Chapter Communication - 30 May 2022
The third week of the Chapter brings us into the second phase, which is that of discernment. The moderators provided practical guidelines for quality work and discernment. For a good discernment, we need to take into account the ecclesial context and our own missionary history, to have good criteria, to remain open to today’s reality and to be clear and precise in our sharing. Prayer is essential to receive the light of the Spirit.
They reminded the Chapter members that they had been selected several topics and gathered them under broader themes, such as mission, charisma, formation, governance. Today the charism is the first to be addressed. Our Superior General stressed that mission is a prophetic witness in which interculturality plays a great prophetic role.
Father Dave Sullivan introduced the theme by talking about mission as prophetic witness, using the meaning of the two words, witness and prophet. To be witness requires that our lives reveal something of the Gospel. He strongly emphasised that a prophet is one who lives what he says and says what he lives. This attitude makes him an authentic prophetic witness. It is crucial that the prophet be able to transmit a message that is relevant to the people who hear him. In concluding, he invited the capitulants to find concrete ways to remain faithful to our mission and charism. We do not become prophetic witnesses with beautiful ideas, but rather by living the components of our missionary oath in a way that is relevant to today’s world.
Among the practical indications, the moderators explained that the chapter will move forward with alternating team and plenary work. There will also be a drafting committee that will write documents to be presented in plenaries for discussion and improvement. At this point, there is no decision being taken.
During this period, orientation voting will be held to elect future members of the General Council.
The moderators left two questions to start today’s team reflection:
- What are the hindrances – obstacles – shadows that prevent us from living our mission as prophetic witnesses?
- What do we need to reaffirm in our charism for our witness to be prophetic?