Opening Address of Brother Superior to the Intercapitular Assembly (Summary)
The Brothers recognize, analyze, and face together in faith the difficulties and the particular challenges encountered by their Institute. By contemplating the history of salvation being enacted in their life and in that of the Institute, they experience the grace of the paschal mystery. By meditating on the Gospel journey of the Founder, they find a model of fidelity in adversity and the power of new beginnings. (Rule, 155)
On Monday 5 March, Brother Superior Robert Schieler addressed the Brothers and their guests (Alisa Macksey, Chair of CIAMEL, and Keane Palatino, Coordinator of ICYL) gathered for the Intercapitular Assembly. He began by prayerfully remembering the people subjected to the tyranny of social conflict in Venezuela, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and Burkina Faso. In the same prayerful spirit he urged the participants to be attentive to the Word of God and the signs of the times as they formulate recommendation for the 46th General Chapter.
Commenting on the Institute’s experience during the past 50 years, Brother Robert noted that the diminishing number of Brothers, the growth of the Lasallian Family, the increasing impact of Association for Mission, the importance of Lasallian higher education, the overwhelming presence of Partners in our ministries, and the preponderant presence of women in our educational communities are realities that must inform future oriented reflections and decision making.
Brother Superior highlighted the important formative presence of Brothers in educational communities dedicated to formal education. The formation of the Christian educator and Lasallian Partner is, he insisted, a practical response to the urgings of the Holy Spirit transmitted through the signs of the times. By keeping their lives clearly centered on Jesus Christ and by committing to the Gospel, the poor and the accompaniment of Lasallian Partners, the Brothers, he said, open themselves to Christian conversion and Spirit-driven responses to present day reality.
Turning his attention to the reports submitted by Districts and Delegations, Brother Robert noted many topics that have been on the agendas of General and District Chapters for years: the formation of formators, the empowerment of young Brothers, the accompaniment of senior Brothers, the encouragement of Lasallian vocations, attention to financial issues and the movement “beyond borders” to engage in new ventures to serve the poor and vulnerable. He asked if it is time to change the conversation and do things differently in order to effectively engage these and other urgent matters.
Although the question of restructuring appears in many of the reports, Brother Superior cautioned that the more important question is about transformation and the pressing need for personal and communal conversion. The Holy Spirit, he insisted, is urging the Brothers to reaffirm the orientation of their lives to Jesus Christ, his project for the Reign of God and the promotion of Lasallian Association for Mission. He stated his conviction that such a conversion will lead each Brother and the Institute to the possibility of an unimagined and vibrant future.
Brother Robert concluded by encouraging greater intentionality regarding personal and communal conversion. He asked that the Brothers accompany each other on their Gospel journey and their dedication to the Lasallian charism. Finally, he asked that those assembled be open to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit so that they might faithfully and zealously set about the task of recognizing, analyzing, and confronting the issues of the day. In this way, the Brothers and Lasallian Partners will, as far as they are able, procure the glory of God and insure the well being of those entrusted to their care.
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Intercapitular Meeting 2018 – Photos