(Feast of St. Margaret of Scotland & St Gertrude)
Today was a work day! After a morning spent on the final voting for proposals and postulata in Sections 1 (New Hearts) and 2 (Renewed Mission)—which we completed—in the afternoon we went back to work in the small groups.
However, the first task in the small group was a challenging exercise as we were asked to focus on what we Chapter delegates would, and would like to, take home to the confreres in our units. There are a number of over-arching themes (like the mission to the poor and most abandoned) but the challenge was to look towards what would inspire. The results will be gathered overnight and should be most interesting.
Then the small groups went to work on the remaining proposals and postulata in Section 3, the final section of Working Document C, titled Renewed Structures where there are many proposals and postulata. There were also a few new proposals to consider.
In addition the delegates were given a summary of all the Suggestions in Working Document C. These came from the community responses to the questionnaire (Working Document A) and were gleaned from Working Document B as valuable but not quite right to present as proposals or postulata. Rather than have these Suggestions be overlooked, they were given to each Chapter delegate to assess personally in terms of importance for the General Government and the Conferences to consider.
The evening concluded with three presentations (video, slide, powerpoint). First, the Naples province gave a slide show of the mission that they have built up in Madagascar for over 20 years—an amazing number of schools, medical & pharmacy dispensaries, churches, catechists, etc. A Wow! Experience.
Next Fr. Ariel Lupi showed a video of the famous National Shrine to Our Mother of Perpetual Help in Bacclaran, Philippines—this wonderful place of prayer, service to the poor, and educational centre that is open 24/7. Awesome!
Lastly, Fr. Kenol Chery from Haiti showed pictures of the unbelievable devastation that Hurricane Matthew wreaked on the southwest coast of Haiti. The Redemptorist churches, community houses, and novitiate were severely damaged. But the homes and land of these poor people were razed, along with the trees and flora. The Redemptorists will live and rebuild with the poor.
Fr. Mark Miller, CSsR