The Chapter has moved into new and creative phase. Having concluded the reception of the various CLT and Province Reports the Chapter participants are now beginning a journey towards a discernment of pathways for the future. For any discernment process this is a very intense moment because it implicates the personal as well as the communal. It is a time when people are challenged to ask questions of themselves just as profoundly as they pose questions for the wider context of the congregation.
For the Presentation Brothers it confronts each Brother with the question: what does it mean for me to be a religious Brother in the Church? More immediately, it raises questions such as: how am I prepared to open myself to new possibilities, to new ways of doing things, and to new horizons far beyond my comfort zone.
Like so many other religious congregations in today’s Church the Presentation Brothers are keenly aware of the various challenges that Pope Francis has issued so clearly. These challenges are compellingly evangelical in their language and resonance.
Pope Francis is increasingly urging Christians, and especially rellgious, to begin the journey towards the frontiers, to commit themselves anew to being with the poor people, to participate fully in the current experiences of people on the margins, especially those of migrants, refugees, young people and the alienated. Sister Pat Murray articulated these challenges very powerfully in her Holy Thursday presentation.
As the Chapter moves into this new phase it is a moment for reflection on what has been achieved over the past six years and to give thanks for the blessings received. The Chapter was very moved by the Blessing Ceremony for the outgoing Congregation Leadership Team which took place on Monday afternoon. The ceremony was accompanied by a chant from the new Mass of the Presentation composed by Sister Marie Dunne CHF, the Chapter liturgy guide.
The Blessing Ceremony expressed the gratitude of the Brothers to the Congregation Leadership for their selfless leadership during their term of office. In this leadership they reflected the compassionate and spirit-led disposition of Mary. It was also a moment for Brothers Martin, Walter, Barry, Rupert and Denis to reflect with gratitude on the journey and to look forward to the invitation to walk new paths. The Chapter prayed that they might be blessed al their days of lives.