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Maryknoll NY - USA

19/11/2004: United States

Wednesday 17th November.
The day began with Mass. Twenty-two people were present in total: seven from the General Council, seven from the Provincial Council of Canada and eight from the Provincial Council of the United States of America. There were also some other brothers present who were helping with different tasks to ensure the smooth running of this meeting. Among these people, the most important are the translators given that French and English are the two languages being used, but not understood by all.
In the initial meeting, Seán welcomed all present, reminding them that such a dynamic had already occurred in other regions of the Institute and that the results of this had been positive. He emphasised that this meeting was not simply to be an analysis of the problematic situations present in the Provinces, but rather an opportunity to look to the whole Institute and to open our hearts to arouse energy and hope for facing the future.
This was followed by a brief presentation by each participant. The simultaneous translations allowed everyone to understand what each brother was saying, but they especially helped all to discover how, in the diversity of experiences and formative journeys, the Spirit is at work in the life of each one.
<90b.jpg alt=Extended General Council Meeting, Maryknoll NY - USA hspace=5 vspace=5 align=right>The main topic of the meeting was then commenced. At the end of the visits to the Provinces, the brothers of the General Council compiled an evaluation that was shared with all the Council. After it was delivered to those present, time was given for the personal reading of these reports. The reflection then continued in each individual group. Each Provincial Council listened to the message being communicated and, at the same time, assessed the analysis and the proposed suggestions for action. It was an important time of listening and sharing. Some questions arose, some assertions were open to different interpretations and others requested supplementary information. This led to the third part of the day that was reserved for this sharing. The brothers of the General Council responded to any requests for clarification that came from the group. The exchange was truly peaceful and constructive, completely different to recent political debates.
After a day of intense work it was good to find ourselves together thanking the Lord and our Good Mother for the work completed, but also to have the opportunity to have a chat while eating fries and drinking the classic Coca Cola.

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