On 15 May 2021 the meeting organised by the AMCG-Charismatic Families in Dialogue took place, in continuation with the theme of the year “A shared Charism: leaven and opportunity to care for our Common Home” and with a more specific scope “Charismatic Families in and for our common home”. For the second time we met online via the Zoom platform, for a meeting necessarily brief in time (three hours long) but with the same joy and enthusiasm that has always characterised our days: to meet and reflect together on the mission that God entrusts to the Charismatic Families in and for our times.
As usual, we had the joy of hosting the representatives of the Coordinating Boards for Consecrated Life: Sr Franca Zonta, FMI – UISG; Fr Arturo Sosa, SJ – USG; Margherita Palazzi – I.S. Regnum Mariae – CMIS. Their participation, always a faithful presence at our meetings, not only encourages us to continue our experience as an association, but is also a sign of communion and mutual esteem. From these privileged observers we receive stimuli and certainties to sustain us and grow together, to believe that what we do has a value if we are able to do it together … without running the risk of uniformity or homologation, because the beauty and the contribution of each charism takes on even more light and emphasis when it is interconnected with other charisms.
As it is now customary, the meeting was built on a reflection and the sharing of experiences.
Fr. Fabio Ciardi, Omi, gave his reflection in the form of an interview. Starting from his book “Sharing the gifts – Laity and consecrated together for the mission”, Editrice Rogate, he offered us thoughts and suggestions on the reality of the charismatic families.Fr. Fabio stressed that each charism must be clear about its specificity, its particular evangelical witness that is called to give to the Church, its way of being a living memory of Christ, of prayer, of action according to the various works of mercy, of intercession, of catechesis, of evangelization … He insisted on the need for a vision of the Church where the lay person is once again at its centre, of an awareness of the priesthood with which every lay person is endowed, and of how the laity give the charism the possibility of being lived out in contexts and ways that ‘consecrated’ people could not reach out to and express. Hence the commitment to create spaces and times for sharing experiences between the laity and the consecrated united by the same charism, to bring out the constant beauty and novelty of the charism. Fr Fabio concluded his interview with an invitation not to look at ourselves but at the society surrounding us and interpret it through the particular perspective of the charism, which allows us to see things we do not usually see or do not want to see; an invitation to open our windows.
Words are translated and become credible through our concrete service: this was the case with the experience of the Vedruna Family, the Lasallian Family together with the Family of St. JeanneAntide Thouret, and the Guanellian Family.
The meeting was followed on all continents, by consecrated people, lay people, families… Numerous were the comments we received. Here are some of them:
“The meeting was very interesting, enlightening, enriching, meanwhile we continue to dream … I am sure that the seed sown in the furrows of our paths, under the rays of the Spirit that we invoke at this Pentecost, will bear abundant fruit”.
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you do for the communion of charisms, letting each one be a gift for the other. not because of the many things prepared, but because of the reciprocal love, of welcoming each other by valuing diversity and giving others whatever little or much one has.”
“The meeting has been a missionary vision of those who are engaged in the world and know how to recognise the difficulties in which the Church lives in order to carry out its saving task. Being close to one another, between different institutes in daily action, especially in places where there’s more desert in terms of faith and resources, makes it possible to multiply the action of the Spirit and the effectiveness of the mission.”
“My resonance on today’s meeting of the Charismatic Families starts from the metaphor of a prism, I really like to use it because it is meaningful. The light of the Spirit spreads in many colours and each colour is a charism. Each charism is per se, but the light is one only. The same charism that has touched us cannot be closed in on itself but must open up to the world. This is the second point we touched at the meeting: a call to open the windows of the institutes onto the world so that we can meet with each other”.
What do we take with us from this meeting? A commitment to:
- Live together in complementarity not only of different vocations within the same family, but also of the charisms of the different families.
- Avoid the risk of self-referentiality: let us be open, welcoming and co-responsible “together”;
- Open up new horizons, create new spaces of experience, foster a culture of encounter.
and the conviction that
- It is in communion, even though it costs fatigue, that a charism reveals itself authentically and mysteriously fruitful;
- The Family is not an invention, it is the fruit of a common and mutual formation, which must become a life project reaching out to all the members of the Charismatic Family.
So we are looking forward to 13 and 14 November 2021 to explore the theme of the year 2021- 2022: FORMATION TO A SHARED MISSION.
Antonietta Mongiò, Comi Of the Executive Committee