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Penultimate day of the General Chapter

20/10/2017 / 9645 |

22nd General Chapter: Penultimate day of the General Chapter

The work day began with morning prayer that put displaced children as the focus of the prayer. Two videos on refugee children from Syria and the Rohingya people provided capitulants with moving personal accounts of the experiences of these children. Brother Juan Carlos, Provincial of the Mediterranea, recounted the work of the Brothers in Syria and Lebanon, saying that: "even if in some places we welcome, in many people close the doors and build walls". Brother Juan Castro read a message from Br. Eugenio Sanz that gave an account of the situation facing Myanmar Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.


Thursday’s first two sessions saw the completion of voting on the articles and statutes of chapter 4 and 5 of the revised Constitutions. Final suggestions and comments were also made to the text of the ‘Rule of Life’ document. These will be voted on Friday.


In the afternoon session, after the Marian prayer which recalled the 25 years of the SED Foundation, the Chapter assembly discussed the revised draft Chapter declaration on child sexual abuse and child protection. The names of the team responsible for the drafting the declaration are Brothers Brendan Geary, Francis Lukong, Pere Ferre and Robert Teoh. This latest draft was checked by legal counsel. It was discussed in the table groups. The vote on the declaration received an absolute majority, and therefore was approved by the Chapter. This declaration will be released on the Institute website in the next few days.


The final draft of the Message of the General Chapter was presented to capitulants for their approval. The result of the vote was the statement was approved by an absolute majority. A further discussion followed on a slogan for the Chapter Message. Three slogans were presented as the most favourable from among those presented in recent days. Finally, the assembly chose to give the final decision on which slogan to select to a redaction committee who may choose to combine some of the ideas into a single phrase. This redaction committee will meet in November to do final editing of the Chapter Message and Calls.


Br. Tony Leon then presented to the Chapter assembly 5 paintings that creatively capture the 5 calls of the Chapter. These beautiful and meaningful paintings had as their foundation individual drawings and symbols drawn by participants earlier in the Chapter. Through a process of “creative destruction” Tony created a collage of images upon which he then painted the image representing each Chapter call. Tony’s explanation of the symbolism and meaning within each painting can be seen in the video below. You can also download the images and view the details by clicking here.

Brother José Sánchez Bravo, on behalf of the Government sub-committee, presented to capitulants the revised draft of the Statutes for the next General Chapter for approval.


The day concluded with the final meeting in fraternities. All the fraternities then gathered together in the chapel, bringing with them the orange tree they had planted at the beginning of the Chapter. A simple prayer of thanksgiving to God marked the end of this much valued aspect of the life of the Chapter.


Streaming of Chapter Conclusion

On the last day of the Chapter, Friday 20th October, starting at 3:00 pm Colombia time (UTC -5), there will be a live Facebook transmission from Rionegro of the closing address made by Br. Ernesto Sánchez, Superior General, and the Final Eucharist.