"In Jesus we find everything"

General Government of the Brothers and Sisters, Rome


Home / News / Our delegations and conferences (Enlarged General Council)

Our delegations and conferences (Enlarged General Council)

On Monday, 11 September, we resumed the work of the Enlarged General Council. The liturgy of the day is animated by the brothers from Ireland-England and Poland.

We are connected online with Jef Tops, superior of the Delegation of Belgium, and Jan Wouters, superior of the Delegation of the Netherlands. Michael Ruddy, superior of the Delegation of Ireland-England, is present in the room. We have a dialogue about delegations in the Congregation. In the future we will have other delegations.

We are invited to share the experience of these years: how has the relationship with the Congregation and the General Government been? What are your expectations?

Jef Tops explains that the Delegation of Flanders was born in 2018. In total there are 16 members. It remains to be seen how the legacy of Damien will continue to be passed on after the sscc brothers have disappeared.

Jan Wouters tells us about the Netherlands Delegation that was started in 2013. They want to continue to maintain good contact with the brothers and sisters of the Congregation and are grateful for the mediation of the General Government.

Michael Ruddy indicates that the brothers of the Delegation of Ireland-England, which started in 2022, continue to live with joy and dedication in their mission in the local churches where they are present. They collaborate with international networks, with the sisters, secular branch and lay people of our works.

Alberto Toutin gives some indications from the General Government. It seems that nothing changes from being a province to a delegation. But it is clear that there is a new way of understanding the group, with new needs and changes, especially how to take care of the ageing brothers, who will take care of them when they are few, what will happen with patrimony, properties, investments, relationship with lay people and other collaborations, etc. There is more interaction between the delegation and the general government on major issues and important decisions, also with the regular visits that the general government makes. There is a greater integration in the whole Congregation as a whole. What happens in the delegations becomes the concern of the whole Congregation: the church of St. Anthony and Damien's tomb in Leuven, the future in the Netherlands, etc. On the future we have a couple of questions: given the statistics, could the process of becoming a delegation be indicative of a process that could happen in other areas of the Congregation? How can we increase our interdependence as one sscc missionary body?

Finally, we addressed the vision of the Congregation from the different interprovincial conferences, moderated by Jean Blaise Mwanda. We are increasingly aware of being a community of brothers with an international body, where what happens in one community has repercussions in the others. This requires more collaboration and interdependence in different areas, such as interprovincial conferences. We discussed the challenges in each conference and the areas of interdependence in the four conferences: CAP (Pankras Olak), CEA (Camille Sapu), CIAL (René Cabezón) and USA (Chris Santangelo). Staff exchanges have taken place in Asia. Some conferences, such as Europe, need in some places the help of brothers from other conferences to continue to serve the mission. The CIAL plans to create a new organisational structure. USA presents the challenge of aging and care of the brethren. They are looking at joining CAP. We wonder how to move forward and grow in international body consciousness.