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19.08.2018 15:15:16 438x read.
Report General Chapter Denekamp, The Netherlands Saturday, 18th August 2018

Report General Chapter  Denekamp, The Netherlands

Saturday, 18th August 2018

This new day in the Chapter started with a morning prayer service led by The Religious House Netherlands (RHN) during which we specially remembered the 67th birthday of brother Martin Handoko, the sitting General Superior. This was a special birthday for him because it was the last time he was celebrating his birthday a General Superior of the Congregation.  For twelve years he has faithfully and dedicatedly served the brothers and the Congregation as a whole. We are very grateful to him for this brotherly service and we wish him a new future of good health and happiness  in being a witness of the Love of God in his future ministry.

Reflecting also on the theme "Our Founders", we recalled some important words of our founders from the beginning of the Congregation and the struggles they had to go through. In this way they expressed their believe and trust in God's Holy Providence,  that God will provide the needs of the community, despite their very poor start. Our founders believed the community would develop into something significant of which we are witnesses today.

Looking round in the chapter hall, we see brothers from five different countries all over the world. Despite  our different cultures, languages and backgrounds, we call ourselves brothers because we want to witness to the love of God especially to the most needy among us by, among others, spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ.

The first session of the morning was devoted to the report of the financial verification committee. This committee has been working for the past week to investigate if the data in the financial report presented by the General Council are correct. They were also to check whether the General Council has managed the capital of the congregation in accordance with the financial regulations laid down by the congregation. They expressed satisfaction at the end of the report and proposed to the General Chapter 2018 to clear the GC form its financial responsibility and administration of the capital for the years 2012 - 2017. Through a unanimous vote, the report of the General Council was formally accepted. 

After a break the business of the day continued, this time with the discussion of proposals 14, 15, 16, 18 and 31. These proposals are closely related and have something to do with the FIC gift policy of the General Council. The common understanding was that part of the gift budget would be used to finance projects mainly aimed at the poor in our provinces. A percentage of the yearly gift budget could be used to establish a solidarity fund meant to cover extra-ordinary expenses of provincial projects for the poor.  This idea is meant to strengthen the sense of unity and solidarity while assisting weaker provinces to establish themselves with the aim of achieving self-sustaining status in the shortest possible time. To do this our sense of solidarity needs to be strengthened.

The afternoon session was declared "free time" to enable some members re-work on some proposals.  Some brothers decided to go for a walk to stretch their limbs after sitting many hours in the chapter hall or take a good siesta to recover from the restless night due to serious cold and cough which has spread like bush fire among the chapter members. 

In the evening we ended the week with a Eucharistic celebration to thank God for his presence among us in our deliberations of the past week. There was a further  celebration of  Bro. Martinus'  birthday with a few brief speeches in his honour during the Eucharist.

Bro. Wim Luiten

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