Thirty-three representatives from across the Congregation are meeting in Rome from June 19 to July 2, 2016, as part of the Enlarged General Council (EGC), which serves as a mid-point review four years after the 20th General Chapter in Bagamoyo, Tanzania, in 2012. The EGC has a three-fold purpose according to the Spiritan Rule of Life, #205.3: to evaluate and to assess the implementation of the decisions of the Bagamoyo General Chapter; to study new means of strengthening and bringing about the Congregation’s objectives; and to reinforce collaboration throughout the Congregation at the level of the circumscriptions, the Unions of Circumscriptions and the General Council.
In his opening address to the EGC, the Superior General, Fr. John Fogarty, C.S.Sp., noted the two fundamental convictions effectively underpinning all the deliberations and orientations at the 2012 General Chapter in Bagamoyo: “the need for greater authenticity in our Spiritan life and mission, in fidelity to the charism of our Founders; and for a more inclusive Spiritan family marked by a true sense of belonging and collective ownership of our missionary commitments and our common future.”
He also addressed the fundamental question of how leadership can effect change in an institution like our Congregation. “If leadership knows where it wants to arrive and consistently guides the institution in that direction through the various means at its disposal, significant change will be evident in the longer term,” said Fr. Fogarty. “The election of Pope Francis, the single most important event in the Church since Bagamoyo, and the leadership he has adopted and challenged us to imitate, encourage us to believe in the possibility of radical change inspired by the Gospel.”