The day began with the same fraternity with which the Opening Mass of the General Chapter was celebrated the day before. The first session was a time for community prayer that took place in this relaxed atmosphere. Fr. Humberto Henriques, msc, as he did in the online sessions for the preparation of this General Chapter, reminded us that the process is a continuous prayer inspired by the Holy Spirit. Fr. Humberto lead the opening meditation with the recitation of the General Chapter prayer.
In this opening session, the formal business of the Chapter was enacted. Fr. Abzalón Alvarado, msc, proposed the members of the different commissions and sought the approval of the Chapter. All matters were approved unanimously:
- Internal Rules of Procedures for the functioning of the General Chapter.
- Appointment of officers.
- Facilitators: Br. Joe McKee FMS, Mrs. Frances Heery
- Scrutineers: Clement Sathish, Jenner Kihoulie, Daniel Paiva Martins
- General Secretary of the Chapter: Fernando Clemente and the other members of the secretariat, Steve Boland, Alan Neville
- Simultaneous translators: Sr. Nicola Sprenger, msc, Sr. Régina Kahindo Bahwere SF, Mr. Nate Bacon, and Celestin Bela MSC.
- Logistics: Richard Suresh, and Ms. Sophia Amante
- Liturgy: Pablo da O. Moura
- Decoration: Myke Decalos
- Communication: Mr. Jarvier Trapero
- Steering Committee: John Mulrooney, Michael Huber, Abzalón Alvarado, Fernando Clemente, Ms. Frances Heery, Br. Joe McKee, FMS.
The members of the commissions were then proposed and elected:
- Juridical Commission: Tim Brennan, Ton Zwart, James Espuerta
- Redaction Commission: Carl Tranter, Stephen Hackett, Raymond Lièvre, Hugo Londoño
The day before, Abzalón said that the person’s present here have been elected in each province by their confreres as delegates. We are a Congregation and a small representation is gathered here of a large fraternal community. Therefore, the following commission has a special importance because its mission is to promote a fraternal, friendly and family atmosphere.
- ‘Gaudeamus’ Commission: Richard Kim, Jommy Burgos, Yvon Banackissa, Luis Carlos.
Chris Chaplin, msc, explained how the sessions would use different documents to be displayed on the different screens in the Chapter Hall and how the Chapter website can be accessed as a working tool.
During the Chapter the facilitators will help us to begin to deepen the discernment process. Joe and Frances proposed a personal reflection and then in groups on the experience of community wisdom. We are in a change of epoch, a time of synodality, and of working from communal wisdom. Also, it is a time to listen to what the Holy Spirit saying to us. Listening is an attitude that has to dominate all of what we do during these days. Another attitude is to share with one another what we hear and respect what other confreres propose. All this leads to the path from Ego to Eco. Prayer is essential in the whole process, connecting with the Spirit of God and being united to the Heart of Jesus.
To foster this prayerful atmosphere, times for communal prayer will take place each morning, beginning in the Worship space fo the Chapter Hall and then moving to small communal wisdom sharing groups later in smaller rooms. Fr. Chris explained how these times of prayer are organized in groups.
This concluded the morning session.
In the afternoon, the facilitators, Joe McKee and Frances Heery, conducted a session of internalization and awareness of what this Chapter means for each of the capitulants personally and for all the MSC.
At the end of the session, Frances spoke about the VUCA model (Volatility – Uncertainty – Complexity – Ambiguity), a vision of society that we can combat and reverse as Christians by changing the meaning of the acronym VUCA with the concepts (Vision – Understanding – Compassion – Audacity).
The day concluded with a Mass presided over by Fr. Daniel Auguié.