Onward to the celebration of the 26th General Chapter of the Claretian Missionaries in Rome next year, all communities of the Congregation were invited to have local “conversation.” Last September 8, on the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the patroness and mother of the Missionaries, the Curia Community invited a group of lay collaborators in a meeting which included some members of Claret School of Quezon City community. The purpose of the said “conversation” was to listen to Claretian lay collaborators in order to enrich and help the Claretian Missionaries as they prepare for the forthcoming General Chapter. The General Chapter, which is a gathering of Major Superiors of the Claretians and some delegates from all over the world, shall review the Claretian Mission and shall reflect on the directions of the Congregation in the next six years.

Together with four CSQC personnel, lay collaborators coming from the Claretian Communications Foundation, Inc. (CCFI), the Provincial Curia Offices and the Curia House staff joined the “conversation”. The Claretian Missionaries of the Curia Community led by the local superior, Fr. Mauricio Ulep, CMF, were present as they listened intently to the remarks and reflections of the lay collaborators based on guide questions which revolved on their significant experiences with and stories about the Claretian Missionaries. Hopes and aspirations from the lay collaborators on the mission of the Claretian Missionaries in the future were also expressed.

The entire “conversation” was cordial; and all those who were invited spoke in an atmosphere of trust, openness and spontaneity. This was also an opportunity for the lay collaborators from the different ministries under the Curia Community to have a more intimate and personal encounter. Towards the end of the half-day event capped with the celebration of the Holy Mass, the Claretian Missionaries conveyed their deep appreciation of the heartwarming presence and generous collaboration of the lay partners in the mission.

The said “conversation” was a first in the history of the Claretian Congregation as a new way of proceeding in preparation for the General Chapter. The Claretians—the Missionaries and all those who share the Claretian missionary spirit—are indeed one in prayer and hope as the Congregation takes a new phase in its missionary journey.