Saturday, 29 October 2016

Call to renew our life and mission story - Day 27 of GC 36

Day 27 of GC 36 continued to receive feedback on the life and mission document.  Discussion groups are mixed from across the world and one receives a great mixture of responses and reactions to a document that excites many people. Next to electing a new General this is the second most important work of  the Congregation.  Many people within and without the Society await the unfolding of our mission story and look for  inspiration and guidance  in contributing to healing our broken world.  Pope Francis during the meeting with the Jesuits noted that we are carriers of God's consolation, compassion and joy to a people so often immersed in suffering.  'Where hurt is the Jesuit is' he repeated quoting the words of Pedro Arrupe the prophetic General from the Basque country.  This document will continue to be discussed from Monday onwards.
It was appropriate then that the first Mass celebrated outside the community with many members of the Congregation was with the St Egidio community.  The Community of Sant'Egidio began in Rome in 1968, in the period following the Second Vatican Council. Today it is a movement of lay people and has more than 60,000 members, dedicated to evangelisation and charity, in Rome, Italy and in more than 73 countries throughout the world.   
The Community of Sant'Egidio is a "Church Public Lay Association". The different communities, spread throughout the world, share the same spirituality and principles which characterise the way of Sant'Egidio:Prayer, is an essential part of the life of the community in Rome and communities throughout the world. Prayer is central to the overall direction of community life.Communicating the Gospel  is the heart of the life of the Community. It is offered to all those who seek and ask for a meaning for their life.Solidarity with the poor, is lived as a voluntary and gratuitous service, in the evangelical spirit of a Church that is the "Church for all and particularly the poor" (Pope John XXIII)Ecumenism, is  lived as  friendship, prayer and search for unity among Christians of the whole world.Dialogue, was  recommended by Vatican II as a way of peace and co-operation among religions, and also a way of life and as a means of resolving conflicts.The Community has as its centre the Roman Church of Sant'Egidio, from which the Community takes its name. From its very beginnings, the Community has maintained, in the area of Trastevere and in Rome, a continuous presence of prayer and welcome for the poor and for pilgrims.  It was a lovely evening of praying together at the Saturday evening Mass and meeting  members of the community afterwards while sharing a lovely meal.

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