Chapter Communication - 1 June 2022
It is not easy to describe everything about the life of the capitulants. There are, of course, the meal times, the common prayer exercises and the various meetings planned for the Chapter. Let us not forget the outings to the restaurant which are also part of the Chapter. Each capitulant continues with his own routine, getting up, going to bed, internet, physical exercises, walking and of course moments of personal prayer.
The liturgy is prepared by the teams and the language alternates daily between French and English. Lauds and Vespers are prayed either in the chapel or in the chapter auditorium. A member of the General Council decorates an area around the altar in the chapel with pictures and images related to the themes of the day. That initiative serves to keep the focus on the topics of the day and to think about them in the presence of the Lord. Is this not one of the habits of the missionary vocation?
There is a good understanding between the capitulants. The exchanges during the plenary sessions are good, frank, open and respectful. The questions reveal the quality of the listening and the desire of understanding better the realities being discussed. The ambiance is cordial and fraternal. The elections proceed normally at set times.
The morning plenary was dedicated to the charism with its various aspects. The charism shapes our identity, who we are and the mission entrusted to us. The participants looked at what elements of our charism could be reaffirmed in order to consolidate our commitment, such as our link with God through faith and prayer. They also examine the internal difficulties that may be dangerous for us.
The afternoon was dedicated to primary evangelisation. The awareness that Africa still has many unevangelised places provides us with a good motivation to get off the beaten track and out of our well-established parishes and go to those places where the Gospel has not yet penetrated. Communication and the media occupied the second part of the plenary. We are called to put Jesus in our communications and to improve our use of them. Someone pointed out that some recommendations heard in the afternoon session are already in the last chapter documents of 2016.
MARIA JOSEPH LEO L.
I am happy to announce the election of a second Assistant General that took place this afternoon. His name is Maria Joseph Leo. He was born in India and came from South Africa to participate in the Chapter. His election to the General Council is a page of history for our society, as he is the first member from India to be elected as Assistant General. We congratulate him and assure him of our prayers and support. May the Holy Spirit guide him in his ministry as Assistant General of the Society of Missionaries of Africa.