ROME - The launching of the continental year "Montfort_EurHope20" dedicated to the renewal of the Montfortian presence and mission in Europe took place in Rome from 30 January to 1 February 2020. This article reports the chronicle of this event.
Thursday, 30 January
In a festive atmosphere, the welcome and presentation of the guests of this event took place in the conference hall of the general house. The superiors of the seven European entities were present: Fr. Mario BELOTTI, SMM, Provincial Superior of Italy, Fr. Peter DENNEMAN, Provincial Superior of the Netherlands, Fr. Jos Van den BERGH, SMM, Superior of Belgium, Fr. Amilcar TAVARES, SMM, Superior of Portugal, Bro. Daniel BUSNEL, SMM, representing the Provincial Superior of France, Fr. Francis Xavier JOSEPH, SMM, representing the Superior of Germany and Fr. Desmond CONNOLLY, SMM, representing the GB/I community. There were six brothers representing the coadjutor brothers of Europe: Anthony HANLY (GB/I), Daniel BUSNEL (France), Fabio GAIANI (Italy), Jan LATHOUWERS (Netherlands), Johannes BOSSMANN (Germany) and Karlos De MAEGD (Belgium).
Friday, 31 January
During the morning Eucharist, the Superior General, Fr. Luiz Augusto STEFANI, SMM recalled that the cornerstone of the continental year is the virtue of hope and that all activities are entrusted to the intercession of Mary Mother of Christ, Hope of the World. A first meeting was dedicated to the coadjutor brothers. The sharing of their vocation and mission allowed us to reflect on the theme of the Montfortian religious life today in Europe. The visit to the archives with the manuscripts of the Canticles of Montfort brought us to mind the testimony of Brother Mathurin, the first disciple of our Founder. The morning ended with the meeting of the General Council and the Superiors of the entities. Each superior shared about hope and the budget of the next continental assembly to be held in Poland.
In the afternoon, after a time of personal meetings of the general with each of the superiors, the celebration of the "Launch of the year" took place. At the chapel of the house, in addition to the guests and the members of the general house, the community of the postulancy and the representatives of the scholasticate were also present. In the ceremony presided over by the vicar general, Fr. Wismick JEAN CHARLES, SMM, the great variety of languages unanimously invokes the intercession of Mary Mother of Hope and St. Louis-Marie de Montfort. A lit lamp was placed in front of the Founder's relic and the representatives of the European entities officially received the calendar of the year with the prayer for Europe of Saint John Paul II. The day, with full of appointments and emotions ended with a festive banquet as everyone continued to get to know each other better.
Saturday, 01 February
The Eucharist was presided by Fr. Arnold SUHARDI, SMM as they opened the day to a special event which is a pilgrimage "on the footsteps of Montfort in Rome" led by Fr. Marco PASINATO, SMM and Bro. Desiré, SMM. The pilgrimage began at St. Peter's Basilica and ended in front of the Quirinale Palace where St. Louis-Marie was received in audience by Pope Clement XI in 1706 and was sent as Apostolic Missionary. Everyone left Rome, feeling inspired and encouraged by this gathering, as they look forward to the next events of the year.