Details! Details! Details!
Today we caught a glimpse of how much work has gone into the preparations for the General Chapter as the details of what has to happen and what will happen were outlined for us. The Chapter Preparatory Commission which was named by the General Government in April, 2014 has overseen every aspect of the Chapter to make sure that things will go smoothly while at the same time allowing for a full and free conversation about the state of the Congregation today. It is humbling to see all the different committees, commissions, volunteers, appointments, and planning that this Commission undertook.
For example, we have a liturgy booklet that outlines all the liturgical celebrations for the coming four weeks, the daily Eucharists (in six different languages each day, except when we all come together for a special liturgy), morning prayer, and prayer before sessions and before meals. In total we have about a dozen documents that deal with everything from meal times to postulata and reports from those with various responsibilities within the Congregation.
In the afternoon, we had the pleasure of seeing every Chapter delegate as well as every confrere helping with the Chapter (translators, notaries, specialists, etc.) introduced to the Assembly by the five Conference Coordinators. This gave a visible, tangible sign of the world-wide reach and ministry of the Congregation.
Finally, the Moderators outlined the various commissions that will assist with the proper functioning of the Chapter (like the editorial commission, the theological and canon law commissions, and even the ‘conviviality commission’ for evening time) and they walked us through the proposed agenda for the coming two weeks. There is much to be accomplished.
But I return to my initial impression: The amount of details that have been attended to is astonishing. And this bodes well for a well-run, harmonious Chapter.
Fr. Mark Miller, CSsR