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Some portraits of the Marist world

14/09/2009: General House

The Preparatory Committee had anticipated that the Central Commission would need to work Saturday afternoon, Sunday and Monday. For this reason, it included on the capitulants’ agenda for Monday 14 September, some presentations from those Provinces which so desired. In addition, in the corridor called “of the Superiors” (the ‘La Valla Wing’ for the capitulants) various exhibits representative of the Provinces were put on display and will remain there until the end of the Chapter. This initiative replaces the custom at previous chapters of using the free time after supper for presenting information about the Provinces or on initiatives and proposals being put forward. On this occasion, a whole day was given over to these activities, allowing the Central Commission to go ahead with its agenda of work.

The Preparatory Committee had requested that it be notified by those interested in making presentations to let people know about what was happening in the Institute. Eleven different topics were presented over the course of the day. They were: “Lay Marists” (Chema Pérez-Soba) Cruz del Sur Province. “Mission ad gentes” (Michael de Waas) Asia Sector, Mission ad gentes. “Provincial horizon of the Marist mission” (Demetrio Espinosa) L’Hermitage. “Symposium: Houses of Marist Spirituality” (Pere Ferré). “Work in Geneva” (Dominick Pujia). Mission Commission. “WYD Madrid 2011”. “Marist Formation” (Emili Turú). “Marist Places” (Luis García Sobrado and Joan Pug-Pey, architect). Lay Secretariate: “Joint formation of brothers and laity” (Pau Fornells). Province of Rio Grande do Sul: “Social Works” (Inacio Etges). Brasil Centro-Sul. “New organization of the Province” (Tercilio Sevignani). Mediterránea: “Huelva + Syria Project” (Manuel Jorques).

Each presentation lasted an hour and attendance was optional. The first two mentioned above were repeated at different times to provide more opportunity for attendance. The capitulants were asked to note what surprised them, what inspired them, what gave them hope or what challenged them in the actual life of Institute as it showed through in the various interventions.

With this gathering of data on the Marist world, a step in the methodology for focusing on reality concluded. The following day, Tuesday, was announced to be a day of retreat, when the capitulants could interiorize and sift, through the sieve of prayer and the heart, the whole contribution of life the Institute has placed in their hands. This begins the Chapter’s time of defining the call which God is addressing the Institute today.

Messages received

Each day increases the number of persons who send a message to the Chapter by means of the web. There have already been over 200 in this first week. They come from all over the Marist world, although there are some areas where repetitions are more frequent. This is one of the instruments which measure the interest the chapter has aroused in the Marist world. All express union with the capitulants and encourage them to be bold and decisive in the choices for the future which they have to make. They also show an explicit union in prayer and harmony of heart with what is happening in Rome. Many thanks for all taking part, whatever the distance, in the life of the Chapter taking place in the chapter hall.

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