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09.08.2018 03:24:18 197x read.
REPORT ON ACTIVITIES OF 2 (7TH AUGUST, 2018). General Chapter 2018



The three week-long and 6-yearly General Chapter of the Brothers of the Immaculate Concept of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Brothers FIC) which was formally opened on 6Th August, 2018 has ended its 2Nd day of deliberations. This short report aims at updating readers outside the chapter on what transpired today – 7Th August, 2018.


The General Chapter being the highest decision making body in the life of every Religious Congregation has a very serious responsibility entrusted to it. The outcome of the Chapter together with the direction the Congregation is to move in the next 6 years will largely depends not only on the individual and collective level of seriousness/commitment Chapter members bring to bear on their participation in all Chapter proceedings but also depends on the interventions of the Holy Spirit. Thus prayer must become the king-pin around which all Chapter events revolve. This is required of Chapter members as well as all non-chapter members of the Congregation and all who hold the Congregation at heart.



The foregoing explains why in this Chapter, prayer becomes a key component which precedes and ends each day’s activities. In leading prayer sessions, Provinces bring to bear their unique cultural identity and talents purposed not only to add flavor to our liturgical celebrations but more importantly to help the Brothers to pray. The day’s liturgy was led by Ghana Province under the theme “witnessing God’s love by making our gifts available for the service of mankind”. With adaptation of Psalm 136 the house was drawn into reflecting on how the Lord of the harvest has over the past 178 years touched/liberated countless people through the Brothers FIC Congregation. We praised God for inspiring our Msgr. Louis Rutten and Bro. Bernardus Hoecken to found our Congregation in the Netherlands. With mighty hand and through the actions of the Holy Spirit the Congregation spread over time to Indonesia, Chile, Malawi and Ghana.


Per the Chapter working schedule of week 1, most of the time is reserved for reactions on the General Council’s report. To this end, and as would have been reported yesterday, aside the official opening of the Chapter by the General Superior, time was devoted for consideration and approval of proposals 1, 2 and 27 which concerns appointment of chapter functionaries, proposals of order and presence of a substitute member from the Netherlands respectively. Furthermore, each Chapter delegate had the opportunity to express his expectation(s) of the Chapter. This paved way for presentation of the General Council’s report which was accepted by the house for further scrutiny and discussions. Provinces later took turns to give their general impressions on the GC report to close the first working day of the General Chapter.


The 2Nd day’s business discussion of the Chapter mainly dilated on Chapter 2 of the GC’s report. This chapter gave the house a clear picture of what has happened in the Congregation over the past 6-years. It encapsulates how the GC has functioned with the support of its auxiliary organs as well as the current situation of each of the five Provinces of the Congregation. In digesting this chapter, Provinces took turns to express their reactions to issues raised in this particular chapter of the report. The reactions were quite mixed; encompassing a wide range of topical points flagged up for either clarification or for further attention. At the end of the day, delegates had gained a better insight and appreciation of what is currently alive in the Congregation not only at the GC level but also in each Province. This knowledge included the joys and challenges of Provinces, new developments as well as their aspirations for the future.


As the chapter is expected to come out with resolutions at the end of the day to promote appropriate renewal as well as determine the course of navigation of the Congregation, it is incumbent that Chapter delegates fully know and appreciate what is alive in the entire Congregation so as to guide further discussions in the coming days and weeks. Thus, the day’s the deliberations sought to help Chapter delegates gain this insight. The day was meaningfully spent to excite the readiness of delegates for the discussions that will ensue in the succeeding days. 


We closed the day with a Eucharistic celebration presided over by the Chapter Moderator – Rev. Fr. Prof. Dr. Bernardus S. Mardiatmadja, S.J. So far so good. We are steadily making progress into the Chapter with no recorded ailment or excuses from delegates. As we strive to do the best we can in this Chapter, relying on the intervention of the Holy Spirit, we equally count on your accompanying prayers for a successful outcome of this General Chapter for the further development of our beloved congregation and service to God and humanity through credible witnessing to God’s love.


By Bro. Seregeous Dery

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