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.
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.
|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
|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
|After Fr. Labre’s death|
|XVI||Paris||May 16-28, 1898||Election of
|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
|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
|XXIX||Rome||Nov. 12-Dec. 6, 1974||
|Review of the 1966 Constitutions|
|XXX||Rome||Oct. 27-Dec. 6, 1980||Re-election of
|New Rule accepted|
|XXXI||Rome||Sept. 1-Oct. 3, 1986||Election of
|Missionaries in Today’s World|
|XXXII||Rome||Sept. 1-Oct. 1, 1992||Re-election of
|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
|Witnessing to Hope|
|XXXV||Rome||Sept. 8-Oct. 8, 2010||Election of
|XXXVI||Rome||Sept.14-Oct. 12, 2016||???|
- 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.