Flash News

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.

Photo Gallery
DAY 13 - General Chapter 2016
Video Gallery
36th General Chapter
September 14 to October 12, 2016

What is it?

THE GENERAL CHAPTER

What is it and what is its purpose?

The General Chapter is the highest authority within the Oblate Congregation. It is meant to strengthen the bonds of unity of the whole Oblate world and to express the members' participation in the life and mission of the Congregation. The General Chapter is also a time of deep reflection and conversion, as the Chapter members discern God's will for the Congregation according to the needs of time. (Constitution 125)

Who convokes the Chapter?

The Superior General convokes the General Chapter every six years and presides at it. (Constitution 127)

What are the main tasks of a Chapter?

The General Chapter elects the Superior General and his Council, articulates our missionary vision, determines general policy for the Congregation, and makes whatever decisions are required. If need be, it also makes changes in the Rules and proposes to the Holy See modifications in the Constitutions. (Constitution 126)

What is a Precapitular Commission?

The Precapitular Commission is the body which oversees the necessary preparations for the Chapter. The Superior General in plenary session of his Council appoints a Commissioner and the other members of the Precapitular Commission. (Rule 127b)

Who are Capitulars?

Capitulars are the members of the General Chapter. They are the Superior General, the members of the General Council, the Treasurer General, the Procurator to the Holy See, the Provincial Superiors, the elected delegates and the Oblates invited by the Superior General according to the Rules. All remain members of the Chapter for its entire duration. All the capitulars including those invited by the Superior General have full voting rights in all capitular acts. (Constitution 128)

What does it means by the "Acts of the Chapter”?

It is the official document published at the end of each Chapter. It includes the letter from the capitulars to the Oblate world, a synthesis of the reflections and the major decisions taken during the Chapter. The Superior General will take the necessary measures to bring to the attention of all Oblates, as soon as possible, the acts and decisions of the Chapter. (Rule 128d)

Where and when will it be held this time?

It will take place at the General House of the Christian Brothers (De LaSalle Brothers) in Rome from September 14 to October 12, 2016. It has been the preferred venue in the recent past, due to the facilities they have for such an event.


HISTORY OF THE OBLATE GENERAL CHAPTERS

Number Place Dates Superior General Major points/ Documents issued
I Aix October 24, 1818 Election of
Fr. de MAZENOD
First Rule Adopted
II Aix October 21, 1821   Vow of Poverty introduced
III Aix Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 1824   Permission given to minister in seminaries
IV Marseilles July 10-13, 1826   Rule approved by Rome received
V Marseilles Sept. 28-30, 1831   Foreign Missions can be accepted
VI Marseilles August 4-8, 1837   Ministry in seminaries added to the Rule
VII Marseilles July 10-13, 1843   Chapters every 6 years
VIII Marseilles August 26-31, 1850   Provinces & Vicariates accepted
IX Montolivet August 4-12, 1856   Fr. Albini’s sainthood cause begun
X Paris December 5-8, 1861 Election of
Fr. FABRE
Holy Family Sisters linked to OMIS/new directives for parish misisons
XI Autun August 5-18, 1867   Parish and secondary schools approved
XII Autun July 31-Aug. 8, 1873   Devotion to the Sacred Heart introduced
XIII Autun July 30-Aug. 6, 1879   Revised curriculum for studies
XIV Autun April 25-May 6, 1887   Parish mission still the primary ministry
XV Paris May 11-23, 1893 Election of
Fr. SOULLIER
After Fr. Labre’s death
XVI Paris May 16-28, 1898 Election of
Fr. AUGIER
After Fr. Soullier’s death
XVII Leige (Belgium) Aug. 14-Sept. 1, 1904   General House to move to Rome
XVIII Rome Sept. 20-Oct. 10, 1906 Election of Fr. LAVILLADIERE Financial crisis resolved
XIX Rome Sept. 19-Oct. 24, 1908 Election of Bishop DONTENWILL Rule revised/Founder’s cause begun
XX Rome Oct. 1-22, 1920   Devotion to the Immaculate Conception
XXI Rome Sept. 20-Oct. 18, 1926   Rule revised in light of Code of Canon Law/MAMI approved
XXII Rome Sept. 8-24, 1932 Election of
Fr. LABOURE
Founder’s writing should be published
XXIII Rome Sept. 8-27, 1938   Catholic Action encouraged/Ministry to African-Americans in the US urged
XXIV Rome May 1-22, 1947 Election of Fr. DESCHATELETS Assistants increased from 4 to 6
XXV Rome May 1-27, 1953   Rule to be revised to fit the times
XXVI Rome Sept. 1-Oct. 22, 1959   Rule revision sent to a commission
XXVII Rome Jan. 25-Mar. 23, 1966   Rule revised in light of Vatican II
XXVIII Rome Apr. 11-May 23, 1972 Election of
Fr. HANLEY
Missionary Outlook/
Community/
Administrative Structures
XXIX Rome Nov. 12-Dec. 6, 1974

Election of
Fr. JETTE

Review of the 1966 Constitutions
XXX Rome Oct. 27-Dec. 6, 1980 Re-election of
Fr. Jette
New Rule accepted
XXXI Rome Sept. 1-Oct. 3, 1986 Election of
Fr. ZAGO
Missionaries in Today’s World
XXXII Rome Sept. 1-Oct. 1, 1992 Re-election of
Fr. Zago
Witnessing as Apostolic Community
XXXIII Rome Sept. 1-Oct. 1, 1998 Election of Fr. STECKLING Evangelizing the Poor at the Dawn of the 3rd Millenium
XXXIV Rome Aug. 30-Sept. 28, 2004 Re-election of
Fr. Steckling
Witnessing to Hope
XXXV Rome Sept. 8-Oct. 8, 2010 Election of
Fr. LOUGEN
Conversion
XXXVI Rome Sept.14-Oct. 12, 2016 ???  
** List and summary, in French, up to 1987, cf. Etudes Oblates 1987, pp. 169-200.
  • The Superior General was elected for life until 1972.
  • The Chapters started out 3 years apart (1818-1826), went to 5 (1831) and then to 6 as they are now (1837- ). 
  • There were some delays (World War II, for example), and the one in Liege was because religious orders were expelled from France at that time.