After months of preparation, the Institute of the Incarnate Word (IVE) held its VII General Chapter from July 1 to 23, 2016 in Montefiascone, Italy. At least 63 Chapter Fathers, coming from the various missions of the Institute around the world, participated to elect for the new general government and discuss the various aspects regarding the life and mission of the Institute.
The General Chapter was solemnly opened last June 30, with the Holy Mass presided by Angelo Cardinal Sodano, dean of the College of the Cardinals. Concelebrating with the Cardinal were Lino Fumagalli, Bishop of Viterbo; Juan Antonio Martínez Camino SJ, Auxiliary Bishop of Madrid; Domenico Scotti, Bishop of Trivento and Fabio Fabene, Titular Bishop of Acquapendente and undersecretary of the Synod of the Bishops, the Chapter Fathesr, and other priests of the Institute.
The Chapter Fathers spent the first week with the Spiritual Exercises preached by Bishop Martínez Camino. On July 11th, the sessions of the General Chapter were officially begun. Among the first business of the chapter was to elect for the new government of the Institute. The next day, Fr. Gustavo Nieto, IVE was elected as the new General Superior. Prior to the election, Fr. Nieto was serving as a parish pastor in United States.
Having completed the General Council, the Chapter proceeded to discuss the state of the Institute. Fr. Carlos Walker, IVE gave the state of the Institute, thanking God for the various examples of religious with full and joyful dispositions to be assigned anywhere, as well as offers to mission in difficult places. With the Institute having these kind of religious, Fr. Walker said, the congregation is in good health.
The Provincial Superiors also gave the state of their respective provinces. There were also discussions regarding the various aspects of the life of the Institute. ‘Good Nights’ were given at each day, with priests speaking about their respective missions.
During the Chapter, the new General Superior announced new appointment of superiors of jurisdictions and houses of formation. For the Province of Our Lady of Sheshan (Taiwan, Hong Kong and the Philippines), Fr. Miguel Soler IVE was appointed as its new provincial superior. Fr. Soler was the Provincial Superior of Spain and France. Fr. Walker was also assigned to this Oriental province.
On July 22nd, discussing the apostolates of the Institute, the following were highlighted: 1. The promotion and the care of the vocations; 2. The preaching of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola as central to the charism of the Institute; and lastly, 3. The ‘online’ apostolate.
Last Saturday, July 23 the General Chapter was concluded with a Solemn Mass presided by Fr. Nieto. In his homily, Fr. Gustavo spoke of the sentiments the Chapter Fathers experienced during these days: gratitude to God for the many amazing and inexplicable benefits and gifts, an experience of the certainty of his Providential presence and care for our Religious Family, a strong experience of unity, and the need to respond to these graces with a true and unlimited filial trust.
Before the Final Blessing, Fr. Nieto consecrated the Institute of the Incarnate Word to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, entrusting to him the Institute’s government, its missions, its members and their assignments.