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Leave something behind and open up to the world around us

12/09/2017 / 7014

22nd General Chapter: Leave something behind and open up to the world around us

Today the focus moved to participants having an awareness of what they needed to leave behind so they could fully embrace the work of being capitulant; to be open to the newness of the Spirit that invites them to “Enter New Territory” and to create a “New La Valla”.

After the morning prayer, the Provisional Commission sought to clarify a number of issues that had been raised by participants the previous day regarding the movement of the Chapter and the Chapter Process. Some of the issues addressed were: the need for a clearer plan of what topics will be treated during the Chapter; the provision of translations into French and Portuguese; the frequency with which Eucharist is celebrated; the presence of a wider representation of young people's voices in the Chapter; a concern the consensus approach might limit hearing all opinions in the decision-making processes.

Various members of the Provisional Committee spoke to each of the issues by giving the Commissions considered response and what action was possible. The assembly then voted to approve two documents, "Overall Movement of the Chapter" and “The Chapter Process of the 22nd General Chapter".


Leave something behind to fully enter this chapter

The facilitator, Mr Matthieu Daum, then invited the capitulants to reflect on what attitudes or concerns they needed to leave behind to be able to enter more fully into the Chapter dynamic. After some time of personal reflection in fraternities, each person then wrote what he or she needed to leave behind on a piece of paper. The Fraternity groups then moved to the courtyard, where they received a small orange tree seedling, some earth and a vase. Each person then mixed his or her piece of paper in the wet earth as a sign of letting go of certain attitudes or concerns. The orange tree was then planted in the soil that will serve as compost, feeding the plant and giving it life. The fraternities then returned with their plants to the Chapter Hall. These orange trees will remain in the light of the Chapter Hall window during the next six weeks as a symbol of the commitment made by each capitulant to build a “New La Valla”, giving new life to the Marist charism.

Open to the world around us

The first afternoon session began with the Marian Moment. Brother Emili then notified the assembly of some messages of that had been received. One message (English | Español) was sent by the president of CLAR, Sister Mercedes L. Casas Sánchez, fsps:

Thank you for the fidelity of your vocation as Marist Brothers. Not because you are diminishing in numbers, that is of little regard. It is because of who you are as Brothers; your sense of humility, simplicity and modesty that brings to life the presence of the Kingdom of God among those who come into your presence.

Matthieu then continued the process by inviting participants to discover and open themselves to the world around us. This reflection related to the experiences of immersion or entering a new territory or people that was part of the Pre-Chapter Process:

We are invited to go out to meet new realities, for example people or things on the margins, opening our minds and hearts to what the Spirit may wish to say to us through them.

Participants were invited to recall their immersion experience made during the pre-chapter process, by reflecting on the following questions:

•       What have I discovered about the world around me?

•       What did I discover when I went out to meet the world?

•       What's new in the world around me? How I've been touched by this world?

This time of personal reflection took place at the tables.


Facilitation Commission for the 22nd General Chapter

The last session of the day began the process of creating a Facilitation Commission for the 22nd General Chapter. The Preparatory Commission presented to the assembly a proposal that detailed the purpose, functions and tasks of the Facilitation Commission. It was also proposed that the Commission consist of 8 capitulants. Once elected, this Commission will be responsible for overseeing the general development of the Chapter.

This proposal was put to the vote. The proposal was accepted. The work of the day concludes with each table suggesting names for the Facilitation Commission.

The election will take place tomorrow, Tuesday, 12th September.

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