In his first retreat reflection Bp. Varghese begins by sharing that he “accepted (this assignment) as a penance for making the proposal that the General Curia invite a CM bishop to speak at the General Assembly.”
But anyone reading these reflections will quickly realize why he was chosen to speak at not only our Assembly but those of three other Religious Congregations in India.
From the conference… (see full text)
My dear confreres,
It was a pleasant surprise for me when the Superior General asked me to preach a one-day retreat to you, the members of this 2016 General Assembly. Although unsure if I am the right person, I accepted it as a penance for making the proposal that the General Curia invite a CM bishop to speak at the General Assembly. I was motivated to make such a proposal for several reasons: first, it is my conviction that a Vincentian who serves as a Bishop would be able to speak authentically of the Vincentian Charism as well as the mind of the Church. Secondly, as a Vincentian the bishop confrere who is invited, could speak frankly since he is not immersed in discussions on the selection of a new superior general and council. Most important of all, I am happy to have the great grace to meet many of my confreres from all over the world, whom I miss a great deal since my Episcopal appointment to Ethiopia in 2013.
I humbly acknowledge that by the Grace of God, I was privileged to guide the General and Provincial chapters of three Religious Congregations in India. The conferences I gave and the topics discussed were much appreciated as helpful for focusing them to their task. Encouraged by this positive stroke, I have chosen the topic “Discernment of the will of God in the personal and community level” for reflection, because of my conviction that the primary task of an Assembly is to discern the will of God for the Congregation. I understand that my duty here is not to presenting you with new theological constructs, but to enable you to reflect, pray, and to prepare yourself to fulfill the purpose of this Assembly. So, I humbly offer you some practical and simple thoughts for reflection, prayer, and deliberation. In this first talk, I present some general principles of discernment and in the second talk that follows some practical points and contemporary issues of relevance will be dealt with.