“God’s holy breath may hover over the trees and our home”

The first day of the general chapter featured the celebration of Mass at the Place where Fr. Dehon stayed in Rome. The opening rites of the chapter were held in the afternoon.

by  Willyans Prado Rapozo, SCJ

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With the grace of God, SCJ confreres from all over the world arrived safely in Rome and were accommodated at Villa Aurelia. Sunday, June 16, the Opening Mass was celebrated at St. Clare Chapel of the Pontifical French Seminary where Fr. Dehon studied before being ordained to the Priesthood. Fr. Carlos Luis Suárez Codorniú, superior general, was the main celebrant and homilist, accompanied by the members of the General Administration, and surrounded by superiors of the various entities, chapter delegates, and members of the Rome community.  In his homily, the superior general prayed that “God’s holy breath may hover over the trees and our home in these days. May it hover over each one of us, helping us to understand, as Jesus did with his disciples, explaining his word to them.”

In the afternoon, we had the very first session of the XXV General Chapter. After giving us an inspiring speech, Fr. Carlos proceeded to officially check-in all 77 members who are here representing the entire congregation. Fr. Angelo, general secretary, gave the instructions for the use of the iPad which brings the working documents for all the 20 days ahead. Using coloured cards, we proceeded to voting on the proposed names for the various chapter roles, such as tellers, moderators, recording and assistant secretaries, writers, spokesperson, members of the commission of liturgy and communication office, invitees and experts. Chapter Regulations and Instrumentum Laboris were also presented and approved unanimously.

This first day revealed an excellent organization which helped us finish the schedule ahead of time. It was also clear the sense of joy and great communion among us. We quickly agreed on the practical aspects and procedures of the General Chapter and are now ready to work together with the assistance of the Holy Spirit. We will spend the second day in retreat to widen our hearts and minds, allowing God to sow the seed of his Word within us. “In te, Cor Iesu, speravi; non confundar in aeternum.”

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