Mgr José Rodríguez Carballo: “The future of consecrated life lies in communion”.

“It is not enough to say ‘fratelli tutti’ (‘all brothers’), we must also say ‘together’, because the Pope invites us to walk together, to dream together”. José Rodríguez Carballo, Secretary of the Dicastery for Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, began his address to a group of more than 60 Brothers from 14 Religious Congregations, who from 9 September to 7 October have been participating in the formation programme for companions: “Walking together”, led by the inter-congregational team “Tutti Fratelli” (“We are all brothers”).

The meeting took place at the Generalate of the Brothers of the Christian Schools on Friday 22 September and was attended by six Superiors General of Religious Congregations of Brothers: Brother Armin Luistro, of the Brothers of the Christian Schools; Brother Ernesto Sánchez, of the Marist Brothers; Brother Francisco Javier Hernando, of the Brothers of the Holy Family; Brother Marco Albani, of the Brothers of Our Lady of Mercy; Br John Kallarackal of the Brothers of St Gabriel; and Br Hilton Mark of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart.


To accompany and to dream

During the conference, Bishop Carballo took stock of the reality of consecrated life, insisting on the important mission of formators to “accompany and help awaken the capacity to dream in young people” who aspire to religious life.

While it is true that the impact of decline and aging on religious life is not minor, and could well be expressed in images such as “chaos” and “winter”, as the Spanish prelate explained, it is also clear that “crises are not negative, for they invite us to ‘purify’ the sense of vocation, to ‘purify ourselves’ (…). Ultimately they are a call to creativity and prophetism”.

“We must continue to train the laity, sharing our mission with them and encouraging their protagonism (…), but it is also necessary to consider that in many situations we must abandon works in order to create, so that we do not end up being buried by them“, added Mgr. Carballo, referring to the need to resize some structures: “I invite you to ask yourselves: can we improve our structures? Do they allow us to live and show the beauty of being brothers?

Communion and inter-congregationality

At the end of his intervention, the Secretary of the Dicastery for Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life encouraged the Brothers to continue to commit themselves to encounter, dialogue, the quality of affective life, communion and fraternal life: “the future of consecrated life passes through communion and inter-congregationality”, he said, adding that “there is no Institute that is so rich that it cannot receive from others, nor an Institute that is so poor that it cannot give or contribute to others”. In this regard, “communion requires walking together, collaborating in the mission and placing the charism at the service of others, as five congregations did when they decided to come together to build a hospital”.

The conference concluded with the celebration of the Eucharist in the Sanctuary of Saint John Baptist de La Salle, presided over by Monsignor José Rodríguez Carballo, to give thanks to God for the vocation and service of the Brothers in the Church.