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Marist Calendar - November

XXI General Chapter

 

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VII meeting of the Preparatory Commission

22/06/2009: General House - Photo gallery

From 1 to 5 June, the Preparatory Commission for the XXI General Chapter held its last meeting in Rome, to complete the task which had been confided to it and to pass the baton into the hands of the Provisional Committee, which is responsible for organising the opening of the General Chapter.

In this seventh meeting, the Commission followed up the activities of this second stage of the preparatory process. Regional assemblies have been held throughout the American continent. There has been sharing by Provinces about the situation and the opinions of brothers, laity, and youth, as well as on the various organizations of direction and management. On the regional level, participants have tried to identify the point – or points – that have to be investigated further during the Chapter. In other regions of the Institute, similar meetings will be held during the months of June and July. In general, the response of participants has been excellent. In the opinion of many, this way of preparing the Chapter greatly facilitates the participation of all, Brothers and lay people. In the General House, the Brothers of the General Administration have also had several meetings with the capitulants.

The Commission has held long sessions, in the course of which they have had exchanges on the preferred style of Chapter: a style based on fraternal dialogue, open to the different realities of our Congregation; a style inspired by an incarnational model which seeks to reach agreements reflecting the different voices of the Institute. For that, it will be necessary to achieve a climate of confidence and openness. Those who have taken part in the regional meetings can testify that, when the goal is clear, it is possible to obtain results, sometimes unforeseen, which engage everyone on this road of transformation.

In the proposed programme, there are pronounced times for personal synthesis which, carried out in a climate of recollection and prayer, help towards a better view of our situation, challenges, and action plans. The suggestions from many places are collected there also: the desire is not to produce great documents, but to facilitate structures which assist the living of our ideal, with a new heart!

For the whole of a day, the Commission was accompanied by Dr Bruce Irvine, a specialist in programmes of leadership, who will assist the Provisional Committee and the Central Committee, during some days, to sketch the dynamic of our Chapter. Dr Irvine has already worked with the Brothers during the Conference of Provincials held in Rome in 2007 (see his biography); they were the ones who recommended the use of the services of this expert in the preparations for the Chapter.

In this last meeting, the members of the Preparatory Commission acknowledged the support they have received as a team during the whole period of their work. They are anxious to emphasize the interest that this process has aroused among numerous Brothers, lay people, parents, and friends. The meetings have been the opportunity for dreaming, for creating a microcosm of the Chapter, where one may meet with respect, patience, and a good organisation. Brother Superior General presented them, as a souvenir, with a little statue of Mary of the Annunciation: this moment was lived with Mary as reference, now only three months from the official opening of the Chapter.

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