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Guidelines for reflection prior to the XXI General Chapter

27/02/2009: General House

During the second week of February 2009, the second document proposed by the General Chapter Preparatory Commission to realize a collective preparation for this upcoming Institutional event was made available to the Marist world. Its subject is the “Guidelines for reflection prior to the XXI General Chapter” which is a collection of the contributions sent to the Preparatory Commission from throughout the Marist world. On these pages the writings from nearly 6,000 people who have welcomed the invitation to participate in the process of discernment have been synthesized. Among this group are 2,500 brothers, 2,100 laymen and women, XXI550 people who work in Marist organizations and 820 young people. These numbers demonstrate the interest aroused by the next General Chapter on everyone’s part. The collection of documents which have arrived from each province, which are the results of a local synthesis, represent a report of almost 400 pages.

The document “Guidelines for reflection prior to the XXI General Chapter,” together with the circular of Brother Seán, “New Hearts for a New World” and the “Report from the General Council to the Chapter,” is one of the three documents proposed as instruments of reflection for the second preparatory phase prior to the Chapter.

The first part of the present document contains a synthesis of the answers given by the Marist world in the Initial Consultation of May 2008. The second part offers suggestions for deepening reflection and initiating dialog from the ideas that appear in the synthesis. The third part presents a plan of action for the development of the second phase, which will last from February 2009 until the beginning of the General Chapter.

The initial consultation invited participation in reflection through a process of group discernment and synthesis on the province level. In the second phase we have the Brother Capitulants who have a specific duty: to listen to everyone in the name of the Institute. To accomplish this process each province will freely organize itself, in agreement with the regional coordinator, who is a member of the Preparatory Commission.

With the publication of the results of the initial consultation and the election of the Chapter delegates, the whole Institute has entered into the dynamic of the General Chapter.

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