The first online preparatory session for the General Chapter took place in a fraternal atmosphere.
Chris Chaplin, msc, one of the facilitators of this meeting, explained how these online meetings will be developed. He introduced the official website of the General Chapter (26th MSC General Chapter 2023) and explained the information in the sections.
Secondly, Humberto Henriques, msc, the other facilitator, invited Delegates to meditation and prayer in preparation for the session. The group prayed the official prayer of the General Chapter (English – French – Spanish). It was important to be aware and prepared for discernment.
After the prayer, he asked each participant in the meeting to choose a word from the prayer. The words chosen were presented in a ‘word cloud’.
Superior General, Mario Absalón Alvarado, msc, made his welcoming and opening remarks to the Delegates at the preparation session. Quoting the Emmaus theme of the Chapter,
“Did not our hearts burn within us as we walked along together” (Luke 24:32).
The main ideas expressed were:
- With all our cultural and ecclesial diversity, we are heirs of a Missionary Spirituality, a Spirituality of the Heart.
- The disciples of Emmaus walked with their hopes, disappointments, broken expectations, and perhaps open wounds. They walked together with Jesus he changed their disappointment into joy.
- We come to this moment after a long journey of listening, discernment, and work.
- We have tried to make the last six years a time of Listening and Co-sensing.
- We are on the doorstep of being able to contribute to the transformation, to the paradigm shift, and strengthening of our MSC identity that our congregation needs so much.
- We would say today is, or should be, a space of synodality.
- Let us make this Chapter process a living-out of the prophetic and missionary inspiration Fr Chevalier had in his time.
- Our entities and communities are waiting for us.
The meeting continued in small groups according to languages. The objective was that every member introduces themselves to other participants and begin conversations before the General Chapter assembly. The main ideas that were discussed in these group meetings were shared in the chat.
Finally, Chris and Humberto said Thank you to everyone for their participation and for the work of the MSC Hosting Team that helps to make these sessions possible.
Our next session is Wednesday May 31 at the same time.