Taking advantage of the fleeting visit to Rome to participate in the Encounter of Leaders of Movements and Associations of the Faithful convoked by the Dicastery for the Laity, the Family and Life, on Wednesday, September 15, I had the opportunity to visit our dear sisters of the General Government of the Claretian Missionary Sisters and the community of the General Curia.

For some time now there has been a feeling of family among the governing bodies of the different branches of the Claretian family, which translates into a spirit of cordiality, brotherhood and full confidence. The close relationship and the bonds of union and affection that have been built little by little for years have turned every occasion of encounter into a moment of grace and great joy. In fact, from the very moment the opportunity arose and a date for this visit could be arranged, we have been looking forward to the moment when it could materialise, so that we could express our mutual affection in person and enjoy the joy of being together.

The visit began with an open dialogue in the morning, continued with a delicious lunch and was rounded off with a walk through Rome well into the afternoon. Even so, the time we spent together was short, as is often the case when one is at ease and in the family, and we had the opportunity to ask each other about the current situation of our respective branches, our organisation, our challenges, our difficulties… and also our singularities, those traits that help us to enrich our common charism. Because it is important to know each other well, and also to recognise and accept each other from the particularities of each of the branches. Being a family does not consist in being the same, but in knowing how to complement each other, supporting each other, putting each of our gifts at the service of our common mission, accepting each other as we are and learning from the experience of the other branches.

Family building is a constant concern of all the branches, and was of course one of the main topics of conversation. We shared our assessments on the different initiatives we are already
developing together, our reflections on possible steps to take to move forward together and our dreams on how to continue exploring ways to further strengthen ties and grow as a family. On all these matters, we will continue reflecting together with the rest of the branches in the next meeting of the leaders of the Claretian family, which will take place next December.

And in the background, our shared concern about how to transmit to each one of the members of our respective branches this same spirit of unity, complicity and cordiality that is being breathed among the different general organs of government of the Claretian family. Bonds of union, affection and trust that, based on our charismatic harmony, have been cultivated for years with a close relationship and fluid communication, fruit of the moments of encounter, mutual accompaniment, determined support, teamwork, and the constant search for those challenges in which we feel called to share our mission at the service of the Church.

I have only words of gratitude to all the sisters of the community of the General Curia, and especially to Jolanta, the Superior General, and to the entire General Government of the Claretian Missionary Sisters: Ana María, Lia, Amilbia, Petro and Cristina. For their extraordinary welcome and hospitality, for so many signs of affection and affection… but above all for the light and joy that they transmit, for their contagious missionary energy and for their determined commitment to serve God and the Church. It is a real gift to have them by our side as companions on our journey. And on that same road we will continue to advance together with the whole Claretian family, with the help of the Spirit, and the intercession of Claret, Mother Paris and the founders of all the branches, sharing concerns and dreams, serving the Church in its evangelising mission and working together in the construction of the Kingdom.

Miguel Ángel Sosa, sc
General Secretary