GC27: Building Unity in Diversity

Today, 27 March 2014, the Chapter members continue their discernment for the elections that will take place this week. The process for electing the Councillors is new, as approved by the Chapter.

Already on Wednesday evening, the chapter members, divided into groups according to region, gave their first indications on the Councillors of the various sectors. Each group proposed one candidate from their own region and one from another region. In this way, a list of candidates was drawn up for each of the five sectors (Formation, Youth Ministry, Social Communication, Missions and the Economy). Some of the candidates appear on more than one list and not all the candidates listed are members of the Chapter.

GC27-RM-Angelo Fernandez ArtimeOn the morning of Thursday 27th, the chapter is proceeding with separate votes for each of the Councillors of the various sectors, in light of the consultations of the previous day.

These electoral processes are the external, visible and tangible expression of a spiritual climate, the human and faith context which is experienced every day in the chapter.

This was mentioned by the Rector Major at the beginning of the assembly. We should be grateful for the climate of fraternity that we experience and our desire for communion. He concluded with a wish: “may we all seek the Lord’s will in truth” for the good of the congregation.

Fr Francis Cereda, Vicar of the Rector Major, gave the homily during the morning Eucharist.  Taking his cue from the readings of the day, he invited us to remember that “unity in diversity is a free gift to be received and a daunting task to be accomplished.”

GC27-VotingIn an explicit reference to the elections scheduled for the day, he said: “In the Congregation we have received the gift of charismatic unity. We also have the task of guarding it and ensuring its growth. We all look to our dear Father and Founder Don Bosco. We recognize the leadership of his successor, and, as the Constitutions say, our formation is “one in its essential content and diversified in its concrete expressions.”  At the same time we must be resolved to value difference. Today, with the election of the Councillors of the various sectors, we will have the opportunity to give our contribution as a Chapter by choosing a General Council that expresses the richness of the diversity of our Congregation, a Congregation that is becoming more and more inter-cultural and cross-cultural.”

Quoting Pope Francis, he went on to say: “Conflict and division can be a risk so we need to be prudent. We should be aware of conflict and division, and able to deal with it and overcome it. In this way it is possible to develop  communion in difference, which can be fostered only by noble people who have the courage to go beyond the surface of conflict and consider others in their deepest dignity… Unity is greater than conflict.”

First Published by InfoANS