2017-10-08 COLOMBIA

Saturday, October 7, 2017

On Saturday, the Chapter capitulants worked in the morning and approved the process that will lead to the election of six General Councilors on Tuesday. The musical group "Amadeus", shared with the General Chapter community their rich musical talents, high energy that brought everyone much joy.


Process of election of the Counselors

The Constitutions of the Institute stresses that "The General Chapter decides on the number of General Councilors whom it is to elect (at least four), and on the way they are to be elected". With this in mind, the Facilitation Commission proposed a procedure to the capitulants, based on input from the former General Council, the newly elected Superior and Vicar General, and the working group developing the theme on government. This proposal was discussed by the capitulants with various opinions and ideas being offered for consideration. Once minor changes were taken into account, a procedure was finally approved.

The process that will be used is as follows:

Monday, October 9

  • 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.: The capitulants will meet in table groups to identify those Brothers who will best serve as councilors to the Superior General. The table group will meet for half an hour before changing to another table grouping to repeat the same exercise.
  • 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.: A time of personal prayer and discernment. There is also the possibility of capitulants conducting “murmuratio”. During this hour, each capitulant will write on a piece of paper the names of Brothers he wants to nominate as a General Councilor.
  • 6:00 p.m: The Brother capitulants gather for evening prayer during which capitulants will place their list in a vessel. Brothers Emili Turú and Seán Sammon will privately tally these names. They will then consult the Brothers nominated to ascertain whether they want their names to go forward as candidates for possible election. Brother Emili and Sean will then finalize a list of 15 to 20 Brothers, in alphabetical order.

Tuesday, October 10

  • 7:30 a.m.: During morning prayer in the chapel, the capitulants will receive the list of candidates.
  • 9:30 a.m.: The election process begins in the Chapter Hall. Six councilors will be elected by secret ballot. Councilors will be elected one at a time. A Councilor is elected by an absolute majority.
  • 6:00 p.m.: Thanksgiving Mass in the chapel


Chapter documents

The Facilitation Commission informed the capitulants its thinking on the status of various documents associated with this General Chapter. There are three types of documents:

  1. Official documents:Constitutions and Statutes, Rule of Life, The Message of the Chapter and possibly some statement. The minutes of the Chapter.
  2. Internal documents relating to the Chapter:Chapter Process, Chapter Statutes
  3. Reference documents:These are documents that the Chapter considers as reference for the Marist journey, proposed by the Secretariats or other Pre-chapter commissions. For this chapter there are documents relating to the laity and one of the Commission on the Rights of the Child. The content of these documents may also appear in calls and in the Constitutions.



The morning session ended with Eucharist in the chapel celebrating the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. This Eucharist was another special moment in this Chapter. Before the Mass concluded, the Province of Norandina presented to every member of the General Chapter community an image of Mary Our Good Mother’ made in wood. Brother Orlando, who looks after Chapter logistics, explained to the community that these beautiful images were crafted by women prisoners. For these women, their work reflected their hopes and dreams.

Evening concert

A group of 22 young musicians, including teachers and two Brothers from the Champagnat College in Pasto, Colombia, made the long journey to Rionegro to provide musical accompaniment and singing at the midday Eucharist, honouring Our Lady of the Rosary and then performed a concert in the evening after dinner.

The musical group named ‘Amadeus’, produced a professional and very entertaining program of songs and music related to Marist spirituality, Latin American and Colombian culture and folklore. The evening concert was attended by the General Chapter community, the Marist and De La Salle Novitiate communities, the Santo Domingo Marist Community in Medellin and members of the Lay Marist fraternity in Medellin. The concert was enjoyed by everyone.


Friday, October 6...


Monday, October 9...