XXIII General Chapter - July 1st

July 1st 07
Opening ceremony and first day of work of the XXIII General Chapter

Throughout the week, little by little all the participants arrived in Loyola, first of all the sisters of the general level, later the secretaries and our facilitator Sr. Dolores Palencia and at last the capitulants. (See List of Participants)

At the end of the morning we gathered for a moving opening ceremony in which we celebrated the beginning of the Chapter. Each capitulant deposed the flag of the country in which she lives and received the symbol of the Chapter, a lovely wooden cross decorated with the Chapter logo.
By beginning with this gesture, Sr. Christine Barrière, General Superior, invited each one to become an active member of the General Chapter and to put her particular experience at the service of a greater reality, searching together with the others for what will be constructive for the entire congregation.
As her name was called each of the 48 capitulants responded: “Here I am, may your spirit guide me”, in this way echoing the second reading of the Sunday liturgy. (Gal 5: 13-18)

In her opening message, Sr. Christine linked the Word of God with the theme which will unite the different days of the Chapter: “God loved the world so much… What do we do with so great a love?”
She said to us: “To speak of the love of God who loved the world so much, is to speak of service and of gift, it is to experience the freedom of the Risen Christ; it is to live all things in the movement of the spirit. This is the experience that I hope each one of us will live during these days of the Chapter.”

In the afternoon, the capitulants began the first work of the chapter, studying the procedure and beginning the organisation of various committees.
The first day was rather full and for some sisters it will take a few days to recover from jet lag and for their stomachs to get used to the long Spanish days!