, Ireland, and Luxembourg.
M. María de Bethlehem Pinciroli