The Stakes of a General Chapter
Baobab nr 38 of september 2021 - Editorial
Soon the pre-capitular assembly of our 29th General Chapter will meet in Bobo-Dioulasso. This is an important time in the life of our Society and in particular of our PAO Province. We will have to respond to the questionnaire sent by the General Council and which will be dealt with during this Assembly. Let us return to the importance of a General Chapter.
First meeting with the Chapter moderators
Here is some news from the Generalate at the beginning of the academic year. The General Council is once again complete after the usual summer dispersion. Two confreres have joined them in this first week of work, the mornings of which are dedicated to the preparation of the 2022 Chapter. They are the two future moderators, Innocent Maganya, who directs and teaches at the Institute for Inter-religious Dialogue and Islamic Studies (IRDIS) in Nairobi, and Yago Abeledo, who resides in New York and follows a 4 year specialised formation in process-oriented facilitation and conflict studies.
This first contact between the General Council and the future moderators of the Chapter is very important because the former have already reflected a great deal on the Chapter of 2022, notably by reading the responses to the General Consultation launched last year, while the latter are anxious to know what the description of their future task will be, that is to say, how they will be able to stimulate and nourish the discernment of the capitulants.
This week’s work is focused on three documents:
- The internal regulations of the Chapter: the basis of this document will of course be the regulations already in existence at the 2016 Chapter, but which will be reviewed, corrected and adapted in view of next year’s Chapter. For example, the role of the spiritual guide of the Chapter will enhanced, as well as the times of prayer at the beginning and end of the day, in order to give more space to discernment and listening to the Spirit.
- The method to be used during the Chapter was one of the questions of the General Consultation. There is a clear consensus for the so-called Cardinal Cardijn method “See, Judge, Act”. But the General Council has already gone further by taking inspiration from the famous “Pastoral Cycle” (Experience – Analysis – Theological Reflection – Action – Celebration – Evaluation…) widely used by JPIC.
- The Chapter Calendar will be the third and final document to be drawn up during the working meetings of this week.
In a future working meeting, the spiritual guide of the Chapter should probably be present.
But Rome is not the only one to get to work. The Pre-Capitulars will begin in all the provinces. Their reflections will complement those of the General Council to give the future 2022 Chapter a solid basis for work and reflection.
Good meetings to you all!
And above all… with a touch of humour…