GC27: the other side of the Chapter

Commissions, Assembly meetings, study sessions, voting, minutes … a General Chapter is all of these, but there is more besides, especially in the congregation founded by the saint of joy. To lighten the work of the Chapter, there has been a varied relaxation programme  consisting of outings, sports activities, spiritual and cultural events.

Initiatives planned by the Organising Committee of GC27 are designed to meet the interests of all the participants. There were cultural, historical and artistic tours. In the Italian context, they were spoiled for choice . Sunday is the Lord’s day and a day of rest, even for the Chapter members. There was a day trip to Naples on 9 March, and to Florence on16 March,  and another is planned to Assisi for 30 March.IB_11603__2014

One initiative of particular importance because of its of outstanding artistic and musical merit  was the concert by the choir of the Sistine Chapel on Wednesday, 19 March.  There was also an instrumental concert by the group “Pentaphon ” on the evening of 3 March, the opening day of GC27.

There have already been several conferences, exhibitions and previews in the Generalate: the cultural evening in honour of the five martyrs of the  Salesian Oratory in Poznan; the exhibition of the artwork of Fr Tadeusz Furdyna from in the Warsaw Province in Poland to mark the 50th  anniversary of his artistic work; a showing of the documentary film “South of the South” made jointly by Missioni Don Bosco, the Salesians of Chile and the Salesian Historical Institute. It commemorates the centenary of the Cross of the Seas, installed at Cape Froward by Fr Luis Hector Sallaberry, SDB.

To complete this report on the recreational activities of the Chapter members, mention must be made of the sporting activities.  Quite a  number of confreres are involved in the football and basketball tournaments that take place most afternoons, between lunch and the resumption of work.

These initiatives not only offer opportunities for cultural enrichment , diversion or entertainment, but also create a sense of brotherhood and community life, something the Rector Major has given to all Salesians as the main challenge for the future.