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26.09.2022 14:41:35 238x read.
Congregational Conference 2022, Day 4. (Reported by Bro. Wim Luiten)

Congregational Conference 2022, Day 4

(Reported by Bro. Wim Luiten)

After a number of wet days with heavy rain fall, Thursday, 22 of September began as a clear, dry and sunny day. This was indeed a welcome change.  We were all well and in good spirit. We started our morning with a prayer service led by bro. Lawrence Sitima from Malawi. He had chosen as a theme: Leadership as God would expect it. His choice was inspired by the writings of our co-founder Bro. Bernard Hoecken, which he took from the Rules of Conduct for Superiors. So we began the day with this fine inspiration.


Session one of the morning begun with the discussion of General Chapter resolution 17A namely: Formulating and pursuance of specific community missions. This resolution enjoins all communities to (re)formulate a specific community mission and pursue it. We believe that each FIC community was established for a purpose. The discernment of such a mission statement of our communities should be based on the Gospel values, the history of the community and in accordance with the signs of the times. Bro. Raphael, who made the first presentation, posed the following questions to help us go deeper into what we refer to as community mission.

  1. Do we share our apostolic experiences with one another in the community?
  2. How do I view my apostolic motivation or studies as connected with connected with the Spirit of our Founders?

In formulating a community mission for the first time, the following must be taken into consideration, among others:

a) Brothers should be aware that they are representatives of their communities and not just individuals.

b) The role of the individual brother in realizing a community mission is very important, thus being a community means that all brothers actively engage themselves as members of the community.

c) Brothers from a community should be interested in the apostolate of each individual brother in their community. 

d) Awareness should be created that the individual apostolate forms part of the Congregational mission. All should feel part of the general mission.

After this the provincial superiors shared how their provinces went about the implementation of the resolution. It was clear from their presentations that they are at different levels of implementation, and even the style of implementation is slightly different. However, all provincial superiors resolved to encourage the brothers to take this exercise seriously.  

In the second part of the presentation, Bro. Theo Suwaryanto gave a model of how the GC community in Maastricht adhered to the implementation of the resolution. First, they had to dig into the history of the community and the inspiration behind the name ”Emmaus community”. After this a draft was composed after an initial community discussion. The draft was then updated after several community meetings. It took over a year before they finally came out with the community mission. He admitted that it is not easy to come out with a community mission, but it is an exercise worth pursuing.  

It was then time for the province of Indonesia to present their annual report to the Conference. Bro. Frans Dwiyatno gave an extensive insight into the joys and worries of the life and work of the brothers. As our largest province in terms number of brothers and apostolic tasks, they are doing their utmost to be of service to one another and the people they work for. There are worries about lack of new vocations and to be able to have sufficient brothers to lead in the apostolic projects into the future. The participants expressed their great admiration for the mission of the brothers in Indonesia.

During siesta time we had a sudden down-pour of rain again, and this resulted in a cool weather that kept all of us alert during the whole afternoon session. 

At 5 pm we met again and I could share something on the situation of the brothers in The Netherlands. The participants were grateful to hear how we as older brothers are becoming a community of the Religious House, The Netherlands, and how we try to make life possible for all of us and look after the well-being and care for our vulnerable brothers. Participants were very grateful and wished all the brothers well in their present situation.  

After some observations were made and issues clarified, we closed the day with the celebration of the Eucharist, thanking God for a fruitful day.

Reported by Bro. Wim Luiten.

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