Tuesday was the start of the Chapter of Affairs. For the next three days, the chapter theme will be thoroughly discussed. The delegates of the associate members were welcomed. The introduction to the first part of the theme ‘Be radical in prophecy’ was presented by Bro. Martin de Porres. After the presentation, there was the first plenary meeting with requests for clarification and initial orientations. The plenum resumed in the evening and the four secretaries of the language groups reported the very rich discussion. After the session, the associate members came together for a group photo and had the opportunity to get to know each other.
On Monday, the General Chapter took an important step with the election of the Superior General and the Vicar General. The brothers re-elected Bro. René Stockman as general superior, who accepted the task, thus starting his fourth term of office. Bro. Jean-Marie Mukonkole, Regional Superior of Congo, was elected Vicar General.
A recollection day as a spiritual rest day after a full week and also as an orientation fur the further activities. In the morning Bishop Enrico dal Covolo, rector magnificus emeritus of the Pontifical Lateran University, spoke about the apostolic exhortation Gaudete et exsultate of Pope Francis about the call of holiness in the actual world. The session in the afternoon was dedicated to the document of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life about “economy at the service of the charism and mission”, presented by two staff members of the general administration, Mr. Patrick De Pooter and Mr. Jos Leysen.
In the morning, there was a further discussion and evaluation in the provincial groups about the reporting of the past days.
Around noon all provincial groups finished their report and transmitted it to the two commissions.
Around 17h the plenary session took place with the two secretaries, Bro. Martin de Porres as reporter of the commission for the evaluation of the report of the superior general, the provincial superiors and the general assistants, and Bro. Alfred Hassett as reporter for the commission for the evaluation of the report of the general bursar.
The morning was spent on the financial side of the Congregation. Bro. John O’Shea, General Bursar, presented the financial report of the past six years. In the afternoon, the elected delegates of the provinces met to discuss the two reports: the report of the Superior General, the Provincial Superiors, and the General Assistants, and the financial report of the General Bursar.
Today the motions of the general chapter of 2012 were evaluated. Every general assistant discussed some motions and presented to the participants of the chapter an evaluation of the follow-up and the obtained results.
Today, the chapter was opened with a special morning prayer dedicated to Saint Thomas, patron saint of the Asian province. It was a full day with reports on the life of the Congregation. Bro. René Stockman, Superior General, opened the day with a comprehensive report on the functioning of the General Administration during the previous chapter period. The Provincial Superiors then gave an overview of the various provinces.
The 23rd General Chapter of the Brothers of Charity was officially declared open with the opening speech of Superior General Bro. René Stockman. In the afternoon, we chose the secretary of the chapter and the members of the various commissions. The first day ended with a Eucharist celebration presided over by Mgr. Carballo, secretary of the Congregation of Consecrated Life.
On Friday 22 June 2018, 17 students of the International Institute Canon Triest in Moerzeke defended their thesis and concluded their two-year Social Doctrine of the Church course.
Ndera, Rwanda. Fifty years ago, the Caraes Ndera psychiatric centre was founded by the Congregation of the Brothers of Charity, which they celebrated on 15 June 2018.