The day began with Mass celebrated in Spanish. I have mentioned before that I find Spanish religious a little bit too enthusiastic first thing in the morning but once again I was lucky, as the celebrant was Father Franz Damen, the Belgian Provincial, who worked for many years in Bolivia. After breakfast, I headed for the aula. The six configurations had spent all of yesterday afternoon in configuration groups so this morning was devoted to their reporting back to the Synod. It was a very full session, at the end of which I found that I had written ten pages of notes. They said a lot, but it was very interesting. You can read about the reports in the daily summary (see previous post).
Provincials and Regional Vicar from Bavaria/Austria, Botswana/South Africa/Zambia, Sicily, and Mexico listening attentively
I can’t remember what was being said, but it looks like they didn’t like it.
This session turned out to be the last working session of the Synod, which meant that the members of the Synod got an unexpected free afternoon. It came as a surprise to me and, I think, to many others. I was waiting for the next stage on the road to restructuring when someone at the table (I think it was Fr Denis Travers, but it could have been Sister Christine Anderson) said that we had more or less completed the work of the Synod and then suddenly the two facilitators were thanking us and the General was thanking them. It was one of those occasions where you feel as if you must have dozed off, but know that you didn’t.
Sister Christine Anderson with Father Denis Travers who chaired the session.
Just before the ‘thank-you’s started, Father Ottaviano said that perhaps it would be useful to have an open forum session in the afternoon but by this stage i sinodali could already picture the gelato in Piazza Navona and I think there were in fact only two who voted in favour of such a session; both were Italian and hence immune to the lure of gelato.
Fathers Anthony and Michael thinking about ice cream.
Tomorrow morning we will have the official Closing Session, followed by the closing Mass.