CONVOCATION OF THE XXXVI GENERAL CHAPTER
Convocation of the XXXVI General Chapter
Rome, 21 December 2014
Dear Brother Oblates,
On this 203rd anniversary of the ordination of our Founder, Saint Eugene de Mazenod, I hereby convoke the XXXVI General Chapter. It will begin on September 14, 2016, the Feast of the Exaltation of Holy Cross, in Rome at the General House of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, located at 476 via Aurelia.
As you know, the Chapter Commissioner, Father Claudio Bertuccio and two Commission members, Fathers Martin Wolf and Emmanuel Youngten were appointed in September 2014. Fr. William O’Donnell is the Commission secretary. The Commission held its first meeting in Rome from December 2-5, 2014.
Work on a theme for the Chapter has been underway since the Interchapter gathering in Thailand in April 2013. I have also conducted a consultation in which all the Units of the Congregation were invited to participate during this past year. After having studied all the proposals coming from diverse sectors of the Congregation, the Precapitular Commission is now formulating a proposal regarding a Chapter theme for the General Council to consider in the January/February 2015 Plenary Session. Once a theme is established, the Commission will engage the Congregation in a dialogue to deepen its meaning among us and to gather other suggestions for the General Chapter.
We begin a time of prayer to the Holy Spirit asking for light to lead us in preparing the 2016 Chapter. I ask each Oblate and all our communities to increase your efforts in making the faith-sharing sessions an especially sacred time and a privileged way of being together as brother Oblates. These encounters of the Oblate Triennium possess a rich potential to prepare us for the Chapter and to renew us in our Oblate life and mission. We do not forget to seek concrete expressions of conversion in our lives, both personally and as communities. Other resources to help us prepare for the General Chapter will be coming from the Precapitular Commission in the months ahead.
It is in this same year as the Chapter, 2016, that we are celebrating our bicentennial of foundation as the Missionaries of Provence. We believe that our gracious God is leading us to new life as a Congregation and will pour out the Spirit upon us to strengthen our bonds of unity as brother Oblates and to ignite anew the passion of Saint Eugene for Jesus Christ, for the Church and for the poor and most abandoned.
I invite you to hold in your hearts the icon of Mary in the midst of the disciples praying in the Upper Room as we make this pilgrimage of grace toward the General Chapter of 2016. We ask her, our Mother for whom we have a tender love, to continue to smile upon our Congregation. May she help us be open to the coming of the Spirit in new and surprising ways, far beyond what we can ask for or even imagine!
Please note that attached to this announcement of the convocation of the General Chapter you will find other very important information regarding the procedures for electing delegates to the Chapter.
Your brother Oblate in Jesus Christ and Mary Immaculate,
Father Louis Lougen, OMI
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