Pope Francis has chosen an Italian Carmelite professor of spirituality to lead him and top members of the Roman Curia on their Lenten retreat.
Carmelite Fr Bruno Secondin, though listed as a “professor emeritus” at Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University, is still teaching in the university’s Institute of Spirituality.
He is the author of dozens of books, including a multi-volume series of guides for “lectio divina”, the prayerful reading of the books of the New Testament and selected readings from the Old Testament.
The Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano reported that Fr Secondin will preach on the theme “Servants and Prophets of the Living God”.
Pope Francis and some 80 Vatican officials will listen to Fr Secondin and reflect on his words on February 22-27 at the Pauline Fathers’ retreat and conference centre in Ariccia, about 20 miles southeast of Rome.
Fr Secondin will give 10 meditations during the week, which L’Osservatore said would have a special focus each day: “Journeys of authenticity”, including “the courage to say no to ambiguity”; “paths of freedom”, subtitled “from vain idols to true piety”; “let yourself be surprised by God”, meeting God where you least expect him and being evangelised by the poor; “justice and intercession”, looking at witnesses of justice and solidarity; and “accepting Elijah’s cloak”, looking at ways of becoming “prophets of fraternity”.