On this day, in 1988, Father Charles of Mount Argus was beatified by Pope John Paul II, during a General Chapter. This morning, before we began the day’s activities, Brother Laurence Finn read to us a message from the Pastor of the parish of Munstergeleen, where Blessed Charles was born:
As pastor of Munstergeleen in Holland, the parish where our and your Blessed Charles Houben was born, I want to congratulate cordially Fr. Ottaviano on his re-election! May Charles give him a special blessing for his responsible task. May he also bless and inspire all the members gathered for the chapter, so that they make good decisions for the future of your beautiful congregation. Monday October 16th will be the 18th aniversary of Charles’ Beatification; we pray here that day in the shrine for these intentions and vocations.
Harrie Broers, pastor Munstergeleen, Holland
This morning we concluded the discussion on the areas of restructuring; then we went on to look at the third version of the proposal on how we should proceed with the restructuring process. After this, I gave the redaction committee’s summary of the small groups’ reports on the skills and qualities which are needed in the General Council if we are to carry out this project of restructuring. (Bishop Boyle had warned us last week that when religious list the qualities they look for in their superiors, it can end up looking like a portrait of our Lord Jesus which no human being could ever match.) Father Ottaviano then gave us two examples of what a different kind of General Council could look like (which certainly livened up the proceedings), after which we went to lunch.
In the afternoon we met in regional groups to discuss the role of the General Council, the number of consultors we wish to elect, and possible names of people who would be suitable as General Consultors (the Discussio Meritorum). This was then brought back to the Assembly, the CCC went into private session to see where we should go from here and, when they came back, the General said that he would meet each regional group separately to listen to their views, etc. Father Patrick Rogers attended our regional group’s meeting with the General to act as translator.
This evening, after supper, a group of young musicians, who are friends of the Passionists in the Naples Province, sang some traditional Neapolitan songs for us.
As a light-hearted end to what was a very heavy day in the Chapter, here is a photograph of some of the possible candidates for General Consultor having an informal meeting in the garden.