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West-Central Europe

 

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5th Provincial Chapter

17/04/2013: Germany - Photo gallery

The 5th Provincial Chapter of the Province of West-Central Europe was held from 1 – 5th April at St. Ottilien Abbey in Bavaria, Germany. (West-Central Europe comprises Belgium, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland and the Netherlands.)

In his opening speech on Monday evening, Brother Brendan Geary, Provincial, thanked all the people who, in different ways, have been involved in the management of the Province. He expressed the hope that the Chapter will establish priorities that will give a clear direction to the Provincial Council for the coming years. He emphasised the relationship with lay people.

Thanks to a video recording Brother Emili Turú was also present at the beginning of the Chapter. He said that the Chapter takes place in a special time for the Church with the beginning of the pontificate of Pope Francis, and also that the Easter liturgy is an invitation to the Chapter to reflect on the current situation, like the disciples of Emmaus.

Brother Emili wished the Chapter joy, hope and optimism. He concluded with the wish that it may carry out its consultative role in an atmosphere of fraternal dialogue.

The Chapter continued on Tuesday, 2nd April, with the presentation of the reports produced by the Provincial Council and by the commissions, and the creation of a new model for the election of capitulants in 2016. The declining number of brothers and the increasing average age require a model different from the current 10% rule.

On Wednesday, 3rd April, the Chapter heard from four lay people who are involved in Marist life in the Province, two as Head Teachers of Marist schools and two as members of Marist fraternities. The former spoke about the ways that the Marist Spirit in education is encouraged, developed and promoted in their schools, with ideas on how to continue this into the future, and the latter spoke about their involvement in their fraternities, and how this experience supported the way they live their Christian vocation. This was a significant day for the Chapter. There were discussions in groups in the afternoon that were marked by a sense of energy and vitality. It became clear that whatever we do in future must be in communion with our lay colleagues and associates, with an emphasis on mission and spirituality.

On Thursday, 4th April, the Provincial Chapter elected the members of the new Provincial Council: Brothers Ronnie McEwan, P.J. McGowan, Michael Schmalzl and Maurice Taildeman. In the afternoon the Chapter reflected on the priorities for the next three years.  As stated above, the focus should be on our commitment to mission and Marist spirituality, and promoting communion with lay people to support the work of the Province.

The Chapter ended on the morning of Friday 5th April. In his closing remarks Brother Brendan reminded the capitulants that in his opening speech he had expressed a hope that the Chapter would build bridges of encounter and dialogue, among the capitulants and with lay people. Undoubtedly this had been achieved during the Chapter, which had been an encouraging and significant event for the participants and for the Province. 

src=http://old.champagnat.org/img/galleria/2013_04_08_chapterEuropeCenter/small/WCE
New Provincial Council: Brothers Ronnie McEwan, P.J. McGowan, Michael Schmalzl and Maurice Taildeman

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