Objectivity, daring and a sense of responsibility
I was surprised at the high participation of the religious in the election of the Prior Provincial of the Province of St. Thomas of Villanueva. 94 % of the religious that is to say 141 out of 150 possible voters. That is a significant piece of data.
The Chapter began, in this centenary year, on the 10th July in the monastery of Monachil (Granada, Spain). Eleven very intense days. Religious from Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela and Spain have been considering the life and mission of their communities. In the chapter hall we have highlighted the missionary spirit of the Province, valued the responsibility of the laity in our educational centres and parishes, our confidence in the JAR (Augustinian Recollect Youth Groups) and other young people in our ministries, and we have dealt with the importance of the media as an instrument of communion and evangelization.
The Chapter Assembly has chosen as their objective for the next three years:
“From our faith in Christ who died and rose again, to deepen our consecration, advancing along the road of a revitalization that is human, spiritual, communitarian and pastoral, so as to respond, from our own charismatic identity, to the challenge of a new evangelization.”
This chapter has to be set in the context of the process of revitalization and restructuring that we in the Order have undertaken. It’s not an easy task when we have to discern and take decisions about houses and actual ministries. As was said in the chapter hall, if we carry on doing the same thing then we can predict the same results.
As I often repeat regarding the revitalization of the Order or indeed of our communities or families, “in the end it’s best to know where the weakness lies than to blindly forge ahead”. I don’t think we can afford to snuff out the interior restlessness if we want to bring forward the process of restructuring; and apart from facing our reality with a spirit of faith, we need objectivity, daring and a sense of responsibility, virtues that are recorded in another context in a book by Viktor E. Frankl. Whoever does things with hope sees the true situation (whether we like it or not) and, trusting in God, does what is possible to make things better.