By the grace of God, a meeting called by the General Council is being held in the Monastery of Nuestra Señora de El Pueyo [Barbastro, Aragon, España]. Taking part is a group of representatives of the Institute of the Incarnate Word’s contemplative life and some provincial superiors. Namely, the following fathers:
Members of the General Counsel
- Rev. Fr. Carlos Walker, Superior general
- Rev. Fr. Gonzalo Ruiz Freites, Vicar general. In charge of the Monastic Branch
- Rev. Fr. Diego Pombo, Secretary general
- Rev. Fr. Alberto Barattero, Economy general
- Rev. Fr. Elvio Fontana, General Councilor
- Rev. Fr. Jorge Montagna, General Councilor
- Fr. Gabriel Zapata (Argentina)
- Fr. Miguel Soler (Spain)
- Fr. Ernesto Caparrós (Italy)
- Fr. Marcelo Gallardo (Holy Land)
- Fr. Emanuel Martelli (Egypt)
- Fr. Teodoro Matsapula (Ukraine)
Superiors of Monasteries
- Fr. Pablo Di Césare (San Rafael, Argentina)
- Fr. José Giunta (El Pueyo, Spain)
- Fr. Diego Fuentes (Tenerife, Spain)
- Fr. Enrique González (Séforis, Israel)
- Fr. Alejandro Robledo (Trivento, Italy)
- Fr. Luis Miguel Martínez (La Marsa, Tunisia)
Representatives of the Monasteries
- Fr. Jon de Arza (San Rafael, Argentina)
- Fr. Ariel Calandra (Tenerife, Spain)
- Fr. Tristán Gelonch (El Pueyo, Spain)
- Fr. Emmanuel Ansaldi (El Pueyo, Spain)
- Fr. Juan Manuel Rossi (El Pueyo, Spain)
- Fr. Javier Ansaldi (El Pueyo, Spain)
The principle objective of this meeting is to treat the fundamental topics of the life and development of the contemplative branch in the Institute which will include: pointing out the different positive and negative experiences; recalling principles; and promoting and reconciling the traditional criteria of monastic life, both those in the Church as well as those proper to the monastic life in the Institute of the Incarnate Word. Also, a series of issues are being studied as a community with the objective of adapting and perfecting our monastic life. After a process of discernment, these issues, will be brought as proposals to the upcoming General Chapter in 2016.
Noteworthy is the wide range of topics which are being addressed. They give rise to different opinions, with great unity in spirit and adherence to the ideal on the part of monks and religious superiors. This is bringing forth abundant fruit and we hope that it continues to do so.
The activities began on Sunday, September 6th in the evening with the singing of Evening Prayer and a “Good Night” delivered by Fr. Jose Giunta. Fr. Giunta recounted the activities which are undertaken here in El Pueyo, both as a sanctuary and as a house of formation.
On Monday, the 7th of September, Fr. Gabriel Zapata was the principle celebrant while Fr. Jon de Arza preached. In the homily, Fr. De Arza spoke of the praise of God which is realized in the Monastery by means of the liturgy, the singing of the psalmody, and the Office in general.
In the morning sessions the following subjects were discussed: Nature of the Monastic Life in the IVE. “Things to take into account” by Fr. Buela. Life of the theological virtues (Fr. Di Cesare); Monastic Life and the non-negotiable elements of the charism of the Institute (Fr. Martínez); and Monastic life and divine worship. The liturgical prayer in our monasteries (Fr. De Arza). In the afternoon they discussed: The life of prayer and silence. The cell. The essential monastic virtues (Fr. Fuentes); The Lectio divina (Fr. Rossi); and The monastic work (Fr. González).
In that day’s “Good Night” Fr. Diego Fuentes recounted the history and principle activities which are being realized in the Monastery of Tenerife. That same day, at night, Fr. Carlos Walker arrived from Argentina where he was able to accompany his brother Juan in the last moments of his life and also console his own family.
On Tuesday, the 8th of September, Feast of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Fr. Diego Pombo arrived after having to suddenly return to Italy on account of the passing of his father on Saturday. Fr. Ernesto also arrived that night so that all the assistants were present. That morning’s Holy Mass was presided by Fr. Carlos Walker who preached about the poverty that the monks should live: a radical poverty which also serves as a model for other religious and all Christians.
The topics discussed in the morning were the following: The hermitic life (Fr. Emanuel Ansaldi); Government of the monasteries. Relation of the monasteries between themselves (Fr. Ruiz Freites); Local rules. The schedule of the monastery (Fr. Giunta); and The “Houses of [Monastic] formation” (Fr. Giunta). In the afternoon some of the fathers could play sports and then resumed the sessions with two other topics: The scheduled stages of formation. Some specific topics (Fr. Ross); and The admission to the Monasteries and the criteria of discernment of the monastic vocations (Fr. Zapata).
In the “Good Night,” Fr. Pablo Di Cesare spoke of the history and principle activities of the foundational Monastery of the Incarnate Word’s monastic branch which is located in Los Coroneles, Argentina.
Every day, the monks of El Pueyo, assisted by the other priests, solemnized the liturgy by singing the various hours of the Divine Office and also beautifying the liturgy of the Holy Mass.
God willing, the rest of the developments of this week’s activities will be recounted in upcoming chronicles. This is both to inform the entire religious family as well as to everyone to pray for the fruits of this meeting and the sanctification of the contemplatives of our Institute that are called to give a powerful testimony to the Unum Necessarium; A testimony which they will give if they live to the fullest their own consecration to God in the Institute with all the radicality which is required by the name of “monks.”
Fr. Juan Manuel Rossi