The Congregation Chapter is taking place in Rome from April 11th to April 27th, 2017 at the Villa Palazzola outside Rome. A group of Brothers, elected by the members of the Congregation in a democratic process, will shortly gather for the Chapter to reflect on the life of the Congregation and to explore new pathways for life, mission and ministry.
Religious congregations are obliged by their Constitutions and by canon law to meet on a regular basis, usually every six years, to reflect on their experience and to make decisions for the future. A General Chapter is the ultimate authority in a religious congregation.
Pope Paul VI in the immediate aftermath of Vatican II, as religious congregations from around the world began to gather in Rome for the first post-Vatican II general chapters, reminded those assembled that a General Chapter is not a private affair which concerns only the members. A General Chapter of a religious congregation is a moment in the life of the whole Christian community.
For this reason, it is a privileged event in the life of the Church. It is period of deep communal reflection on the call of the Gospel to a pilgrim Church. We are all pilgrims sharing a common journey of faith, love and hope. The insights, decisions and orientations that emerge from a General Chapter will have an impact far beyond the religious congregation itself. They will radiate a light that will bring new hope for the whole world.
In recent years, religious congregations have been anxious to share the experience of a General Chapter with the wider Christian community. It is an experience that invites us to prayer, reflection and engagement. Over the next few weeks we hope to undertake this journey together.