2024-04-03 PHILIPPINES

The XXIII General Chapter will take place from September 8 to October 8 in Manilla

The General Council has decided on the date and place of the next General Chapter: it will be held from September 8 to October 8, 2025, in the Philippines. The news was communicated to the superiors of the Administrative Units at the meeting in Notre-Dame de l’Hermitage on March 9.

The preparatory commission was appointed in September last year. It is made up of the following Brothers: Ken McDonald, Coordinator – General Councilor; John Hazelman, Star of the Sea; Jaime Comabella Callizo, Ibérica; Fortune Chakasara, Southern Africa; Anselmo Kim, East Asia (in the MDA); Brian Poulin, United States; Rogerio Mateucci, Brasil Centro-Sul; Juan Carlos Fuertes Mari, Secretary – Mediterránea; Luis Carlos Gutiérrez Blanco, Vicar General; Ernesto Sánchez Barba, Superior General. The group began its work last November with its first meeting, from November 27 to December 2, 2023, and will meet again from April 16 to 20.

The Commission’s first steps consisted of discussing the theme for the period of preparation for the Chapter. And the theme the Commission came up with is based on the bicentenary of l’Hermitage: L’Hermitage a home for all. River of Life. This talks about the inclusivity of the Institute, welcome people, and it also talks about the possibility of a new future.

Pre-chapter process

In a recent video-message, Brother Ken McDonald, coordinator of the commission, gave some details about the process that will lead up to the chapter assembly in Manilla.

The methodology to be used will coincide with that used by the Church in recent years for the synodal process, conversation in the spirit, with moments of personal preparation, silence and reflection, and dialog with the people around you. Each month will include a prayer specially prepared to ask for the Chapter.

The process will consist of three moments. The first will put attention on listening to the current reality and the participants will be invited to focus on consecrated life, the life of the Brothers, spirituality and fraternity; on the lay Marist vocation; on the conclusions of MIMA III. The second moment will be marked by listening to the outside world, trying to discover what generates life and what are the challenges. The third stage of the process will be at the level of the Administrative Unit, when the responses from the previous stages will be collected, highlighting the dreams for the future of the Marist Institute. Two questions will guide reflection at this third stage: what are the realities where vitality is found? What are the realities that challenge Marist life and mission? Finally, each Administrative Unit will be invited to prepare a message for the Chapter.

The pre-Chapter process will begin in September with the letter of convocation written by the Superior General. At this point, the Preparatory Commission will have prepared the material that will serve as a subsidy for the work that will involve the whole Institute. Not only the Brothers will be invited to take part, but also all those involved in mission networks, lay Marists and students and employees of Marist works. The commission hopes to involve young people in particular in this process. “This is a very important event in the life of our Institute,” concluded Brother Ken.

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