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Papal audience

07/10/2009: General House - Photo gallery

On Wednesday, the capitulants attended the general audience which the Pope holds each week for pilgrims to Rome. Through the efficient offices of Brother Juan Miguel Anaya, Procurator General, they were able to obtain a place near the Pope. The audience lasted an hour and a half. Papal general audiences follow a set pattern. The Pope begins with a talk on a catechetical theme. A summary of the talk is then repeated in various languages, while the Pope addresses some words of greeting to different groups in the audience.

The 7th of October was the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, but the Pope devoted his reflection to extolling the person of Saint John Leonardi, who died in Rome 400 years ago. Together with John Baptist Vives and Martin de Funes, he created the Dicastery of Propaganda Fide and laid the foundations of the Urban College of Propaganda Fide, which has formed many priests for the evangelization of the peoples. The Pope emphasized that the luminous figure of this saint, “invited all Christians to aim constantly for the higher value of the Christian life which sanctity is, each according to his proper state. Only from fidelity to Christ can authentic renewal of the Church come”.

Greetings to the pilgrims were delivered in French, English, Spanish, Polish, Hungarian, Czech, Slovakian, Croatian and Italian. The Pope made reference to the capitulants in French: “I greet with joy the French-speaking pilgrims, especially those taking part in the General Chapter of the Marist Brothers of the Schools”.

The new Superior General, Brother Emili Turú, had a privileged position, and was able to greet the Pope briefly at the end of the audience.

Progress in the work of the chapter

At the first afternoon session, time was given first to revising the structures of the General Chapter. The tables reflected on the criterion guiding the procedure for determining representation at the next General Chapter. The criterion used in recent years has been the number of Brothers in each Province.

Further study was then made of the management of the General House. After having listened to figures, technical and economic details, it still seemed further clarification was necessary on the subject, which proves to be particularly complicated. The differing opinions coming from the tables did not permit reaching a consensus on the formula to be applied in the future. The group will aim at continuing to refine the final proposal.

During the second session, the group studying the Constitutions made further progress in the approval of the articles analyzed the previous day. The progress is significant, but time is also needed to explain each nuance of the laws.

Following this technical work, achieved by the whole assembly, there were two work groups, appointed for a concrete assignment, who had made progress towards the final drafting of the communication intended for the whole Marist world. One of them is working on the synthesis of the letters the chapter is preparing as a response to the regional letters. The other is making progress in defining the proposal, which the Chapter will make, on the fundamental call. The final destination is already in sight and they are starting to fasten the seat belts in preparation for landing.

Today the capitulants, at the beginning of the work sessions, dedicated some words of congratulation to the chronicler of the Chapter, who has reached the age of 69.

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