On the home straight to the General Chapter
The Preparatory Commission for the 69th General Chapter of the Hospitaller Order of St John of God is meeting on 19-20 April, 2018 in Rome, to finalise the working document which will be sent out to all the Capitulars, and to decide on the last few practical details. Chapter will be held in Rome, on 14 January – 6 February 2019 in Rome.
The Commission had been meeting regularly for the past 2 years, and comprises Brother Rudolf Knopp, Brother Binish Mulackal, Brother Pascal Ahodegnon, Brother José-Antonio Soria, Brother Dairon Meneses, Mrs Silvia Farina and Mr Antoine Soubrier, Brother Massimo Villa and Brother Léopold Gnami were absent . Fr David Glenday, who will be moderating the Chapter, also took part in some of the working sessions.
During these 2 days, the members of the Commission have finalised the Instrumentum laboris, which is the document on which the Brothers attending Chapter will be working. A summary of the questions raised at the end of each item discussed was also examined by the Commission to enable the Capitulars to pick out the most important items at their working meetings during the Chapter. Brother Rudolf Knopp, the President of the Preparatory Commission, has also submitted a proposed agenda and programme, and the composition of the working groups. All these documents will have to be confirmed finally by the General Definitory.
In his opening address, Brother Jesús Etayo recalled the importance of approaching the forthcoming General Chapter not so much to find out how to survive, but rather how to reinforce and enhance the charism of the Hospitaller Order of Saint John of God. “The question is not about deciding what we will do with one house or another, but rather finding out what is our responsibility to the gift of hospitality which has been bequeathed to us”, he said. “The General Chapter has to give us an impetus in this direction and encourage reflection and personal commitment on the part of everyone.”
Moments were also set aside for prayer with the General Curia community during these 2 days’ work. This had been a particularly meaningful meeting this time, coinciding as it does with the week of prayer for vocations.