Monday, February 8, 2016

To Rome and back!

I have just returned from Rome. Brother Martin and I visited the venue for our Chapter in Palazzola, Rome. We begin the process of preparation for our Chapter which will take place in April 2017. A Chapter is a gathering of Brothers from different regions of the world every six years to discover God in a new way and listen for God’s call to us at this time.

While in Rome, we visited the town of Genazzano about an hour’s journey outside of Rome. (at the entrance to the Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel). When Brothers Patrick Shine and Austin Shanahan went to Rome back in 1889, they made a pilgrimage to the shrine of the Mother of Good Counsel at Genazzano. They spent four months in Rome (February to June 1889) securing the Papal Brief for the Congregation. It was a significant transition in the life of the Presentation Brothers at that time as they made the move from being a diocesan group to becoming an Institute of Pontifical Rite. From this pilgrimage comes the devotion to Our Lady of Good Counsel which became a part of our Congregation spirituality.

We prayed for our Congregation and for the Presentation Family and we placed Chapter 2017 under the special care and guidance of Our Lady of Good Counsel.  

We also marked the end of the Year of Consecrated Life with 6,000 other religious who were participating in celebratory events from all over the world. Pope Francis was present for the opening prayer vigil in St. Peter’s Basilica and also at the end. There were a series of inspiring workshops at various centres on the significance of Consecrated Life in the world today.  At the Mass to mark the end of the Year of Consecrated Life, Pope Francis invited Religious to find again our first love, our first call and to be passionate followers of Jesus. He invited us to place Jesus at the centre of our lives and to be people of joy and hope in the world today. He asked for prayers of all consecrated persons as he continues his mission of leadership in the Church. 

A recent document from the Congregation for Consecrated Life on the “Identity and Mission of the Religious Brother in the Church” says, “Vocation of the Brother is part of the answer that God gives to the absence of Brotherhood which is wounding the world today”.

(If you wish to know more about the life and work of the Presentation Brothers, please feel free to shoot me an email at your convenience;





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