(Feast of St. Clement I, Pope & St. Columbanus, Extraordinary Irish Missionary)
“It is finished!” With apologies to Jesus for his last words on the Cross, I could not help but say these words to myself this afternoon. While we spent the morning finalizing the Chapter Message and the Theme, the afternoon gathering was purposely called so that we would not have to rush to a conclusion.
Hence, after a lovely prayer service put on by the Bangalore Province, we listened to a plea from Fr. Alberto Eseveria, our Vicar General, to consider the plight of the poor, and especially the handicapped, in the slums of Pattaya (whom Brother Denis Gervais, C.Ss.R. keeps an eye on) and make a donation at the Closing Eucharist to support these people. (The Closing Eucharist will be celebrated Thursday afternoon with the members of the Thai Province who have gathered here the past two days for their own meetings.)
Then Fr. Michael Brehl, our Superior General, wrapped up the proceedings for the General Chapter with an exhortation to bring the message to our communities, to work on implementing the decisions of this Chapter especially through our Conferences, and to remember that this is a beginning, not an end. He and the General Government will be working hard over the next several months to prepare the official documents and follow-up (including plans for Phase III) for the Chapter and then, hopefully by the end of February, have them distributed across the Redemptorist world.
Kevin O’Neill, our truly wonderful Chapter Secretary (along with the other two Moderators, Clement Campos and Joachim Perron), finished with a basketful of Thank-Yous—to the staff who have served us so well, to the committee members who worked hard to keep things moving forward, to the Chapter delegates, and to the Thai confreres for their hospitality and concern for detail. One Chapter delegate who has been to several General Chapters commented that it was the best run and most comprehensible Chapter he had attended.
Finally, Fr. General called for the vote of the Chapter delegates to officially close the XXVth General Chapter. The final vote was 94 in favour, 4 against, and 1 abstention. Fr. General suggested that those who voted “No” would be permitted to continue meeting on their own, as long as needed!
Fr. Mark Miller, CSsR
The concluding Mass of the General Chapter will be live streamed at 5.30 pm local time.
You can view the stream here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFqZkE0fUPeDbRhKN6Qs-eQ