THE FAMILY CHALLENGES THE PAULINE FAMILY
Dear Sisters and Brothers of the Pauline Family,
With joy, we are writing to you after our 39th Meeting of the General Governments of the Pauline Family. We would like to share with you a summary of the days we lived and thank you for your prayers that accompanied these days.
Due to the worsening of the health situation related to the new variant of Covid in Italy, we once again held our meeting online this year.
The theme that guided us was in conjunction with the Church’s pastoral journey of the Year “Amoris laetitia Family”. It was meaningful to reflect on this theme in light of our Founder’s 50th anniversary of birth to eternal life, encouraged by his promise: “It is as a servant that I intend to belong to this marvelous Pauline Family, both now and in heaven” (AD 3).
We lived these days as a particular moment of grace because we experienced it as a “fully represented Family”. The time of listening and sharing in a synodal style helped us to recognize the richness of our charismatic identity as a Family.
We listened to profound reports on biblical (with Prof. Donatella Scaiola), theological (with Prof. Father Dario Vitali) and sociological (with Prof. Francesco Belletti) themes. From these we can draw the conclusion that the Pauline Family, by virtue of its charism and its international configuration, can cultivate ever more solidarity in the cooperation of the various apostolates of each Institute in order to carry out our apostolates in service to and for the family.
The discussion with Father Marco Vianelli, ofm, and with the spouses Pierluigi and Gabriella Proietti on the apostolic exhortation Amoris laetitia helped us to look at the family as a subject in the Church.
We also had the privilege of listening, through the platform #incontripaolini, to the testimonies of four couples of the Holy Family Institute present on the four continents. It was moving to discover the abundant riches of this branch of our Family, where the couples discovered and lived their vocation and consecration, and where they received formation and valid help to live their love, overcome difficulties, experience the beauty of Pauline spirituality and commit themselves to various forms of apostolate and witnessing.
Our considerations also turned to understanding the historical and charismatic development of the Holy Family Institute and the current developments of their specific ecclesial mission. In this, we were guided by Father Roberto Roveran and by Mariella and Claudio Cazzato, members of the Institute. We saw how Father Alberione was prophetic in understanding the centrality of communication in evangelization and in perceiving the need to emphasize the living of holiness “in the family”.
Finally, Father Vito Fracchiolla offered a picture of the Institute today at the international level, with over 2,000 members present in nineteen nations, presenting some challenges and great hopes for the future of the Institute.
From the sharing in the working groups it emerged that:
- it is necessary to know more and better the Institutes of secular life belonging to our Family and specifically the Holy Family Institute;
- it is desirable to plan moments of mutual listening or to initiate “apostolic micro-projects” that will allow us to deepen our relationships among ourselves and to grow in the appreciation of the various gifts and services present in the one body that is the Pauline Family;
- the members of the Holy Family Institute, by virtue of their specific vocation, are in a certain sense the “eyes and ears” of the Pauline Family in the world because they live and concretely share the concerns and hopes of today’s families;
- synodality is a “key” that will help us on this journey of growth in our relationship with one another and in greater service to the mission of the Church.
These small and big perspectives give a serene and active horizon to our future, in the common commitment to be more and more witnesses of our being one Family called to announce the “good news” of the Gospel!
We concluded our meetings by expressing deep gratitude, affection and good wishes to our brothers of the Society of St. Paul, who are concluding their term of service to the Congregation and preparing for the next General Chapter. In particular, we support them with our prayers.
Grateful to the Lord for the richness of these days of sharing, and aware of the great gift of belonging to our marvelous Family called to live and give Jesus Way, Truth, and Life to every person, we send you our warmest affectionate greetings.
Rome, 18 January 2022
Participants to the XXXIX Meeting of the General Governments of the Pauline Family