Launching the preparations for our 11th General Chapter

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Rome, 6 January 2018

To the Circumscription Superiors,
Superiors of the Communities
Dependent on the General Government
and All the Sisters

Dear Sisters,

Today we are celebrating the Feast of the Epiphany–the feast of “light and traveling.” Guided by the light of Christ, the Magi first make a stopover in Jerusalem. These wise men, who were seeking the One who is the Truth of the world, came face to face no longer with astronomical data but with the history of a people and the promise made to them.

And in this spirit–that of grateful memory of the Lord’s fidelity to the promise he made to Fr. Alberione and in the awareness of needing to seek the guidance of his Star in our history–we send you this first official communication concerning the preparations for our 11th General Chapter.

This event will be held in the midst of a time that is not very easy for all humanity, but it is also a time rich in good and in new opportunities for our mission.

We are challenged by the Gospel and by the repeated invitations of Pope Francis to experience afresh the power and grace of our pact with God and to rediscover the prophetic dimension of our mission so as to accompany the growth of God in the world and give it life.

Our search is encouraged by the appeals of the Church to all Christians and to the consecrated life, above all through the ecclesial documents Evangelii Gaudium and Laudato si’; the Synod on Youth on the theme Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment (a very important theme for the Pauline apostolate), and the study aid New Wine in New Wineskins promulgated by the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, which continues to promote the line of exercising evangelical discernment so as to embark on new paths that will enable the ideals and doctrine of the Church to “take on flesh” in our life.

Thus this time of preparation for our General Chapter is a time of grace. Let us remember that the Chapter is the supreme authority of the Congregation, exercised in a collegial and temporary way in accord with the Constitutions. Its purpose is to study more profoundly the charism of the Institute, to evaluate the Congregation’s journey, to deal with general problems and to set down lines of action for the future. It also has the duty of electing the Superior General and her councilors (cf. Const. 165).

After having consulted the circumscription superiors during the Interchapter Meeting in 2017, the General Government has taken a number of steps regarding the celebration of this event.

Date and location

The 11th General Chapter will be held at Ariccia, Italy and will begin on 5 September 2019.

Preparatory Commission

The Preparatory Commission, appointed by the General Government, consists of:

Sr Anna Caiazza General Councilor
Sr Shalimar Rubia General Councilor
Sr Paola Fosson Italian ProvinceProvincia Italia
Sr Anna Muindi Nduku Delegation of East Africa–Ghana–Nigeria–South Sudan–Zambia
Sr Anne Plathara Indian Province
Sr Mary Leonora Wilson USA-ESC Province

Facilitator

The work of the Preparatory Commission will be accompanied by Fr. José Cristo Rey Garcia Paredes, a Claretian priest who is a professor, writer and an expert on the consecrated life, with extensive experience in accompanying General Chapters. From 23-24 January, the General Government will meet with Fr. Paredes to compare with him our reflections concerning the theme of the Chapter, springing from our experience, the yearnings expressed by the sisters we met above all during the Fraternal Visits, and the suggestions of our circumscription superiors.

Methodology

The methodology with certainly be “synodal” and anticipates the involvement of the whole Congregation in view of drawing up the Working Instrument for the General Chapter. More precise information will be given to you by the Preparatory Commission, which will meet in Rome from 1-25 February 2018.

I am sure that the superiors will collaborate with the Commission to ensure that its various requests are accorded great attention and that the replies are sent in to us as quickly as possible.

Convocation of the Provincial Chapters and Delegation Meetings

The Institute’s Provincial Chapters and Delegation Meetings will be officially convoked in June 2018. Every circumscription will be invited to set the date for its Chapter or Meeting, which should take place in the timeframe from October 2018 to the beginning of February 2019. In due time, we will send you directives regarding the convocation of these events.

Official Convocation of the 11th General Chapter

Our 11th General Chapter will be officially convoked in February 2019. At that time a list of all the sisters who will participate in the Chapter will be posted, along with directives concerning immediate preparations for the Chapter itself.

Dear sisters, let us begin this new stage of our story enlightened by the certitude that the Lord will see to it that we do not lack the presence of his Spirit so as to enable us to glimpse his plan for our Congregation and embark on the paths he is opening for the communication of the Gospel.

Affectionately,

Sr. Anna Maria Parenzan
Superior General