My name is Asunción Riopedre, a Sister Hospitaller from the Province of Italy and member of the Commission tasked with preparing and promoting the project to review and update our Constitutions.
At the 21st General Chapter, held in Rome in June 2018, the decision was made to undertake the Constitutional Review process based on a “Proposal” presented at the Chapter that included work done by all the sisters of the Congregation in 2017.
If we review the milestones of the Constitutions, we find that the changes implemented have been a response to the needs and challenges of the life and mission of the Congregation. Today, we take up the task of reviewing the Constitutions, driven by a desire to address, in creative faith, the practice of hospitality, welcoming ecclesiastical, socio-cultural, and political change, the development of theology and human sciences, the deepening/systematisation of our spiritual heritage, and the organisational and management demands of the apostolic work.
The following process is guided by a desire to improve. To do so, we embark on a path of spiritual renewal, which serves as a continuous learning opportunity for the entire Congregation, in each of the sisters. It is important to note that we are dealing with a “book” that determines the identity, values, criteria, and lifestyle of the Congregation. Therefore, it is the duty and the right of each and every one of the sisters to participate, individually and as a community.
In an effort to define and facilitate the process, the path is broken down into four stages:
1. Informing all the sisters of the need to review the Constitutions, consulting them about the issues relevant to the process: the topics and items to be reviewed and the methodology applied. The “Proposal” presented at the 21st General Chapter was compiled from the information obtained and, having accepted the proposal presented, the Chapter decided to review/update the Constitutions. A working committee, comprised of sisters from different Provinces, was appointed for this purpose.