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Farewell to the lay invitees to the General Chapter

01/10/2017 / 7863 |

22nd General Chapter: Farewell to the lay invitees to the General Chapter

Saturday was only a half day working session. The Chapter participants continued working the six thematic areas until lunch. With this being the last day the lay invitees were present at the Chapter, the Chapter Assembly thanked them for their significant contribution.

The day began with Eucharist where the General Chapter community gave thanks for the election of the new Superior General of the Society of Mary, Father John Larsen. In the Chapter Hall, Br. Óscar Vicario explained the day’s program and attended to various notices and practical details. For the remainder of the morning until midday, each of the five thematic area groups, and the Chapter calls and communication group, continued working on the task of defining the principles and lines of action relevant to their chosen theme.

At midday, the Chapter participants came back together in plenary to listen to each of the working groups report on their progress and the principles and calls that have been developed thus far. Some indications from each thematic area so far are:

  • Mission: Mission that is open, evangelizing, interconnected, innovative, transformative, and inclusive.
  • Brothers: Embracing a simple lifestyle, experiencing our vulnerability as a place of fecundity and freedom, and joining the poor in the transformation of the world.
  • Brothers and lay people: Respecting the rhythms and accompanying the processes in each place of the Marist world.
  • Governance: For a new beginning we believe in a government that is creative and responsive to new and emerging calls from children and young people on the peripheries and fosters the care of our common home.
  • Finance: Improved communication, transparency, fostering a simple lifestyle and the effective management of our resources require education and formation in the area of finance at the level of the person and the administrative unit.

These principles and "calls" will be further developed during the coming week, eventually being included in a document that each group is preparing.


Last day for the lay invitees

As today was the last day the lay invitees were present at the General Chapter, Brother Emili took the opportunity to thank them for the significant contribution each has made to the process and work of this Chapter. In his speech, Brother Emili underlined the complementarity they represent in the life of the Brothers. In this, he drew on the image that lay people are like new blood that the Institute has received as a gift, and from which the Institute can never be separated. Emili also recalled today's reading from the prophet Zechariah, where God tells the Hebrew people that He would be like the wall of the city, like a ring of fire. The laity, too, concluded Br. Emili, are a ring of fire that keeps us alive, with the charism of Marcellin Champagnat connecting all in its sphere. As an expression of gratitude for their presence and commitment in Rionegro, Br. Emili presented each of the 8 lay Marists with an icon of Champagnat.

A celebratory drink and lunch was organized to honour and thank the lay Marist invitees. There were no work sessions held on Saturday afternoon and Sunday.

New Superior of the Society of Mary

During the day, the Chapter remembered also the election of Fr. John Larsen as the new Superior General of the Society of Mary, that holds its Chapter in Nemi. The capitulants wish the blessing of God to Fr. John for his service to the congregation, to which Marcellin Champagnat belonged. The chapter of the Marist Fathers ends on October 11 and it is possible to accompany it through the website