Meeting of the Preparatory Commission for the General Chapter

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First meeting of the Preparatory Commission for the XXV General Chapter

The six members of the commission that is preparing the next general chapter of the Redemptorist Congregation, to be held in Pattaya, Thailand, in 2016, met in Rome during the first days of April. Frs. Brendan Kelly (Province of Dublin), the coordinator of the preparatory commission, and Serafino Fiore (Province of Naples), Joaquim Parron (Province of Campo Grande) and Kevin O’Neill (Province of Baltimore), the moderators of the next chapter, and two representatives of the general government, Fr. Enrique López and Br. Jeffrey Rolle, met with the coordinators of the Conferences, Fr. Michael Brehl and the other general consultors to discuss various topics and to prepare a questionnaire for Redemptorists around the world.

The questionnaire prepared by the commission should be considered by all Units and may, eventually, be answered by individual confreres too. The questions that will be sent out generally refer to two main matters. The first is the practical living of the theme of the current sexennium, or in other words, what is happening to implement the orientations of the last general chapter “to proclaim the Gospel ever anew” with “renewed hope, renewed hearts and renewed structures for the mission.” The second would be to continue moving forward with the debate and the practical implementation of restructuring the Congregation.

According to Fr. Serafino Fiore, the answers to the questionnaire, “in principle, should be gathered in order to form a proposal for the first draft of the Instrumentum laboris of the next chapter.” To accomplish this work and with the coordination of the vice-secretary general of the Congregation, Fr. Brendan Kelly, the preparatory commission will meet again during the first half of December. At that time, other confreres will also be included in the preparatory process, considering that a general review of the arrangements by the teams working in Thailand might also be made.

At this first meeting, the members of the commission were also able to provide important clarifications about the entire preparatory process, the method for gathering and working with the postulata of the chapter members and the procedural norms of the meeting. It is worth recalling that “the ordinary general chapter, convoked by the superior general every six years, is the primary and representative organ responsible for the apostolic life of the Congregation. It is the role of the general chapter to care for the interests of the apostolic life of the entire Institute, to strengthen the links that bind its individual parts together, and to further the adaptation of the institutions and norms of life in the Congregation to the needs of the Church and humanity. The general chapter carefully examines the mission of the Congregation in accordance with the spirit of the founder and its sound traditions.”

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