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Provinces of Sydney, Melbourne, New Zealand and the District of Melanesia

 

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Oceania: Concurrent Provincial Chapters

03/01/2011: Australia - Photo gallery

Delegates from Region of Oceania gathered at St Joseph’s College, Hunters Hill, in Australia, during 4 days (19 to 22 December) for the Concurrent Chapters of the Provinces of Sydney, Melbourne, New Zealand and the District of Melanesia.The process for the three days involved time for all delegates to meet together, time for individual Provincial Chapters and time for the Delegates to meet together. The process was facilitated by Br John Klein who, like Br Michael De Waas and Br. Emili Turu, joined the meeting from the Marist General Council in Rome.First day - 19 December – ReconfiguringBr. Jeff Crowe, Provincial of the Sydney Province and Chairperson of the College of Major Superior (COMS) outlined a brief history of the process of reconfiguring thatthe Provinces and District from across Oceania have undertaken since 2005.In similar vein to our last General Chapter, the delegates worked in groups of seven Brothers around ten tables. First of all, was discussed the hopes delegates believe each Administrative Unit is seeking from the time together. Frominformal discussions amongst delegates, it seemed clear the assembly was ready to make a recommendation to the Superior General, whatever that recommendationmight be.The last session of the day gave time in the tabled groups to discuss the principles agreed to at the Oceania Regional Assembly in Mittagong in June2010. Judging by the way table representatives reported back to the General Assembly, it is clear these principles are accepted.Second day – 20 December - Moving ForwardFr Paul Cooney, Provincial of the Marist Fathers, led the morning Eucharist in the beautiful St Joseph’s College Chapel at 7.00 this morning.Br Jeff Crowe opened the working part of our day with an explanation of the two models which have been tabled for our consideration by the College of Major Superiors. Model A proposes three entities: 1. New Zealand and the Pacific Islands,2. Melanesia and 3. Australia, involving one Provincial of Australia and a Vicar of each of Melanesia and New Zealand & the Pacific Islands. These Vicars would be Major Superiors.Model B proposes the same three regions, this time with a central Provincial and Council. The Regions could be considered Sectors with the Sector Leader being a Major Superior.In order to assist delegates in their understanding of these models, a refined list of the underlying Principles for the Models was tabled. This refinement reflects the modifications proposed by the Assembly during its discussion yesterday. The Assembly agreed this morning to these Principles. Having discussed the two models at the tables, delegates were invited to state their preference in writing and to name any ‘blocks’ they may have to either model. After morning tea, these ‘blocks’ were named, reflected on and discussed at tables.In the afternoon delegates from the Sydney and Melbourne Province met together to discuss the way an Australian Province might look and the potential timeline for its implementation. The delegates from New Zealand and Melanesia met separately at this time.Third day – 21 December - Individual ChaptersAfter a time of prayer together, most of Day 3 of our time here was spent in individual Chapters ‐ those of the Provinces of Melbourne, New Zealand and Sydney. At the same time, the District Council of Melanesia also met. All these meetings involved participants in discussing the six motions developed yesterday during the final plenary session.These motions focused on proposed configurations of the Administrative Units within Oceania. Each Chapter voted on these motions in preparation for the final Assembly tomorrow.The three Chapters also elected the members of the new Provincial Councils. The names of these councillors are listed here with their Provincials:MelbourneJulian Casey (Provincial) Tony Caddy Paul Kane John McMahonAllen SherryPeter WalshSydneyJeff Crowe (Provincial)Peter CarrollPeter CorrMichael GreenGraham NeistBill SeldenBill SullivanNew ZealandDavid McDonald (Provincial) Nevil Bingley Nevil Bingley Peter HorideSiaosi IoaneKevin WandenFourth day – 22 DecemberEach Province and District reported back to the General Assembly on the outcomes of Individual Chapter and meeting. This gave a clear indication to the Superior General and his Council about the proposed directions resulting from these Chapters for the future configuration of the Oceania region. The Assembly concluded with a final Eucharist and a celebratory lunch.

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