The Union of Superiors General held its 82nd General Assembly in the Salesianum in Rome from 27 to 29 November. The theme of this meeting was “The Challenge of Gospel Leadership”. This theme was in line with that of the previous assembly in May 2013, Leadership in Religious Life, 50 years after the II Vatican Council. For the two days, the Superiors general reflected on the challenges that they face in fulfilling their mission in the style (speeches, gestures, message) of Pope Francis in view of a more gospel-like exercise of authority. The assembly began with the sharing by three Superiors General: Fr. Janson Hervé, of the Little Brothers of Jesus, Fr. Mauro Jöhri, Minister General of the Capuchins, and Fr. Hainz Kulüke, of the Divine Word Society (SVD).
The highlight of this meeting was the audience with the Pope. On the 29th of November, the 120 Superiors General were received by His Holiness Pope Francis in the Synod Hall. For more than three hours, he engaged in conversation with them, answering questions in the most spontaneous and fraternal way, looking at some cogent issues in religious life today (the witness that is expected of religious life, relations with bishops, the importance of formation, mission on the frontiers, the work of the consecrated life in education, inculturation etc.). Before he met the superiors in person, he declared that 2015 will be dedicated to Consecrated Life. He then greeted each superior General. When he met Fr. Santino, he has specially mentioned that he has great appreciation for the work done by our confrères in the diocese of Lomas de Zamora, in greater Buenos Aires, Argentina. Fr. General returned with much satisfaction realizing that the Holy Father knows and appreciates our work among the poor.