Ariccia (Italy). From 25 to 28 February 2019, the Councils of the Provinces of the Italian Interprovincial Conference (CII) and the Council of “Mary Mother of the Church” Preprovince (RMC) met in Ariccia in Divine Teacher House, to live together a time of formation.

The theme was “Synodality and Government” and the days were aimed at re-reading the relationship between synodality and government in Consecrated Life today, in the light of the Salesian charism and of the Church’s journey. The days spent together were characterized by moments of prayer, personal and group reflection, discussion in assembly, and sharing of serene fraternity.

The meeting began with the request to carry out a simple task: to build, in groups of four, a tower, as tall and beautiful as possible, with small colored bricks, respecting the assigned roles in turn. The architect who could not speak, the builder who was blindfolded, the advisor who could speak and give directions, while the implacable observer recorded every reaction. A simple game that provided lot of thinking about the effort to respect one’s own role without having to prevaricate, letting us immediately take it from the task without looking at the pieces available, on the ability to take a step back as soon as we realized that we were going beyond assigned task, on the trouble of building and then undoing to start again. The morning then continued with a time dedicated to prayer, with the greeting of the CII President Sister Carla Castellino, the presentation of the days by the CII Secretary Sr. Anna Razionale. It was also important to share the meaning that each participant has attributed over time to the words SINODALITY and GOVERNMENT, starting from a common base and the presentation of some experiences already realized.

In the afternoon, Fr. Carlo Maria Zanotti, SDB offered the Assembly a Lectio Divina on the Gospel of John 20:1-18 on Mary Magdalene, Icon of the Resurrection (Final Document of the Synod, n.115). Personal silence and reflection, Eucharistic Adoration, and sharing of the Word prepared us to live the Eucharistic Celebration with an open heart and ready to welcome the suggestions of the Spirit. A beautiful evening of fraternity concluded this first day.

On the morning of 27 February, Mother General, M. Yvonne Reungoat presented the theme “Synodality and Government in the light of the charism“. More than a treatise, it was a sharing of life starting from the world perspective. Mother shared her experience, her rich and wise vision, communicated her concerns, acknowledged the signs of hope, recalled some challenges that in different ways call to the Institute, and invited us “to not make the word synodality a slogan emptied of its content. Together with the whole Church, we are invited to deepen this style of government which has its origin in the Trinitarian communion and which we are called to incarnate in the Institute at all levels. It is a matter of letting ourselves be guided by the Holy Spirit to enter into a style of broad involvement to walk together towards a defined goal”.

In the afternoon Fr. Rossano Sala, SDB, presented the Final Document of the Synod focusing on the theme “Synodality and Government in the experience of the Synod”. In a clear way, starting from the personal experience lived during the Synod as an extraordinary Secretary, he helped the assembly to clarify the meaning of synodality in the life of the Church and consequently in the life of the Congregations. The dialogue with Fr. Rossano, the discussion in the individual Provincial Councils to identify what is and what is lacking regarding synodality and government, and the goodnight of Mother General, concluded the intense second day.

On the morning of February 28, Sr. Vilma Tallone, General Economer, offered some considerations on the theme of “real estate assets”, giving explanations and clarifications. To facilitate the realization of this task is the start of phase 10 of the Interactive Platform that will help to record the real estate assets of each province.

The work for Provincial Councils to identify some concrete steps to be carried out after what was heard and experienced, the sharing in the assembly, and the final greeting of the CII President Sister Carla Castellino, concluded the working days.


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