Father General, Fr. Luiz Augusto STEFANI, SMM gave the opening remarks with the title “Dare to take risks for God and humanity: our creative fidelity”. Among other things, he highlighted two major tasks for the 4-day EGC conference. The first part: everything related to the practical questions of the life of the Entities. Second part: everything concerning the preparation of the General Chapter 2023. Fr. Jailos MPINA, SMM, interviewed the Assistant General, Fr. Marco PASINATO, SMM who is also the chairperson for the Commissions on Communications and Formation, on the progress of the Extraordinary General Council conference.
How is the Extraordinary General Council meeting going on so far?
It is going well first of all because it has been well prepared and above all because the experience of last year (the EGC 2021) has taught us a lot in terms of synodal style: nothing is decided without going through a consultation. Therefore, through the presence of the superiors of the entities, the whole congregation participates in the process of discernment and decision.
What are some of the topics covered? Recommendations for the General Chapter?
This year's EGC was planned last year during EGC 2021 to prepare the next General Chapter. Most of our sessions are devoted to agenda and findings made by the steering committee such as the theme and the Logo of the chapter, its proceedings, etc. Among the participants we share the conviction of not inventing new themes, but rather of digging into the challenges of the last chapter of 2017 to go further in their implementation.
How unique is this EGC in terms of participation, effectiveness, etc.?
It is unique for at least three characteristics. First of all because it is the first large congregational gathering after "lock down" and this sends a message of hope and encouragement. Then it is led by a steering committee that has been assisting Fr. Jean Claude Lavigne, op, in his task as facilitator and who gives a Montfortian and international flavor to the proposals submitted to the Council. Finally, I believe that this is the very first time that we have simultaneous translation in 5 languages. This allows more freedom of speech and further shows how our unity and brotherhood are enriched by a great diversity of culture and languages.