Palm Beach Hotel, Bali, Indonesia
14-18 October, 2017
The opening day of the final Conference meeting to conclude Phase III of the XXVth General Chapter began in Bali on Saturday 14 October 2017. The 2016 Chapter took place for the first time in Asia, and this is the location where we bring to conclusion the third phase of the General Chapter. Unlike Pattaya in Thailand where we have a significant presence and ministry, we have no presence in Bali which is the only Hindu island in the world’s largest Muslim country comprised of 17,500 islands. It is of great credit to the Province of Indonesia that they were able to arrange a suitable central location at a hotel in a resort location two minutes from the famed Kuta beach. Fortunately, the costs are modest which is helpful as our Conference brings together confreres from distant geographical units in: South Korea, Japan, China, Bangalore, Liguori (Kerala), Majella (Mumbai), Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, Manila, Cebu, Indonesia Singapore/Malaysia and Oceania.
There are thirty-four of us at the gathering, and the day began with eucharist celebrated by Father Michael Brehl. Amazingly, the hotel, which is owned by a Catholic family, has a dedicated chapel which is fitting since we live in a Conference where religious diversity and dialogue is a constant experience. The initial part of the day was spent giving us an overview of the background and experience of the General Chapter which took place almost twelve months ago.
As the day progressed, we followed the process refined during the four already concluded Phase III meetings, so after informative and sometimes challenging presentations by the General we began to process the Vision and Strategic Plan material in small working groups. Of course, there was a late night for the Redaction Committee and the Conference Secretary, but this is how these processes work. In due course, they too joined the evening welcoming gaudeamus.
It is good to be together for these days and to engage in prayer, reflection and dialogue as we face together a future shaped in part by our particular contexts and by the message and decisions of our General Chapter.
Michael Kelly, CSsR