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Sixth Meeting of the Preparatory Commission of the General Chapter

20/02/2009: General House - Photo gallery

The Preparatory Commission for the Chapter met in Rome form February 9-14, 2009 to settle some key points of a tight agenda. This meeting of the Commission is the continuation of the one held from November 28 to December 3, 2008 in which they detailed the “Orientations for Reflection Prior to the XXI General Chapter”. This text, which gathers together a synthesis of the contributions from the Brothers and of other people received by the Commission, has been distributed to the whole Institute for its study during the second week of February. This text can be found on the web in three formats (Word, PDF A3 and PDF A4).

The two principles themes on the agenda during the meeting in February have been the support that the Commission has had to offer to the Brothers in the second phase of preparation and the proper fulfillment of the Chapter. The second phase of preparation already has started with the publication on the web page of the document: “Orientations for Reflection Prior to the XXI Chapter”. This document is a guide for stir dialogue and the interchange of ideas about the most sensible themes that the Preparatory Commission has gathered during the previous sondage. The methodology planned for this step sees the possibility of the chapter Delegates getting to know each other as Brothers, laypersons and youth with the purpose of listening to each other and getting to know the Marist reality. In this way they will be able to echo the thoughts of their Province or Region in order to make them resonate in the Chapter Hall.

The second theme has been the reflection over this particular General Chapter, its dynamic and the procedures to be put in place. The Commission tried to anticipate or foresee some of the preparation needed for the first days of the meeting, until the Chapter elects the Central Commission that will be in charge of directing the work of the assembly. These proposals and the date of the closing will be briefly presented to the capitulants so that they can make known their opinions. In order to do this, information services and the web page dedicated to the General Chapter will be used. Also, the use of the web site is seen as a way to organize forums for discussion, space for mutual knowledge by the capitulants, the interchange of materials for reflection and animation, etc.

This meeting of the Preparatory Commission also had the foresight to make some practical decisions which had to be resolved relative to the infrastructure of the General House. They had to organize space, structures and services which will have to be put at the disposal of the capitulants. During the past months these needs have been studied, proposals have been made and soon some work will be initiated. The lighting system and the sound system of the Chapel will be improved. The Chapter Hall, in use since the 1967 Chapter, is going through an important remodeling. Existing stairs will be eliminated in order to create one flat surface. We hope to accommodate it, not only for the requirements of the Chapter, but we have also thought about making it possible to use it for other purposes after the Chapter. Spaces for meetings, gatherings and receptions have also been studied. In the pavilion of the old International College new furniture and household goods are ready, rooms are being fixed and renovated with an artistic touch. The calendar is running and everything has to be ready for the beginning of September.

The members of the Commission will return for a meeting in Rome from May 31 to June 5, 2009 to continue organizing all that needs to be done for the Chapter Sessions.

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