GC27: Halfway – now on to the next stage.

The Chapter has passed the halfway mark. In a speech at the weekend the Rector Major commented, “we have passed halfway and we can look back with satisfaction at the progress made.”

Before entering the Assembly Hall this morning, the Chapter members received a small but pleasant and meaningful gift, offered by the Salesian Community of the Vatican, and also available online at sdb.org. It is an elegant colour brochure entitled With Love to Father.22-03-2014-GC27-RM-PascualChavez

It is a way of saying thanks to Fr Pascual for twelve years when he displayed many fine qualities in the service of the Congregation: joyful, a good  communicator, open to different cultures, close to all, loving, spiritually profound, a lover of creation, in love with the Holy Land, a traveller, tireless, determined, the voice of Don Bosco, father of the Salesian family, young with the young, jovial, loyal and obedient, a priestly mind, an authoritative guide, an enthusiastic animator, affable and friendly, fraternal, successor of Don Bosco with the guidance of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

In this speech, one of his last as Rector Major, Fr Pascual listed the conclusions reached so far in the Chapter: “one constitutional change which concerns the Vicar and the Salesian Family which will be entrusted to a Secretariat;  the establishment of two regions in Europe and the Middle East; the introduction of new procedures for the election of the General Councillors in charge  of the sectors.” Now we proceed with the participation of all the members to the drafting of the final document, with the help of the Drafting Committee. The third updated edition of the Frame of Reference of Salesian Youth Ministry has been presented.

With next week devoted entirely to discernment and the election of the Rector Major and the members of his Council, it is clear that “the Chapter is entering a new phase, more and more focused on the theme of GC27: Witnesses to the Radical Approach of the Gospel.

The work will have to be more focused and more concrete. We have to ensure that the reflection on the life of the congregation in the light of the topic becomes a spirit and will result in a document with the broad lines of the future for the next few years. This is what Fr Pascual is insisting on.

“GC27 has to be a chapter that marks a turning point, that definitely makes us enter into the new vision of the world in this new springtime of the Church, in this time of grace for Consecrated Life and the Congregation in particular. That’s why I take the liberty to renew the invitation to make radical choices at three levels: personal, institutional (community, province, congregation) and structural. We need choices that will bring us closer to Christ and to his Gospel, that will enable us to be more involved in the Church and make us love the poor more, after the example of Don Bosco.  This is what Article 146 of the Constitutions means when it says that the General Chapter “is the fraternal meeting in which Salesians carry out a communal reflection to keep themselves faithful to the Gospel and to their Founder’s charism, and sensitive to the needs of time and place. Through the general chapter the entire Society, opening itself to the guidance of the Spirit of the Lord, seeks to discern God’s will at a specific moment in history for the purpose of rendering the Church better service.”

First Published by InfoANS