On the afternoon of November 26th, about 90 Brothers from 17 Institutes met at the General House of the De La Salle Brothers in Rome. Twelve Superiors General of these Congregations took part. This was the 8th meeting organised by the Tutti Fratelli Group in Rome. A group of Brothers from different Congregations which meets monthly to “Promote our vocation as religious Brothers and to reflect on their identity and mission in the Church and in the world, being visible signs of the gift of fraternity”.
The meeting was guided by the reflection offered by Fr. José Cristo Rey García Paredes, CMF, on the theme “Accomplices of the Spirit. Brothers in Missio Dei”. With his usual ability to communicate, Fr Cristo Rey encouraged reflection on the concept of mission. We can summarise the change in the concept of mission to which we are called in these expressions:
– We usually think of “mission” as a characteristic of the Church; as something that belongs to her and for which she is responsible and protagonist.
– Mission” is a verb that is the protagonist of our tri-unity God. It is, above all, “Missio Dei”, “Missio Jesu”, “Missio Spiritus”.
– The Church, the Congregations, our communities, each one of us are accomplices – collaborators in this Mission of God.
After the reflection, there was a meeting in small language groups to share the feelings and ideas that each Brother had felt at the conference. A sharing and some questions to the speaker brought the reflection to a close, underlining the changes that we must make to take on this new way of understanding mission. Obviously, understood in this way, mission does not end with the end of working life.
This was followed by a time of prayer in the house chapel, next to the tomb of St. John Baptist de La Salle. The day ended with a fraternal dinner hosted by the Superior General of the De La Salle Brothers, another sign of the fraternal welcome that the De La Salle Brothers always give us.
As in previous meetings, the “Gift of Fraternity” was manifested in an atmosphere of welcome, joy and commitment to make our lives living testimonies of fraternity.