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ROME: 102 Responsible Generals out of the 193 Approved Secular Institutes in the world attended the General Assembly of the World Conference of the Secular Institutes in Salesianum, Rome from 21st to 25th of August, 2016. Some Institutes sent their delegates.
The words of Pope Francis, “You are at the heart of the world with the heart of God” on the screen welcomed every one with joy and gratitude.  Straw votes were collected to draw up the list of 25 candidates to the future Executive Council and the first ballot for the election of members. Various groups discussed on the current project regarding the identity of our vocation. The first day concluded with the Eucharistic celebration presided over by His Eminence Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. 
On the second day focus was on the formation various individual testimonials on experience on formation were shared. Among these were the Formation of formators, Formation of the persons prior to definitive incorporation, Formation of priests in a Secular Institute, Formation in Asia, Formation to secularity, Formation in an Institute present in all continents, Formation of members in Africa. There was also list of recommendations drawn for the working of the next executive council. An amendment in the Statutes was made and unanimously passed by the General Assembly members on the number of the members in the Executive Council to be 9 from hence forth instead of 11.
On the third day all the participants had a papal audience in St. Peters Square. Pope Francis met the presidency of the CMIS and others and asked for our prayers. In the evening the final ballot for the election of the Executive Council for the next 4 years took place and the following members were unanimously elected:

  1. Francoise Beroudiat (Caritas Christi Institute, from France)
  2. Fr. Marcel Caron (Pius X Institute, from Canada)
  3. Teresa D’Oria (Volontarie della Carita Institute, from Italy)
  4. Lily Fernandes (Maids of the Poor Institute, from India)
  5. Elba Catalina Fleita (Apostole del Sacro Cuore Institute, from Brasil)
  6. M. De Fatima Henriquez Perez (Catequistas de la Virgen del Pino Institute, from Spain)
  7. Margarita Palazzi (Regnum Mariae Institute from Italy)
  8. Jolanta Spilarewicz (Niepokalanej Matki Kosciola Institute, from Poland)
  9. Antonio vendramin (Christo Re Institute, from Italy)
The Executive Council met on the same evening and elected the 3 members for presidency to function regularly in the office of CMIS. They are: Jolanta Spilarewicz as President and Elba Catalina Fleita and Margarita Palazzi to assist her. The General Assembly concluded in 25th August with a solemn thanks giving Holy Eucharist.
Lily Fernandes
(Maids of the Poor, India)