In fulfillment of our constitutions, Fr. Paul Voisin, CR, Superior General of the Congregation of the Resurrection, delegated Fr. Evandro Miranda Rosa, CR, Vicar General of the Congregation of the Resurrection, to carry out the Canonical Visitation of the Ontario Kentucky Province. The opening address took place by Zoom.
Fr. Evandro shared with us some of the joys of the community on an international level, including the growth of our presence in Africa, mentioning a number of perpetually professed members there, as well as our newly ordained priests there.
He also recognized and affirmed the generosity of the Ontario Kentucky Province – not only financially, but also in terms of personnel – having three of its members serving in the wider Resurrectionist Community around the world, despite dwindling numbers and lack of new vocations: Fr. Paul Voisin, CR as Superior General in Rome, Fr. Paweł Szymanowski, CR as archivist in Rome, and Fr. Jim Donohue, CR serving in our mission in Tanzania.
And finally, he shared with us some reflections on the theme of the upcoming 34th General Chapter of the Congregation of the Resurrection: Journey in Hope Together
Fr. Evandro observed that this theme was a return to our previous General Chapters which focused on the theme of A Vision of Hope, Continuing A Vision of Hope, and New Horizons of Hope. And a timely one given all that we have gone through and are still going through as a global community such as the COVID pandemic and the ongoing war in Ukraine.
As a way of entering into the theme, he offered some reflections on the Gospel story of the Road to Emmaus:
The two disciples on the Road to Emmaus were dejected, their eyes were restrained, they were sad, and had no hope – “but we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel.”
Although the Risen Christ was there with them, they were not able to see Him. Having no hope also hides the presence of the Risen Christ in our lives – whatever our difficulties may be, such as health, or relationships in community, to name a few.
Of course we know that it is in the opening of the Scriptures and the Breaking of the Bread that the disciples’ eyes were opened. And they remarked: “were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?” – their hearts were burning when he was with them, but they were not able to even feel or recognize that either.
Yet, they invited Him to stay with them: “Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is nearly over.”
This is a reminder for us of the importance of being open in difficult times. Without this openness to others, it will be very difficult to recognize Jesus.
And finally, we notice that these two disciples had separated themselves from the community of the disciples in Jerusalem, they were walking away from Jerusalem to Emmaus. But after they recognized the Risen Christ, they ran back to the community of disciples in Jerusalem, only to discover that Jesus had been with them too. Encountering the Risen Christ in the Eucharist should bring us closer together into community.
Over the next few days, Fr. Evandro will meet with the Ontario Kentucky Resurrectionists individually. Please keep Fr. Evandro and us in your prayers as we begin this important and Spirit filled time in our community’s life and history!