I have to say that as the weeks go by more and more things are happening. We are now almost midway through the Chapter and it was good timing to be joined by about 40 laymen and women as well as young adults. Each group present had either attended the Provincial Chapters before the General Chapter or had meetings with a wider group and so they came carrying a wealth of experience and represented different realities. Those invited had been asked to reflect on various aspects of the Working Document of the Chapter and to share their reflections here in Rome.
Being honest, what they had to say was like a fresh mountain spring, their presence has re-energised us all and we have been given some very honest, straightforward comments and challenges for the future. They were helped to feel really at home here in the Mother House and despite the short duration of their visit they made a huge impact on us all. As far as I know this is the first time since the very first Chapter in Mornese that young people in particular have been present for part of the Chapter.
Saturday night we were treated to a musical on the life of Mother Mazzarello presented by a youth group from Livorno. It was full of energy and with its modern style and fresh approach had us all on our feet to thank them for such an inspirational presentation.
I decided to collect a few comments from those who joined us with the hope that they might give a flavour of those who joined us felt:
“I am glad to be here from Slovakia because I can get a chance to see how the sisters think and compare what I see here with what I see in Slovakia. I thought being with a big group of sisters would be boring but I’m surprised to see how happy they are and I feel a similar happiness in me!” - Julia
Daniele from Italy commented
“Having the possibilty to spend these two days here with all the Chapter members has helped me experince what it means to belong to a Christian community. I feel welcomed, accepted for myself and in the name of all the young people I represent it is a real experience of living Salesian Family not just talking about it!”
Barbara from the USA remarked:
“My experiecne of being at the General Chapter has been one of great joy. To see, to hear and to actally be with Salesians of such diverse backgrounds, has been a tremendous education. The collaoration of the FMA laity and youth of the world has been a unique Salesian Family encounter.”
If you want to see what Adelle and Becky thought you will have to wait a while but, in the meantime why not go to their post at www.cgfmanet.org!