After seventeen days of work, the General Chapter came to an end. After the completion of all the work on the agenda; after the election of the members of the guiding body of the Order; and after drawing up the plan for the next six-year period (the Camillian Project), the last day was dedicated to the approval of the Message of the Order: in it, the members of the General Chapter provided an assessment of their deliberations and extended an invitation to every member of the Order to accept the commitments made in the hall of the General Chapter.
However, the final session was also marked by a long and profound reflection on these weeks. With all honesty many expressed their personal experience of the General Chapter, going well beyond the subjects that had been addressed or the decisions that had been taken. A greater unity and also the increasing presence of young members of the General Chapter representing emerging Provinces and Delegations – a note of hope for the future! – was palpable.
The volume Presenze, published by Gangemi, was also presented. This is a photographic history of the Order of St. Camillus with archival material (from the nineteenth century) until pictures from today! The book looks forward to the exhibition that will be inaugurated at the Museo del Vittoriano (Rome) on Wednesday, 22 May.
In the evening, during the final celebration of the Eucharist, the Superior General read out the names of most of the reappointed or appointed Provincials: the Provinces are also on the march! Special mention should be made of Fr. Vittorio Paleari, the first Provincial of the Province of Italy.
Also in the evening, at the Teatro Capocroce in Frascati, ‘Fr. Ettore dei Poveri’ was performed, a theatrical piece with marionettes, lights and archival voices to remember the human and spiritual experience of this great religious. Rightly, in his final salutation, Fr. Salvatore emphasised that there could be nothing more appropriate than ending a General Chapter with the example of this religious before one’s eyes!
On Saturday 18 May, the return journeys of the members of the General Chapter to their communities began: bon voyage to those beginning their journeys and best wishes to the Order which is launched towards a new six-year period!