March 1st, 2016
The pre-chapter commission had its 4th meeting during the first week of February, working on some of the final details for the 36th chapter which celebrates the 200thanniversary of the Congregation.
Beginning to plan for the 36th General Chapter
The first meeting of the 2016 Precapitular Commission took place at the General house in Rome on December 2-4, 2014. The Chapter Commissioner, Fr. Claudio BERTUCCIO and two Commission members, Frs. Martin WOLF and Emmanuel YOUNGTEN were appointed by the Superior General in Council in September 2014. Fr. William O’DONNELL is the Commission secretary.
We spent some time getting to know each other better before starting the work that will bring us together for about two years. Then we started listening to the Central Government expectations for the coming Chapter. Finally the real work began.
We examined the Chapter Directory and the documentation left by the former Precapitular Commissions, taking notes of the changes and follow-up needed. Little by little a long list of things to be done was written, together with a timetable for their accomplishment.
Lastly we studied the responses received from the consultation started by Father General for the theme of the Chapter. Luckily there were many commonalities on the proposals focusing on our Oblate identity and mission, also taking into account the occasion of the 200thanniversary of the Congregation in the same year as the Chapter. Keeping all this material in mind, we formulated some proposals for a possible Chapter theme to be considered in the January/February Plenary Session of the Central Government.
We are thankful to those who have worked on this same task for previous Chapters. They have left us plenty of material, very helpful for us as we start our work. In spite of the huge amount of work that we can foresee, we still feel blessed for this opportunity to know more closely the entire Congregation.
Our next meeting will be on March 24-26, 2015. Soon you will hear from us again. We hope that the process of preparation for the Chapter will be enriching for all and will draw the interest and the collaboration of all Oblates. We entrust ourselves and this coming Chapter to your prayers, so that the Chapter may become a special Spirit-filled time for the Congregation on this 200thanniversary. (Claudio Bertuccio)