San Francisco-New Orleans – First Session of the 2nd District Chapter

* The Brothers of the San Francisco New Orleans District (SFNO) held session one of their 2nd District Chapter, December 27-30, 2021 at Mont La Salle, Napa, CA. This was the first of two planned Chapter sessions, the second of which is scheduled to take place following the July 10-14, 2022 District Mission Assembly, which also will be held at Mont La Salle.

19 Brother Delegates gathered for the District Chapter, which is a canonically required governance assembly that, according to the Rule of the Brothers, “evaluates all aspects of the life of the District.  It takes into account the local situation and it establishes a schedule of precise programs for renewal, adaptation, or growth to be implemented in the near future  […] in accordance with the directives and guidelines of the Church and of the Institute.” (Rule, 137)

About the significance of this District Chapter, Brother Visitor Donald Johanson, FSC, said, “The pandemic and the social upheaval of the past 20 months formed a unique context for this Chapter.  The Brothers’ work here was to examine both emerging and ongoing needs, and then to identify the best faith-filled way forward for our Brothers and Partners as leaders in the mission and in the life of our District.”

Planning for the Chapter began several months in advance, led by a six-Brother preparatory committee. During that time, dates were set, Brother Delegates and the Chapter’s Central Committee were elected, and general arrangements and communications were handled.

The general schedule of the Chapter included plenary meetings, afternoon Committee meetings, daily Mass and prayer/reflection periods, and evening socials […].

[…] On the first evening, the Chapter adopted its working Committees and focus areas:

  • Communities: Brother Health and Pastoral Needs
  • Apostolate: Brother Association in Mission
  • District: Governance & Finance

The first full day of the Chapter began with an Opening Ritual. Candles were lit to symbolically represent the Communities and Ministries of the District, whose intentions and needs the Delegates would keep in mind and prayer during their deliberations. Brother Donald then presented a “State of the District” address, commenting on developments in different areas of the District since 2014, the date of the creation of this new District. […]

The following day got underway with a presentation by Office of Education (OOE) Director Michael Daniels and Director of Leadership Formation Janell Kloosterman, AFSC on the OOE’s work and the current realities and opportunities that challenge the ministries, most recently issues stemming from the Covid pandemic […].

The last day of the Chapter included a presentation from Brother Timothy Coldwell, FSC, RELAN General Councilor, “A Universal Church, A Worldwide Institute,” which reflected on the harmony between the actions and direction of our District, Region, and international Institute […].  In the evening, Mass and a formal closing dinner concluded this session of the 2nd District Chapter.

[…] In a letter to the Brothers following the Chapter, the Central Committee concluded, “We approach the continuation of our work as the Second District Chapter of the District of San Francisco New Orleans with optimism and hope. […] We appreciate your continued prayers and support for this important work.”

*The text has been adapted for the Institute’s website by Ilaria Iadeluca (
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** All photos courtesy Br. James Joost, FSC.