Friday, 7 October 2016

Dancing in the rain and getting drenched- 5th day of GC 36

The 5th day of GC 36 began with Mass at 7.30am in St Peter's Basilica at the altar of St. Peter.  It was a special way to begin the day as the Congregation prepares for the murmuratio- that is the prayerful conversation and consideration of  candidates for a new General.  It belted rain from the Curia to St. Peter's Square.  Vatican security were not fully prepared for such a large crowd so early on a very wet morning so  one  waited in the rain to get through security.  Many people got soaked wet but all was taken with a sense of humour and fun. Some said it as like a pilgrimage experience with the heavens opening with thunder and lightning and rain- a sign of real blessing at the beginning of a discernment for a new General!  Others who were soaked in their sandals and prayed that the sun would appear.

After Mass conversations begun according to Assistancies -that is different geographical areas of clusters of `Provinces- about the election of a Secretary for the Congregation and two Assistants.  In the last session of the day  3 people were elected.  Fr. Luis Orlado Torrres Santos from Puerto Rico  who speaks several languages was elected  Secretary and his two elected Assistants are Agnelo Mascarenhas  from Goa and Francisco Javier Alvarez de los Mozos from Spain.  They have a huge job to do in terms in terms of recording minutes in different languages, planning the daily schedule  and keeping everyone informed on procedures.

The Delegates will continue to work on Saturday until midday.  It  has been a full week  and with a feeling  a lot of work was done in terms of getting to know each other, beginning to discuss some serious themes of the Congregation and in making a good preparation to elect a General next week.

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