Sunday, September 24, 2017

Day 19 of the General Chapter

Yesterday had been a most marvellous day as could read in Fr Stephen’s blog. And everyone was very happy about the experience. Everyone was well rested and relaxed and eager to do some work again, at least for half a day, since it is Sunday today.

So day began with Lauds and Holy Mass, animated by the USA Region. Today was also the feast of Our Lady of Tenderness, the patron feast of Boa Vista, Brazil. Aiguebelle and Tamié celebrate the dedication of their abbey churches and we all rejoiced in the birthday of Sr Renée of Grandselve, one of the typists of the Chapter. She is one of a whole team of people, typists, translaters, interpreters, technicians, and so on, who are working in silence in the background, often unnoticed, but doing very essential work and offering a great service to the General Chapter and the Order. We are very grateful for their assistance.

After the usual notices, work began with a series of votes. As usual Fr Thomas led the capitulants through the votes and Riccardo took care of the technical aspects of it. And so under their professionalthe votes guidance six votes were taken on a series of different subjects, as we were doing already for some days now. This voting session was followed with the presentation of a new series of votes that will come in the following days. It gave the General Chapter to ask questions about clarification or to comment on them so that everyone could make a well informed vote.

After the reading of the report of one ad hoc commission about a fragile community, we went through a marathon session of listening to fourteen reports about the revision of the constitution and statutes concerning fragile communities. It was interesting to hear how the working papers, prepared by the Law Commission were appreciated and can be used in drawing up some new legislation and pastoral guidelines to help fragile communities to choose life, even if some communities have to go through a real Pascal experience which includes passion and death.

The morning ended with the question of Dom Roberto, the moderator of the day, asking where the next General Chapter should be taking place. Dom Hugues of Les Neiges answered saying: “Why ask the question when you know that all of us want it to be here in Domus Pacis in Assisi?”. The assembly approved this answer with applause. 

And on this joyful note we ended the busy half day of work and started focusing on the free afternoon.

Fr Jan
Region of the Isles