Today the entire General Chapter had an audience with Pope Francis. It was arranged for 11.00. The friars made their way to the Vatican either on foot or using public transport. They had to be at the Bronze door by 10.15 in order to be conducted to the Sala Clementina. When the Holy Father arrived our General, Fr. Miguel, spoke to him in his name and that of the entire Order: friars, nuns and seculars. “Holy Father, today with my confreres and my sisters we would like to dedicate our lives without delay without fear of getting hurt, as ‘knghts without pay’ (Life 15.11) according to the expression of St. Teresa, to help Jesus to carry his cross, and to help the Pope carry his cross. We want to do this with obedience and in a spirit of service without looking back, desiring to know and love Jesus ever more and to make him known and loved, according to the words of St. Therese of Lisieux.”
Nb you can find the complete text of this discourse (in spanish) on your Facebook page. www.facebook.com/CuriaGeneraliziaCS
The words of the Pope resonated fully with those of our Fr. General. “Fidelity requires a firm commitment to the gospel values and to your own charism and the renouncing of what ever impedes you from giving the best of yourself to the Lord and to others (…) Friendship with the Lord is for St. Teresa to live in communion with Him, it not only to pray but to make our lives a prayer, and to walk – as your Rule says – ‘in obsequi Iesu Christi”, and to do this with joy. (….) Friendship with God grows in silence, in recollection, in listening to the Word of God, it is a fire which grows and is looked after day by day.
You can find the complete text in: https://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/it/bollettino/pubblico/2021/09/11/0553/01221.html
Uplifted by the words of our Holy Father, the friars returned to their base.
This was necessary: in the afternoon we had invited Fr. Vicenzo Mancusi, a Capuchin friar, to face up to with him the question of abuse. Fr. Mancusi has been, among other things, General Procurator of the Capuchins and has worked in the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life. He came to the Chapter with a great deal of experience. His talk included the physical, psychological and spiritual abuses of minors and vulnerable people. He presented us with the developments in canon law, he defined the terms used in the code of canon law and then he explained how to confront these matters when they arise.
It has been an intense but also a beautiful day.