Chapter Communication – 14 May 2022

Chapter Communication - 14 May 2022

At last, the day of the 29th Chapter of the Missionaries of Africa has arrived, and it was made possible thanks to all the contributions that arrived in Rome and for which all the members of the Chapter thank you. For some days now, the Generalate has been permeated by the fever of the Chapter, which has grown as the capitulants have arrived from many countries where the Missionaries of Africa are present. Thus, for many there was a time of meeting those they had not seen for years and for others the chance to make new acquaintances.

This time, the chapter of the Missionaries of Africa coincides with two important events for our missionary society, the anniversary of the martyrs of Algeria, and the canonization of Charles de Foucauld. These two events are celebrated by the community of the Generalate and also by the members of the Chapter. We received a presentation on the martyrs of Algeria by Bishop John MacWilliam and a video on Algeria offering a description of the Algerian situation at that time. On Sunday, several of the capitulants and community members will participate in the celebration of the canonization of Charles de Foucauld at the Vatican. This afternoon, a panel on Charles de Foucauld will be animated by three of our confreres, Card. Michael Fitzgerard, Bishop Claude Rault and Bishop John MacWilliam.

Today, the members of the Chapter met in assembly for the first time. The purpose was to deal with the practical issues of the house timetable and the introduction to the technology needed to order to ensure that the chapter is “paperless”. It was a good opportunity to stimulate the dynamic among the capitulants and to begin the Chapter journey.

This communication would not be complete without mentioning the improvement of the chapter hall. Some modern technological material has been fitted for the use of computers, etc. The members of the Chapter have been introduced to microphones, headphones, screens, etc. These exercises will allow for a smoother launch of the chapter on Monday.

New Chapter Room

Finally, this evening, Saturday, a BBQ is planned to encourage contacts between capitulants and members of the Generalate community.

The members of the chapter rely on our prayers. May the Holy Spirit accompany them during the chapter, opening their ears to listen to the Word of God, their hearts to his love and their minds to be guided by his wisdom.

Jean Lamonde
14 May 2022

The Stakes of a General Chapter (PAO Baobab nr 38)

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.

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First meeting with the Chapter moderators

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…