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In recent days, the Chapter participants have analyzed the reality of the world around us, trying to envisage how it will be in ten years from now. Today, Monday, 18th September, the reflection focused on our institute, trying to develop a knowledge of ourselves as a global body. Over the next few days the capitulants and guests will reflect not only on what we are experiencing in today’s Institute, but also what the reality is likely to be 10 years from now.

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Prayer and SMSM Sisters Message

As per usual, the day began in the Chapter Hall with a simple morning prayer focused on the Gospel of the day, animated by the Brothers from the Province of North-Central Brazil Province.

Ben Consigli, coordinator of the Facilitating Commission, then read a message sent by Sister Georgeanne M. Donovan, Superior General of the Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary:

My wish for all of you is the gift of Shalom. It is a prayer for all that the word Shalom conveys for the Hebrew people: Completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord.

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What it means to be a member of the Institute

Part of the first week of the Chapter was dedicated to discovering what is new in the world and how each one is affected by this newness. This process opened up to the prospect of the future, trying to see the trends and what will happen 10 years from now.

Today, the focus shifted to the Chapter participants looking at the Institute, trying to discover and know what the Institute is and what is its future.

The objective at this stage of the process is not to find solutions to problems or to make decisions, but to talk about what it means to be a member of the Institute. After this step in the process, the participants will then try to bring together these two realities, the 'world' and ‘the Institute’, connecting them so that the Institute is not a reality that operates outside the world.

 

What it means to be a member of this body

The participants were seated at new work tables. Matthieu Daum, the facilitator, invited participants to enter into a generative listening exercise, seeking to try to articulate what it means to be a member of this body, the Marist Institute. He called attention to seven principles that should guide this generative listening:

  1. Slowing down and noticing more of what is present
  2. Listening with all my senses
  3. Listening to the words / images chosen
  4. Listening to the emotions conveyed by the person who is talking
  5. Suspending judgement
  6. Noticing what I don’t understand or what triggers questions for me, rather than what I don’t like about what I hear.
  7. Noticing what I feel as I listen to what is being said – and why?

You can see details of these elements here.

Guided by these principles, the capitulants were invited to share at the tables about what works well and what does not work well, in four aspects of Marist life:

  1. In the way we live
  2.  In how we are organized, how we function
  3. In our mission – particular in terms of who we work with to do our mission
  4. In our mission – and in particular in terms of who we serve.

In the morning, the first two themes were looked at. Each person thought of three positive and negative elements for each element. Then, in pairs, each one shared with the other their own responses. Each question was repeated with three different people.

In the afternoon session, from 3.00 to 5:15 pm, the same process was repeated for the last two items about mission: identifying positive and negative things, those that work or those that don’t. Partners were changed three times.

 

Reaping the fruits

At the end of the last session of the afternoon, the result of the day's work was collected. Each participant was invited to respond personally to three questions and then share in the group itself:

  • 1. What did you discover today?
  • 2. What caused the biggest surprise?
  • 3. How did you receive this experience of discovery?

The responses of the groups were collected and forwarded to Br. Teo Grajeda, assistant to the Facilitation Commission.

 

Eucharist ends the day's activities

On the eleventh day of the Chapter, the work of the day concluded with Mass at 6:45 pm, celebrated by the chaplain to the Chapter, Fr. Rodrigo Ortiz, OFM.

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