General Chapter: 9 and 10 of September 2013


9 September 2013

The topic of today’s morning session had finances as its theme. Addressing this topic, Fr. Tomas McClain, Bursar General of the Jesuits, was invited to speak at this meeting. The presenter gave some ideas on the meaning of poverty today.The theme presented was entitled " Poverty and the Role of the Bursar Today."
In his presentation, he touched on tough issues such as: the role of the Bursar, and the meaning we give today to the terms “poverty” and “simplicity.”

At the end of the report, a discussion was opened on the issue of poverty and how we are called to live it as consecrated religious in today's society.

The first part of the morning having concluded, the Chapter returned to the conference room and this time the speaker was Fr. Kevin Alban, Bursar General of the Order. He submitted an accurate report on the financial status of the Order during the last sexennium, highlighting the growing differences between the north and south of the Order and the challenges that will need to be confronted in the coming years due in part to the severe economic crisis that has hit especially Western countries. At the end of the report, an open debate was begun concerning the prospects for economic development of the Order.

In the afternoon, the capitulars listened to the report of Fr. Josef Jancár, Procurator General, in which he clearly and concisely described his work done over previous years, as well as the new changes in canon law. At the conclusion of his report, Fr. Josef Jancár, who arrives at the end of his tenure, sincerely thanked all the people who collaborated together with him in recent years.

After a short break, the work continued in groups organized by geographical area, each group having a chance to discuss the proposals on government that will be voted on in Wednesday’s session.

The day ended with a lectio divina in groups, on the text in Mark 1:32-35.

10 September 2013

The regular meetings of the General Chapter were suspended today as the chapter held a Day of Retreat, conducted by Father Kees Waaijman, O. Carm., of the Dutch Province. Father Kees is an important and respected scholar in the area of scripture, mysticism and spirituality, the author of many books and articles. In two meditations morning and evening, he used Psalm 131 as his point of reflection. Carefully and skillfully aided by the use of power point, Father invited the capitulars to enter the world of the pilgrim in exile, waiting in hope for the Lord, seeking the word of salvation which is the word of hope. Using the image of the weaned child, he spoke of our learning, learning to wait on the Lord in a profound  hope and silence. He concluded with a reflection on Paul’s Letter to the Romans, Chapter 8, where the Christian is described as waiting in the Lord for the great things which we cannot imagine that God has prepared for us in Christ. A period of silent reflection followed each meditation.

At 7:00 PM, His Eminence, Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life came to Sassone to celebrate the Eucharist with the members of the Chapter. After expressing his joy of being with us, the Cardinal encouraged us to have hope, as well as confidence and trust in one another as brothers, and to draw this hope from the life and charism we share within the Church and for the Lord. Afterwards, he joined all of the capitulars for supper.

The Chapter will return to its regular work tomorrow beginning with an evaluation of the decree on government from the last General Chapter, followed by voting on the proposals for government. In the evening, the Chapter will begin its discernment to prepare for the election of the Prior General and Council later in the week.