Living the Spirit of our General Chapters


Living the Spirit of our General Chapters

“… God will communicate to us the light of his spirit if we invoke him with confidence.” (1830 letter to Fr. Tempier)

Whether it be about the scriptures in pieces from the Church like: The Joy of the Gospel, Laudato Si, Synodality or the themes of our General Chapters: Conversion,   Evangelizare Pauperibus Misit Me: Pauperes Evangelizantur, and Pilgrims of Hope in Communion and our own Province’s process of Forward Together – it seems that every few years we are invited to enter more deeply into new ways of being. We are invited to look back from whence we have come, and then allow ourselves to be drawn in, to be led by the Holy Spirit who speaks to us through the Pope, through the Body of Christ, our Founder(s) and through each other.

I am thinking of our Province’s process of “Forward Together” which led the way through ongoing Truth and Reconciliation and into Synodality. These led us into a way becoming and which became an extension of who we are.

We can choose to lapse into indifference or allow ourselves to being drawn into how we might ‘enlarge the space of our tents’ (ed. Isaiah 54:2.)

In light of what is happening throughout our world we find an urgency to return to Laudato Si along with other encyclicals and writings from the Church. In going back to them we see with enlightened hearts, through the eyes of our crucified Christ…

The Acts of the 36th General Chapter, Evangelizare Pauperibus Misit Me: Pauperes Evangelizantur” invited us to enter into a renewal of how we have been called and sent out… We can respond in a luke-warm manner or become passionate about a adventure.

This all begins with a group listening to the Spirit as she shares the next Chapter’s focus. We take tentative steps forward, returning to all that has gone before and then listening and acting upon the Spirit’s prompting. That was evident during this past Chapter as the Spirit spoke to each of the capitulants, giving them the name of the one to become the next Superior General. He was chosen and called from outside of the list of Capitulants, in fact he was called from a small Mission in the middle of the Sahara Desert.

The job for which he was chosen was to lead, animate and help enliven us as “Pilgrims in Hope of Communion”.

Just as the OMI Rule of Life is the living expression of the Mazenodian Charism, we are the embodiment of our Rule of Life as our hearts beat together as “Pilgrims in Hope of Communion”.

We are invited to enter and discover more about who we are and how we all enliven this way of being, as it is expressed in the Acts of the 37th General Chapter (in particular in the pages 19 through 39).

In light of walking as Pilgrims in hope of communion we continue to pray from the first Chapter of our Constitutions and Rule: “Our call… to live Christ Jesus… in apostolic community. To live Christ Jesus crucified… among the most abandoned. In the Church… proclaiming the Word… as prophets of the new world… with Mary Immaculate.

Blessed as we come together in a spirit of reciprocity, we walk as Pilgrims in Hope of Communion.


By Eleanor Rabnett