Many unfortunate adventures have marked our European Responsible Team since it was set up during the last European assembly of the Fraternity held in Rudy in Poland in July 2017. A brother from Germany, Kuno KOHN, was elected as European leader and he decided to invite two other brothers to form a team: Gianantonio ALLEGRI, from Italy and Alain FOURNIER-BIDOZ, the author of these lines.
In August 2018 Gianantonio died and Joe Deegan, a brother from Ireland, was invited to succeed him.
A European Assembly was planned to take place in July 2020, at Douai Abbey, in England, but due to the COVID pandemic it was cancelled. A date was chosen for another European Assembly to proceed in July 2021 in a new location, Annecy, in France, but faced with the uncertainties that remained on the possibilities of travel within Europe, a decision was taken to cancel once again.
Following the wonderful occasion of the Canonization of Br. Charles and our mini-Assembly in Rome last May, we have decided to proceed with the next assembly which we hope and pray will take place from Tuesday July 11 to Tuesday July 18, 2022, at the Diocesan House of Annecy in Annecy, a city well served by train and close to the airport of Geneva.
Each assembly allows us to take stock of the situation of our fraternities in Europe, to have a beautiful spiritual experience of encounter and to discern together through the necessary openness of our sharing. In a letter sent to National Responsibles in preparation for the proposed Assembly in 2020, Kuno proposed as the theme of this assembly: “Living transformation in the spirit of brother Charles” and he explained it thus: “Following the International Assembly of Cebu we propose to remember that the most important thing is to experience Transformation”.
Éric Lozada, following his election as International Responsible, in his inaugural letter invited us to; “go to the geographical and existential peripheries, to be missionary priests: this is the way to grow every day in a dynamic of death and resurrection with Jesus, our Brother and Lord” and to; “learn to live according to a transformed lifestyle, not only with the poor or for the poor but as poor priests in a poor Church: this is the way for us to let go of the need for control, which is the opposite of faith, of trust in God.”
We invite you to allow yourself to be imperfect, to be, as St. Paul writes, “a fool for Christ.”
We propose 2 questions that could be used for reflection by all the fraternities and we invite you to bring some feedback from the groups to share during the assembly:
- How can people recognize that we are on the way to experiencing a transformation in the spirit of Brother Charles?
- How can we try to live with a mentality of “beginning” so as to become more and more the “Universal brother”?
To these two questions, a third should be added in connection to the the letter from the International Team regarding the promotion of Jesus Caritas Priests Fraternity;
- What experience do we have to share in terms of initiatives to promote the Fraternity and attract new members among our confreres.
It goes without saying that to these questions must be added, on the one hand, a re-reading of the ordeal of the pandemic, which affected all the countries of Europe and had a significant impact on the life of our fraternities and on the other hand to experience again the graces of the event that was the Canonization of Brother Charles.
Thank you in advance to all for contributing to the reflection and thus feeding the work of the delegates to the Annecy Assembly.
In support of the chosen theme, our English brothers who were to receive us in 2020 had suggested Cardinal Newman’s very moving poem “Lead Kindly Light”:
Lead, Kindly Light, amidst th’encircling gloom,
Lead Thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home,
Lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene; one step enough for me.
In Annecy it will be rather St. Francis de Sales who will come to reinforce the intercession of Brother Charles, for the smooth and successful flow of our work!
Fraternally in Christ Jesus,
Kuno, Alain & Joe (European Continental Team of Jesus Caritas.)
PDF: European Assembly Letter 2023