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Moment of discernment

02/10/2017 / 7473 |

22nd General Chapter: Moment of discernment

Today’s program was divided into two key moments. The morning was dedicated entirely for private reading of the proposed texts for the revised Constitutions and Statutes and the Rule of Life. The afternoon session saw the commencement of the discernment process for the election of the Superior General and Vicar General.

Every day in Rionegro, the Chapter program begins at 7:30 a.m. with contemplative prayer in the Chapel, followed by breakfast at 8:00 a.m. Usually the participants gather in the Chapter Hall at 9 a.m. The morning session begins with morning prayer prepared by the animation team whose members are Alicia Alexandra Morales, and Brothers Fabrício Alves da Cruz, Anselmo Kim and Tony Leon.

Today's morning prayer was led by Brother Anselmo Kim. The theme of the prayer invited capitulants to prepare themselves to enter into the discernment of who will be elected as Superior and Vicar General. These two Brothers will have the task of helping guide the Institute into a new beginning, with a new paradigm in the way of being and living as Marists of Champagnat.


Personal reading of the revised Constitutions texts

After the morning prayer, the capitulants had the entire morning free for the personal reading of the texts of the revised Constitutions and Statutes and the proposed Rule of Life. This reading is in preparation for next week when the capitulants will be engaged in discussing, amending and approving these texts.


Discernment and election of Superior General and Vicar General

The theme of this General Chapter “A New Lavalla”, together with the different calls and lines of action determined by this Chapter as priorities for the Institute over the next 8 years, will require leaders who can lead the Champagnat Marists into a new beginning. The capitulants have arrived at the point of the Chapter where they discern and choose who can best lead the Institute into this new beginning.

This afternoon, the discernment process for choosing the new Superior General and Vicar General began with a Marian prayer that included a prayer for a leader and a litany of Mary. For the remainder of the afternoon, the capitulants spent time quietly praying and contemplating which two Brothers they will nominate for consideration by all the capitulants. Capitulants were encouraged to also use this time, if they wished, to engage in “murmuratio”, which is a quiet sounding out with another the names of those being considered.

At 5.00 pm, the General Chapter community gathered in the chapel to celebrate Eucharist. At the offertory, each of the Brother capitulants came forward to place in a vessel the names of the two Brothers they want considered for Superior and Vicar General. After the Mass, Brothers Emili Turú and Seán Sammon conducted a scrutiny of the names nominated. They then compiled a list of those Brothers whose names occurred most often (up to 10 names). During the evening, Brothers Emili and Sean consulted those listed to ascertain whether they want their name to go forward for election.

The confidential list of names will be distributed to capitulants tomorrow morning, Tuesday 3rd October, at 7.00 a.m. morning prayer, to assist their ongoing discernment of leaders. At 10:00 a.m. the capitulants will gather in the Chapter Hall to begin the election process for Superior General. The election of the Vicar General will begin at 5.00 pm.

You can follow these moments in streaming through our Facebook page.


The Calls of the Chapter

Aside from the election of the Superior and Vicar General, this week will see the six thematic area groups continuing their work on the Chapter calls. Each of these groups have so far defined the principles and key ideas. On Wednesday they will focus more on developing lines of action for the future. From the discussions that have taken place over these weeks of the Chapter, it is clear Marist life is called to leave its "comfort zone" and embrace new challenges in consonance with the emerging world. This will also imply developing new paradigms and a new language. We hope that we will soon be able to communicate these calls to the Marist world.