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XXIII General Chapter
In many ways, Friday, June 5, was a day of celebration at the General Chapter. It began with Eucharist at which Fr. John van den Hengel was the main celebrant. It was his 50th anniversary of priesthood. Then it was on to a visit with Pope Francis who set aside a prepared text to freely speak with the SCJs, noting his familiarity with the congregation, its work and its charism. He mentioned Bishop Virginio Bressanelli, the former…
  Much of the chapter’s work on Thursday was in small groups. In the meeting hall there were only a few business items: information about the next day’s visit with Pope Francis, approval of a statement from the chapter on the persecution of Christians, a presentation on the use of DehonDocs, and a look at the tenth anniversary website produced by “Dein Reich Komme,” a publication of the German Province. However, during one of the presentations participants were reminded…
The first item of business at the General Chapter on Wednesday was the four motions. The first called for a public statement of solidarity to be made by the congregation on behalf of persecuted Christians. “It is estimated that 50 million Christians are persecuted each year, yet this issue rarely gets the attention of the media,” said Fr. Pedro Fernandes Coutinho In presenting the motion. Capitulars agreed that the concern is significant but that instead of directing attention solely…
Each day's session begins in prayer.   The “Preferential Option for the Poor” and  “Mission” were the final themes to be fleshed out in the small groups at the General Chapter.  As noted previously, the work of developing these themes is vital for the new general administration as it sets priorities for its work and the needs of the congregation in the future.  Each theme continued to receive a three-fold review: what gives inspiration to the theme, what commitments does the…
Moving into its the third and final week, the chapter continued to develop themes and priorities for the congregation. This work is vital in giving the new administration direction as it sets the course for the congregation’s future. The first small group discussions were on the topic of “Fraternal Life in Community.” As with their discussions on Friday, the capitulars were asked to identify sources of inspiration for the theme but also to list practical steps that…
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