KISANGANI, DRC - As usual the Montfortian family in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) gathered for their annual retreat. This year the retreat took place at the “Mgr Grison Center” of the Fathers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (the Dehonians) in Simissimi in the Archdiocese of Kisangani. The participants: 9 Daughters of Wisdom, 1 Brother of Saint Gabriel and 13 Montfortians.
The retreat was led by Bishop François M. Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Kisangani. The theme of our reflection was the paradox of freedom in an authentic consecrated life. The biblical text foundation of the reflection was Rm 8:1 -13.
Regarding the theme, a few points of reflection caught our attention. At the introduction of the retreat, the Vicar General exhorted us to know that the time of retreat is a time when we are called to revive the Gift of God within us; it is the time to let the spirit of our consecration speak and we are called to lead an authentic consecrated life.
The preacher also raised some challenges of consecrated life in the face of the new evangelization. For him today we act “as a soloist” instead of acting “as a body” which is a challenge for us. See how to act in polyphony to give harmony to authentic consecrated life. Another challenge is the failure to prepare the next generation of tomorrow. We are called to privilege missionary evangelization in depth. Faced with the formal individualistic spirituality that alienates evangelization, we are called to favor the opinion of the group, of the pastoral care of the whole.
The retreat ended with a Mass in which there was the renewal of the vows of Bro. Guy (fsg). Before the final blessing, Father Delegate Fr. Guelord ASEME took the floor to thank the preacher on behalf of the three Superiors of the Montfortian Family and handed over to the Vicar General the “Golden Book”.
Fr. Ignace MESSINOU, SMM