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Marist Bulletin - Number 331


XXI General Chapter

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Appointment of the Preparatory Commission

On the 25th of July, the General Council appointed the Preparatory Commission of the XXI General Chapter. The members of the Commission are: Graham Neist (Sydney province); Albert Nzabonaliba, (Central-East Africa province); João Carlos do Prado (Brasil Centro-Sul province); Lindley Sionosa (Philippines province); Josep Maria Soteras (L’Hermitage province); Carlos Vélez (Central America province); Maurice Berquet, General Councillor; Luis García Sobrado, Vicar General; Seán Sammon, Superior General.
In so doing, the General Council followed the Statutes of the General Chapter, article 2:
Two years before the opening of an ordinary General Chapter, the Brother Superior General, with his Council, appoints a Preparatory Commission (cf. C. 137.4.7). This Commission sees to all that is necessary for the Chapter to achieve its responsibilities in regard to C. 139.
The Commission collaborates with the General Administration in regard to personnel and material needs. It may request the General Council to set up pre-Chapter groups on topics.
After consulting the Administrative Units and capitulants, the Commission draws up a global plan for the work and the process of the Chapter, including a proposed closing date. The plan will be submitted to the Chapter Assembly for discussion and approval during the first days of the General Chapter.

strong>The Commission’s first meeting

The XXI General Chapter’s Preparatory Commission held its first meeting November 27 – 31, 2007 in Rome. Brother Sean Sammon, Superior General, coordinated the meeting which provided the chance for Commission members to get to know one another and to get a sense of each others’ aptitudes, their expectations and other possibilities. A second step was to take a look at the assignment which has been confided to them, taking as guide the General Chapter itself, the Constitutions, and the Rules of the Chapter. In order to get a forward-looking perspective, they reflected upon the history of past General Chapters, particularly upon the last few. Jumping off from there, they began to set up a calendar based on the Commission’s job description and the manner of preparing the entire Institute for an efficacious, forthcoming General Chapter.
Brother Maurice Berquet has been assigned the coordinator’s role. In the November meeting a new feature had been added. All Commission members were present, including Brother Maurice Berquet, who was, in fact, in Australia at the time. He was able to participate in all sessions thanks to a videoconference hook up.

Second meeting of the preparatory Commission of the 21st General Chapter

From 11-16 February 2008, a meeting was held in the General House, Rome, of the members of the preparatory Commission of the 21st General Chapter to plan the work recommended to them.
In order to have a wider view of the task which is recommended to them and a deeper perspective of their work, the commission had the opportunity to listen to the General Council concerning the situation of the Institute today and the challenges that must be confronted. Also, during the meeting, the members took part in a working session with Father Tonelli SDB, from the Salesian University, an expert in youth pastoral, to analyze ”The situation of young people today.
The preparatory commission concluded and approved the entire calendar for the animation and preparation of the Chapter until its inception, pointing out the objectives and phases to be accomplished. Information and documents will be published within the next few weeks.
Among the documents already planned is the preparation of the complete support material needed to prepare and encourage reflection in the Brothers throughout the whole Institute, a handbook on institutional discernment in advance of the Chapter and the most appropriate method for the animation of the Lay people, the Brothers and the communities. The components of the logo, which is yet to be made up, have already been outlined, the slogan which will be the focus of the life of the Chapter and plans to determine the meeting place, teams of local animation, etc.
The next working-meetings for the Commission are planned for April, July and December of 2008.

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