“Let us rise, guided by hope” was the theme of the Assembly of the Brothers of the District of Italy, which took place in Ariccia from 11 to 16 July 2022. It was attended by 42 Brothers, hosted at the Divine Master House in the Roman hills.
Originally the Assembly was supposed to take place in 2021 in the middle of the term of the Brother Visitor and his Council, but then problems with the pandemic caused the meeting to be postponed. But this had a providential dimension because it was thus possible to have it enlightened by the recent 46th General Chapter, and to begin the District journey in view of the MEL Mission Assembly and the 5th District Chapter.
The pastoral letter 2021 of Brother Robert Schieler inspired the theme of the Assembly: “Joyfully I behold your enduring hope”, with the purpose of overcoming the difficulties and consequences that have affected everyone in recent years, expressing well the pro-activity that the Brothers of the District want to live: “Rise” is the attitude of the Risen One, it is the verb used to express resurrections, physical or spiritual in the Gospels, but the conjugation in the plural wishes to be a sign of the need to live it “together and by association”.
One day was dedicated to prayer and reflection inspired by the Gospels of the Disciples of Emmaus (Lk 24), of the Miraculous Catch on Lake Tiberias after the resurrection of Jesus (Jn 21) thanks to the accompaniment of Fr Pierluigi Giroli, a Rosminian.
Br. Armin, Superior General, sent a video greeting saying: “This may also be the occasion when I can rediscover new ways of responding even to those calls to which my heart or my body or my whole being is resistant. The detachment that the Lord requires of us is, at the same time, a call to surrender and trust in his plans, looking to the future with hope.
I ask you to pray with me that the Spirit will give us the audacity and strength to leave our comfort zone and to begin to see that deep inside, in our heart of hearts, there is a new beginning waiting to be born”.
In addition to learning about what the 46th General Chapter experienced and decided, the official acts of which are awaited, the Brothers listened to the proposals for the 5th District Chapter and the restructuring of the District, the Brothers were able to confront the reality of the intentional Communities, towards which there is curiosity and interest, but also fear : the testimony of Rosa, a laywoman, of Brother Damiano of the Marist Community of Giugliano in Campania, and the Lasallian Community that is being born in Milan at the Saint Joseph Institute.
The Brothers left eagerly with the desire and commitment to build together, Brothers and Lasallians all, new paths to transform lives.