The Charism at the center, always at the center

Let us start with some words from the closing remarks given by Sr. Rosario Fernández at the end of this block of work about the Charismatic Family: “the door is open, life is waiting”. These could be some of the words that concluded the work of July 27, 28, 29 and 30. We have opened the door to reflect on the Charismatic Family and, after the experience lived these days and in recent years, we have been able to confirm that, yes, life is waiting…and we cannot silence it.

The Spinola Lay affiliates, Spínola Foundation, Spinola Solidaria Foundation and the Congregation were the four groups that were convened on the Feast of St Anne and Joachim. We had a snack together, and after praying in which “A little light, a little way” sounded in a special way, we celebrated the Eucharist together. The night was filled with joy brought by some very special clowns, the Spinola Clowns who helped us, as they have done so many times, to celebrate the day of the birth of the Congregation with joy and gratitude.

On the 27th, the Chapter hall became bigger and everything was prepared to welcome the representatives from Spinola Lay, Spínola Foundation, Spinola Solidaria Foundation. We started the work with the presentation of the four groups. We needed to know each other more and the richness was truly great.

The Spinola Lay presented their reality in the different countries of the world and their evolution in recent years since they began to sense their vocation and the need to give it a body linked to the Congregation. The Spinola Foundation (an apostolic work of the Congregation that includes 15 centers in Spain) followed, sharing its current situation and its conviction for a transformative education. To close the morning, the Spinola Solidaria Foundation (an apostolic work of the Congregation that responds to different educational needs in disadvantaged places) shared with the Assembly its path traveled since the XIX General Chapter where it began to take shape. After lunch, the Congregation related her 137 years of life through her General Superiors and the contributions that each one made in each six-year term. We concluded the afternoon with a dialogue in mixed groups about what is most important of the day and the questions that we might have.

The echoes of the first day left us with emotion and the certainty that our charism extends beyond our own limits. This gave way to the morning of the 28th: With the talk of Antonio Botana, a La Sallean brother, we were able to deepen the reflection on the Charismatic Family. He gave us an enriching proposal, supported by the experience of his Congregation in the last 30 years: what is a charismatic family and what is the way to form it. Our questions and contributions enriched the reflection and continued to awaken the little intuitions that made their way.

And so, we opened the 29th and 30th days, where we were given a work plan that wanted to help us relate the reflection on the Charismatic Family, which Antonio Botana had opened, with our current reality, with us. This work was carried out through different groups by Institutions or mixed groups. We think about how our charism has been incarnated throughout history and how we want it to continue to be at the center, at this time when more people came to know about it, feeling it and naming it as the motor of their vocation. We have been accompanied by the intuition that we are opening the door to a vocational process, a process in which the relationship between each other is essential to help us grow in our own identity and in our experience of God.

The morning of the 30th ended with the celebration of the Eucharist. Repeated words and expressions such as “thank you”, “go ahead”, “we count on each other” …were repeated and colored the interior experience: “thank you, Lord, this charismatic gift is at the center of our lives and our projects, it illumines and gives meaning to the lives of many people…Thank you Lord, thank you for continuously generating Life…”