Canonical Visitation to the St John Calibita Hospital
Canon law and our proper law, set out in two books – the Constitutions and the General Statutes – require the Superior General to conduct the Canonical Visitation to the Order’s centres once during the six years of his government.
He may delegate this task to some of his Councillors, and at this very moment some of them are conducting this Visitation in South America and Europe.
It is governed by a number of protocols which must be observed. For example, a meeting must be held with the heads of all the departments and services: the Management Committee, the Service Chiefs, the Nursing Coordinators, the Bioethics Committee, the Voluntary Service, the Pastoral Care of the Sick, the trade unions etc in order to acquire the widest possible information from every point of view.
He also visited the whole centre, greeting the staff, the sick and their loved ones. This is a moment which the Co-workers eagerly await, and traditionally the Superiors General have always done so several times year.
In this difficult moment in the life of the hospital, the Prior General showed a keen
interest in finding out the situation in the Centre, in terms of the medical and care aspects, and with regard to organisational, financial and other matters. This is not to say that he was unaware of them, because Brother Jesús Etayo constantly keeps a close eye on the day-to-day running of the hospital. But on this occasion he was given this information directly by the very people who are personally involved in running the Centre.
Another important moment in the Visitation is the meeting with the Community of Brothers. He has to devote time to listening to each of the Brothers and holding a dialogue with them, to hear their opinions and advice. He also asks them how they are living their spiritual, community and apostolic life.
A great family event to which everyone was looking forward was the Mass celebrated on Thursday with all the staff who were able to attend. This year was very special, because in the course of the Eucharist, we once again celebrated the 25th anniversary of 39 of the employees working in the hospital. There are certainly many more of them to remember, but it was decided to pay tribute to the ones whose anniversaries had occurred in the past two years. The General said that this celebration would be held for the others on another date, depending on his diary commitments.
The Visitation ended with a few statutory actions required by proper law, such as the Meeting with the whole Community. There, the Brothers expressed their opinions of the Centre after three days of intense work. The Prior General urged the community to persevere in their commitment to the Centre and recommended them to continue practising the charism of St John of God in the most authentic manner possible.