Annual Meeting of the General Coordination Council of the Union
28 May - ˗2 June 2019
Dear Brothers and Sisters
We wish to share with you, your families and communities, the great joy we have experienced together during the annual meeting of the General Coordination Council of UAC.
Pope Francis often speaks to us about growing in the culture of encounter, something very close also to the heart of St. Vincent Pallotti. The reports of the President of the Union, the three General Superiors, the other GCC Members and GCC Commission Representatives, demonstrated an increase in the understanding of our charism in evangelization and in the mission of forming apostles in service of the Church and of the Kingdom of God.
During her report, Donatella Acerbi, the President, made use of a very important word synodality, proposed by Pope Francis. “Synod” literally means “journeying together”, hence synodality expresses the nature of the Church as a pilgrim people, journeying and regularly taking counsel together on the way led by the Pope and the bishops. This dynamic has marked us from the beginning as sons and daughters of St. Vincent, encouraging us to seek together both a deeper understanding of our roots and also greater faithfulness and dynamism in living them in the Church and today’s world. In a very real way, the Pallottine Family is seen as a model of collaboration and inspiration for other Charismatic Families, who are deeply impressed by St. Vincent and his vision. This challenges us as a family to grow more deeply into what we already are and are called to be. We know without doubt that we have a long way to go before fully realizing this vision. It requires constant growth in unity, in the commitment of our time and all of our talents to fulfill the mission entrusted to us. We were strengthened on this path of growth by Fr. Hubert Socha SAC and Fr. Denilson Geraldo SAC, who helped us to understand more profoundly the Union as a Public Association and the importance of growing in synodality, which characterizes public associations. This is our way of living co-responsibility and collaboration according to St. Vincent’s vision.
Fr. Jacob Nampudakam SAC, the Ecclesiastical Assistant, reminded us of the enduring validity of the call of Pope Saint John Paul II to the Pallottine Family: continue to increase your commitment so that which Vincent Pallotti prophetically announced, and which the Second Vatican Council authoritatively confirmed, may become a happy reality, and that all Christians become authentic apostles of Christ in the Church and in the world (Teachings of John Paul II , p.1899).
Our meeting also marked a time of particular transition for the life of the Union at the General level: Fr. Rory Hanly SAC completed his time as General Secretary, a role of service which Fr. Roque Gonsalves SAC now takes on. We thank Fr. Rory for his eight years in this position, for his heart and patience, and wish Fr. Roque every blessing in his new mission. Many thanks to Cheryl Sullivan and you who helped us to improve the work of the General Secretariat by completing the questionnaire sent out several months ago. Your input has made a great contribution to helping us identify further action which the Secretariat can undertake to improve its role in serving the Union. Many thanks also to Dr. Katharina Anna Fuchs from the Centre for Child Protection at the Pontifical Gregorian University, who helped us to deepen our knowledge regarding the protection of minors, an issue that is so important for the whole Church today.
Like St. Vincent Pallotti, we also want to live today in deep harmony with the Church, constantly expanding our horizons. Thanks to the presence of the Holy Spirit, thanks to your prayers and to our unity of heart and mind. Our meeting was beautiful, fruitful and enriching. May God help us together as Union to become an ever clearer visible sign of His love and mercy for every person who seeks his face.
With warmest greetings and prayer
The Members of the General Coordination Council of the
Union of Catholic Apostolate