IMG_7821The assembly began this last day by remembering in our prayers all those who died or were wounded in the terrorist attack yesterday in Nice. After the approval of the minutes and announcements, the floor was opened to speak directly to the Superior General about what delegates hoped would happen in the next six years. Delegates spoke about promotion of vocations, formation programs, reconfiguration, the international missions, collaboration between provinces, the animation of confreres through visits and writings, supporting the Vincentian Family and promotion of environmental protection. Fr. Tomaz thanked the delegates for their suggestions.

After a break, it was announced that the final document with the amendments was still being translated into English and French, since the original was written in Spanish. The assembly recessed and planned to return immediately after lunch at 1pm.

When the assembly returned, the Synthesis and Redaction Committee again presented the final document and the lines of action, with the amendments that were accepted and rejected. After a short discussion, one table offered an amendment that was approved. Then, the assembly approved the changes made to the final document by the committee. With that, they then approved the final document!

After a short break, each continental group spoke about their own lines of action. We watched a video chronicle of the assembly produced by Jorge Rodriguez, the director of communications. Fr. Tomaz then closed the assembly with the approval of the delegates.

The assembly then proceeded to where we began, St. Vincent de Paul Church, to celebrate the Eucharist together. Giving thanks to God, Fr. Tomaz urged all the confreres to be rooted in prayer. “Three books always need to follow us wherever we are or wherever we go: the Bible, the Breviary and the Common Rules and Constitutions,” he said. He mentioned that he will make a pilgrimage to Paris before going to Rome, celebrating mass at the Maison Mère and the Chapel of Rue de Bac. Fr. Tomaz ended with some powerful words [from Helder Camera]: “Let’s keep dreaming, but let’s dream together. If one person dreams alone, the dream remains a dream. But if we dream together, the dream becomes a reality.”

Thus concludes the 42nd General Assembly of the Congregation of the Mission. Onward we go together into a hope-filled future!