From 2nd to 6th August 2022, the Region of Zimbabwe had its annual retreat. All the confreres and the professed students of theology in the Region attended the retreat. The preacher was Fr Vimal Tirimanna, CSsR who teaches at the Accademia Alfonsiana, Rome. In his conferences, Fr Vimal spoke of the need to pay attention to the signs of the times and to remind ourselves of our vocation. He highlighted how the covid-19 pandemic had taught us quite a few lessons. He also pointed out that as Redemptorists, sometimes we lose sight of the path we should follow (of following Christ the Redeemer with hearts full of joy and always ready to undertake what is demanding. Reading, identifying and correctly interpreting the signs of the times, is what defines a true Redemptorist (Gaudium et Spes §44). There is the need to adapt to the changing circumstances but without losing our true identity, our charism. Our human life is a journey, a pilgrimage, keep on walking and never remain in one place.
On 9th August, Fr. Vimal also gave the opening lecture on the current process of synodality in the Church, at the inauguration of the academic year of the Holy Trinity College in Harare, where our students of theology do their studies. Seminarians from various religious congregations who study at the College, as well as a few invited guests, also attended this lecture. Key to Fr Vimal’s presentation was the idea that the synodal journey intends to leave no one behind since everyone is called to walk together towards a life of holiness. Pope Francis is stirring the Church towards the vision of the Second Vatican Council, wherein the Church is defined as the People of God, journeying together and listening to the Holy Spirit. In addition, the synodal journey offers a solution to the existing ‘curse’ of clericalism in the Catholic Church, by stressing on the enhanced participation of the laity in the activities of the Church. Fr Vimal also insisted that the synodal process does not seek to strip bishops and priests of their powers, but rather, it is a call to revert to perceive the Church as the whole body of the baptized, which includes both the clergy and the laity.
Bothwell Chimhende, CSsR and Elvis Chirara, CSsR
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