ROME, FEB. 24, 2002 (Zenit.org).- The Salesian congregation opens its 25th General Chapter on Monday, and among its tasks will be electing a successor to Rector Major Juan Edmundo Vecchi, who died Jan. 23.
The chapter, whose theme is “The Salesian Community Today,” also will analyze three fundamental aspects of the Salesian community: fraternal life, evangelical witness and leadership among youth.
The 231 delegates representing 17,000 religious worldwide will attend the chapter. The chapter ends in April.
Father Antonio Domenech, regulator of the chapter, said the “Salesian communities live the same conditions that families live; their religious life and pastoral action experience the difficulties and challenges of the present great changes.”
“Many communities are small but must direct an amazing multiplicity of educational and apostolic works; the rhythms of life, schedules and demands of work are most varied; relations with individuals and institutions have multiplied,” Father Domenech continued.
He added: “These situations call for a rethinking of community life; seeking new ways to live the religious and Salesian life fully despite the unfavorable contexts; to clarify conditions that might favor witness and prophecy, and to see that the environment becomes a vocational call, a school of spirituality, and a factor of communion and encouragement.”
Among the delegates are mission founders, school directors, teachers, university professors, musicians, painters, cartoonists and writers.