What the Roman Curia will be schooled on during Lent

The Lenten spiritual exercises for the Roman curia will this year be preached by Father Bruno Secondin, a Carmelite, focused on the prophet Elijah and the prophetic role of the Church today.
The news of the Feb. 22-27 retreat, themed “Servants and prophets of the living God”, was announced in L’Osservatore Romano Jan. 30.
It will be held in the Casa Divin Maestro of Ariccia, a city bordering Albano Laziale and 16 miles outside Rome.
For the second consecutive year, Pope Francis wanted the curia’s spiritual exercises to be held outside of Rome, in order to foster the spiritual retreat and to avoid the temptation continue working. So all the head of Vatican dicasteries will move to Ariccia for five days.
The preacher, Father Secondin, is an Italian Carmelite born in 1940. He studied in Rome, Germany, and Jerusalem. He earned a doctorate in theology and has served as a professor of spiritual theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University.
Father Secondin has written more than twenty books on spiritual issues, also dealing with the crisis of modern culture. He is also an expert on St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi, and has written on Pope Francis’ favorite saint, Therese of Lisieux.
A long time commentator on the Sunday Gospel for Vatican Radio, Father Secondin was recently appointed consultor to the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and for Societies of Apostolic Life.
Currently, he serves in the Carmelite monastery of Santa Maria Traspontina, a few steps from St. Peter’s Square. The Carmelites also administer the parish of Santa Maria in Traspontina, which covers a vast block around the Vatican area. Father Secondin is there entrusted with holding lectio divina every second and fourth Friday of the month.
Father Secondin’s meditation will present a pastoral lecture on the prophet Elijah, giving two meditations per day, plus an opening reflection on the topic: “Exiting from our own ‘village’.”
Every day, Father Secondin will develop a specific topic: “Paths of authenticitiy” (on roots of faith and the courage to say no to any ambiguity); “Paths of freedom” (from vain idols to true mercy); “Let God surprise us” (the meeting with a God that is elsewhere and the acknowledgement of the poor, who evangelize us); Justice and intercession” (witness of justice and solidarity); and “Collecting from Elijah’s robe” (to be prophets of fraternity).


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