Rome, 12 September 2018. The general councillors have all arrived in Rome. On 12 September, we went on a pilgrimage to Loreto to place the general council and its work of service under the special protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Tabaco, Philippines – 8 September 2018. Following a week of retreat at the International Formation House in Tabaco, 21 novices professed their first vows, 3 brothers professed their perpetual vows, and 2 brothers renewed their vows.
Nairobi, Kenya – 31 August 2018. On the day of commemoration of the birth of our Founder Father Triest, the Congregation welcomed 16 new novices from 6 different African countries.
On the agenda of the last day of the chapter was the voting of the elaborated motions which were all adopted by the complete chapter. After the voting of the motions the official picture of the chapter was taken. In order to conclude the activities, the general superior gave his conclusive speech. At 12h precise the chapter was officially closed.
At 9.30 am the election chapter started with the election of the three general assistants who, together with the general superior and the vicar general, will lead the congregation for the next six years in a spirit of service.
The chapter commission worked this morning on the additions to the motions as they were written out as projects the previous days. The afternoon was given over to a long plenary meeting, where every proposal was reviewed and supplemented with a number of remarks. The recasting of the constitutions did not immediately come to a compromise, and it was finally decided that the proposal developed by the commission set up for this purpose could be included during the next chapter period.
The whole day was spent to the further discussion of the proposed motions and the proposed modifications of the constitutions in both the linguistics groups and the provincial groups. All attention is devoted for tomorrow where during the plenary session the reporting will follow and where hopefully a few concrete agreements can be made about the completion of the proposed documents.
We were very saddened to hear of the death of Bro. Paul De Cocq from Belgium this morning. During the opening prayer he was specially commemorated, and we thanked the Lord for his life as a Brother of Charity. Today it became a full day in plenum. This morning the chapter committee reported on its activities during the past week. In the afternoon, Bro. Adrian Hartotanojo gave the report from the committee which looked at a possible revision of the constitutions. The last session reported on the work of the European province, brought by Bro. Luc Van Dyck.
It does not have to be all work and no play. With this sensible saying in mind, all capitulants and their translators and secretaries, and the brothers of the General House left for an outing, or rather, a pilgrimage. We took a Saint Francis tour, with visits to a number of lesser known locations where Saint Francis lived and stayed.
Friday Bro. Deogratias Rwabudandi was celebrated in a special way during the Eucharist at the occasion of his 51th birthday. The whole morning the capitulars where in plenum to discuss the reports of the linguistic discussion groups and to change ideas. The theme “In the mission of charity” had gathered a lot of ideas. At the end of the meeting Jacques Van Daele thanked in the name of the present associate members. In the afternoon the chapter commission worked further on the redaction of the motions which have to give a summary of the activities of this first week of the chapter of affairs.