The 20th Chapter session addressed the work on Piarist ministry as well as the reality of the Piarist Schools on the Move initiative.
Today’s Eucharist was presided over by the Province of Asia Pacific. In his homily, Fr Robert Dalusung shared a reflection on “traditions that we are comfortable with, but do not let us listen to what God is asking of us”. “The spirit takes us out of our comfort zone, it takes us out of our comfort zone, it takes us to grow in life,” he explained.
During the morning and part of the afternoon, the Chapter Fathers echoed the document on Piarist Ministry. In a rich and participative dialogue, the participants emphasized the transformative capacity of the Calasanctian pedagogy. “The great novelty of the Piety and the Letters that Calasanz proposed is in the copulative ‘and’ that unites the two dimensions,” they affirmed in the assembly. “This is our great novelty, and good news for Catholic education”, they explained.
This pedagogical impulse passes, in the case of the Piarists in an irremissible way, through social inclusion and the search for ways of social insertion. “The pandemic has made clear the importance of our ministry and of the school as something irreplaceable”, they underlined in their speeches. A ministry extended to families and the importance of accompaniment were themes that came up again in the debate.
In the afternoon, Fr Carles Gil shared the work done by the Outgoing Pious Schools team. Gil presented the work of a team that has tried to deepen the aspiration of Calasanz to reform society, “so that life is not a swindle”, he explained during the intervention. The project has allowed a group of Piarists to deepen on the challenge of Calasanz in today’s world. And the first thing they had to tackle was “to really know the reality, avoiding prejudices”. For Fr Gil, we are facing three global challenges: segregation caused by an extreme polarization of poverty; migrations that put the lives of migrants at risk; and the climate crisis. The project, in a third phase, included a missionary experience of months with the aim of moving from the “spoken” to the “lived”. The outbreak of the pandemic forced the suspension of this phase, although the accompaniment work continued online. The project aims to offer the participants a new world view of their horizon “more full of life and more intense, so that our daily life generates questions for others”.