Today the General Chapter completed the voting process for approving the seven pathways that we will follow toward the dream we articulated last week: “We are one Lasallian Family, of different vocations, leaven for a more fraternal world, sent forth, to encounter God in those who are poor and to promote justice.”
“Chapter” has a double meaning. It is a canonical word, a word taken from religious communities to speak of assemblies that care for the life of the community. But it also refers to the narrative history that we write. In that light, these three weeks are the introductory paragraphs of chapter 46 in our multi-volumed history.
Here in the Aula Magna, we are surrounded by portraits of past superiors, symbols of the tens of thousands of Brothers whose lives and witness have written the story and legacy we share. They remind us of our tradition and subtly remind capitulants to ensure it is a living tradition. A critical chapter function, then, is the election of Institute leaders who will breathe new life into the communities composing the story.
Yesterday we elected Brother Superior and today Brother Vicar. Both begin their service with deep and broad support. It’s remarkable, really, that our Institute is blessed with men of such profound talent. It is a testament to the profundity of our educational spirituality and fraternity and the depth of God’s love for us that we have these men to call our brothers and leaders.
The elections of Brothers Armin and Carlos have provided touching moments, but there was an equally touching one when we honored Rodolfo Meoli, Postulator General, who completes his term now, having served during the administrations of John Johnston, Álvaro Rodriguez and Bob Schieler. We warmly applauded him several times, the last time as he walked from the back of the Aula and out through the front door. If as John O’Donahue wrote “Tradition is to the community what memory is to the individual,” then the Aula Magna today provided a place for both to be held close to the heart.
Brother Timothy Coldwell, FSC, is General Councilor for the Lasallian Region of North America. He is providing reflections throughout the 46th General Chapter, which are being shared on Lasallian.info and on Facebook and Twitter. Learn more about the General Chapter here and from the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. Search #FSC46GC on social media for more highlights. Visit the General Councilor’s page for more reflections from Brother Tim >
Photos courtesy Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools Communications Service