Migration and prayer were at the forefront of recent discussions between Pope Francis and a Brisbane parish priest, Scalabrinian Father Martin Ignacio Gutierrez. Source: The Catholic Leader.
Fr Gutierrez was in Italy for the election of a new superior general for the general chapter of the Scalabrinian Fathers.
The Scalabrinians are an international community of religious serving migrants and refugees of different cultures, religions and ethnicities in 32 countries and on five continents.
“We gather together to choose the new leader in the congregation and also we develop a kind of guidance for our next six years – what kind of work we want to do, the orientation we want to take,” Fr Gutierrez said.
“During that gathering we had a private meeting with the Pope. We introduced ourselves and the new general administration. It was a conversation, a dialogue to support one another, and of course (the Scalabrinians) now have the blessing of the Pope for the next six years.”
During his blessing, Pope Francis emphasised the importance of a rich community life.
“We need a healthy community life, simple but not banal, not mediocre,” Pope Francis said.
“I appreciated when the superior general said that the Spirit calls you to experience among you communion in diversity. Yes, as testimony but first and foremost as a joy for you, as a human, Christian and ecclesial richness.
“I also encourage you to continue the journey of sharing with the laity, facing today’s challenges together; as well as attending to permanent formation courses.
“Brothers, I thank you for this meeting. I pray for your chapter, that it may bring you many good fruits. And you too, please, do not forget to pray for me.”
Fr Gutierrez also asked the Pope for his blessing of all those in Australia.
“It’s beautiful news that he gladly said yes,” Fr Gutierrez said. “In other words, he prays for all of us.”