Echoes from the Plenary Council – 20th November 2019

Echoes from the Plenary Council - 20th November 2019

Today we enter our third day looking at the theme of identity with specific reference this time with our collaboration with the laity. At the morning Eucharist Didier made a nice link with the first reading from the book of Maccabees and our looking at the question of Identity over the last few days. The seven brothers stood firm and accepted even death rather than betray their faith. They knew who they were and their strong sense of identity meant that they were able to close their ears to the enticing voices that would have led them astray. Yes, they preferred death rather than betraying all they held dear. Their identity was crystal clear, they were rooted and their values could only be dictated by their strong faith and sense of belonging. 

Yesterday afternoon we were able to look at some more questions concerning our community living, the witness we give – with special attention as to just how have we in leadership been able to encourage such community living. We were able to discuss the efforts that have been made to be communities of three and also work towards true interculturality at all levels.  We were able to share and explain what were the obstacles and see how we could move forward.

1. Some positive energising points concerning fruits coming from the chapter:

    • Many communities are now 3 members 
    • There is a greater effort for interculturality
    • Greater accompaniment of young confreres.
    • Ability of structures to help confreres in difficulties (centres, certain resources)
    • Communities are examples of solidarity, welcoming, joyous – missionary initiatives 

2. Obstacles:

    • Serious addictions of confreres
    • Lack of resilience
    • Struggle for power 
    • Competing needs of the provinces and needs of the Society
    • Interculturality can lead to people not finding their place in the Society
    • Poor communication and long-term planning at all levels
    • We are not willing to let go of certain commitments in order to reinforce communities
    • Difficult to have intercultural communities when there are few nationalities  
    • To believe that the provincial has to be originally from the province
    • The need to have procures with communities of three especially when dealing with many confreres on home leave, or candidates or stagiaires that are back home and all the work that it entails (paper work, health)
    • There is also the obstacle that getting visas for certain countries can be very difficult.

 3. Solutions: 

    • Stability of appointments. We need to take root 
    • Need of procures   
    • Greater animation of confreres
    • Leadership should reflect interculturality 
    • Need to change of policy in the way of choosing provincials, provincial bursar, rectors of formation houses (let only those working or appointed to the province be the ones that vote!!!!!!)
    • Accompaniment confreres – professional help when needed. Making use of available resources (ongoing session etc.) 
    • Prioritise the needs of the Society. 

The photo album has been amplified since yesterday. The photographer is Stéphan Joulain. Thank you to him. 

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