The retreat inaugurating the spiritual itinerary of Pauline Family 2023 was held, as usual, in the St. Paul House (San Giovanni Eudes), Rome, from 14-22 November 2022, on the theme, “Let your minds be transformed to discern the will of God” (Rom. 12:1-2). The theme, with its distinctly Pauline coloring, was competently developed by the animators of the course: Fr. Stefano Ripepi, a biblical scholar and pastor of the Archdiocese of Reggio Calabria, who accompanied its biblical aspect, and Sr. Sandra Pascoalato of the Pastorelle Sisters, who is also a biblical scholar and a passionate expositor of the magisterium of Blessed James Alberione (for the charismatic aspect). Both animators offered the participants profound and concrete reflections on the theme.
The itinerary prepared by the Pauline Family team for 2023 is in close harmony with the journey of the universal Church and Pope Francis’ pastoral desires with regard to synodality. It was nice to note that chapter 15 of the Acts of the Apostles is the golden thread of this year’s itinerary. Indeed, it is precisely from the Council of Jerusalem that we can still learn today the challenging arts of listening, discernment, courage and communion. The charismatic aspect of the theme, which involves the commitment to synodality, offers the Pauline Family sure paths for growth and adherence to the Gospel, including sanctification of the mind, the study of Sacred Scripture and conformation to Jesus through the indisputable mediation of the Apostle Paul.
The 31 retreatants, representing the five Congregations and aggregated Institutes of the PF (nine of the latter as first-time participants), experienced and confirmed the joy of being members of the Pauline Family. The course filled them with fresh enthusiasm for their Pauline journey, along with the beautiful experience of walking together and living their vocation of evangelization in a Family wholly dedicated to synodality.