Preparing for the future is living in the present! The work of the 15 Brothers who are members of the General Conference is continuing at the Casa in Rome from Monday 26th September to 4th October 2022. A rereading of the General Chapter and the Provincial or District Chapters is in progress, as well as of a specific point in the work of the Commission in charge of the Rule of Life. Other exchanges were also announced regarding the Mennaisian Family, the Formation of young Brothers, Resources for New Missions and for General Administration, not to mention the Preparation of the 2024 General Chapter. All under the sign of Brotherhood. Explanations.
What’s new since the 2018 General Chapter? What progress were made and what concrete actions were taken? Four teams, a Spanish-speaking one, an English-speaking one and two French-speaking ones, identified what was experienced for the Congregation and in the Countries locally. The different themes: Educational mission, Vocation ministry, Formation, Communities, Mennaisian family and Animation and Government were reviewed. The way forward and the proposed strategy to achieve it were then proposed.
Two main priorities were desired between now and the Chapter: the creation of reflection groups, one “North-South” and the other between Countries of the South – composed of the Major Superiors concerned – on the subject of International openness and mutual collaboration and a second aspect, the Formation of Community Superiors.
Towards a new Rule of Life of the Brothers
Change of working method for the participants regarding the theme of the Rule of Life of the Brothers – the last edition of which is 50 years old – and about which a revision is being undertaken. The 15 members of the General Conference experimented with another organization by joining «working tables» with a Moderator and a Facilitator. This makes it possible to work on texts already proposed and replaces the «parliamentary method» with General Assembly work which requires a longer time.
Since January 2021, a three-team Rule of Life Review Commission has been working to design a new version of the texts. The aim is to move forward in drafting a new text to be presented in the 2024 Chapter.
Initiatives to be planned
How to support the development of the Mennaisian family and support initiatives? What adaptations should be made for the Formation of young Brothers? In view of the diminishing resources of the Historical Provinces of the Congregation, how to adapt the Economic realities, develop new scenarios of self-financing, foresee evolutions for the General Administration, Preparing the funding for New Missions in Africa and Asia?
These issues also occupy the four teams and the General Council. Finally, the work also focuses on the preparation of the March 2024 General Chapter and related priority issues.