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General Chapter Opening Mass, June 26:
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General Chapter Closing Mass, July 22:
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Messaggio della Madre Generale a conclusione del XVI Capitolo Generale
Mensagem da Superiora Geral na conclusão do 16º Capítulo Geral
General Superior’s message at the conclusion of the 16th General Chapter
Mensaje de la Superiora General al concluir del 16º Capítulo General
Lettera di impegno
Carta de Compromisso
Letter of Commitment
Carta de compromiso
Portals for the Chapter Participants
General Chapter Prayer
General Chapter Logo
The whole world, the invitation received by Mother Cabrini to share the love of Jesus to the whole world.
The purple colouring, echoing the colour of the violets the young Frances put into paper boats she made as a child to symbolise her missionary dreams.
The enflamed Sacred Heart, representing the passion and energy of Jesus for the world and all its people, a passion shared by all his followers including the Missionary Sisters. This Sacred Heart filled with the indescribable Divine power, love and compassion.
The birds in flight, the image frequently used by Mother Cabrini to describe the freedom she experienced in following her loving Saviour, in spite of the difficulties and distractions of daily missionary life. The invitation to fly to Jesus in prayer and contemplation, is also echoed in the availability to go wherever the Spirit leads in response to the needs of the poor, dispossessed and marginalised.
Read more about the Chapter logo in the four languages HERE.
General Chapter Hymn by Sister Gabriela Aravel, MSC
Towards the General Chapter: Which is the origin of the word “Chapter”?
“What does capitulum mean?”
Since the 8th century, monks, after the prime hour, gathered to listen to the reading of a “chapter” (capitulum) of the Rule of St. Benedict. Gradually, the gathering itself was called “the chapter,” and the place where it was held: “the chapter house.” There were two types of “chapters” in monasteries:
1) The first was for Consultation: the Abbot would seek the advice of the community on some matter.
2) The second was for Formation: the Abbot would comment on the passage of the Rule just read.
The “General Chapter” was established by the Cistercians in 1195. All abbots met annually in Cîteaux (France).
In November 1215, the Fourth Lateran Council, which Francis attended, decided that religious Orders should celebrate chapters periodically as a means of reforming religious life, following the example of the Cistercians. Francis and his early followers began regular meetings for mutual encouragement and support, admonition and correction as they began their life together. Each of these would later be called capitulum (“chapter”) following the example of the Cistercians.
Towards the General Chapter: The General Chapter for the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
The General Chapter is a means of expression of unity, a privileged time of reflection, verification, and orientation in the communal search for God’s will for the Institute. In prayer and humble listening to the Spirit, the capitulants elect the members of the general leadership of the Institute, study, on the basis of the reports presented by the Superior General and the provincial superiors with their councils, the problems inherent in religious life, apostolic activity and the administration of goods throughout the Institute. They consider the reports prepared by the Provincial Chapters and examine the result of the consultations made among all the members of the Institute, relating them to the various historical-environmental situations in order to find together the solution and to arrive at decisions better responding to the Gospel, to the teaching of the Church, and to the spirit of Mother Cabrini.
The Ordinary General Chapter will be convoked every six years to elect the Superior General and part of her Council. It may also be convoked earlier if the office of Superior General remains vacant. An extraordinary General Chapter may be convoked by the Superior General. An extraordinary General Chapter may be convoked by the Superior General only for serious reasons with a deliberative vote of the General Council and the approval of the Holy See.
The acts of the General Chapter will be considered valid when, all the capitulars having been convoked, two-thirds of the capitulars are present at the proceedings.
The first General Chapter there was in 1910 decided by Mother Cabrini despite some initial reluctance of the sisters.
Read more about the MSC Chapter meaning in the four languages HERE.
Towards the General Chapter: Who participates in the General Chapter?
The General Chapter is attended by the General Council, provincials, regionals and delegates elected at provincial chapters. In the early years of the Institute these were appointed in the communities, only later did they begin to be elected during provincial chapters.
The Constitutions state:
“The component members of the General Chapter are thus:
ex officio: the Superior General
the general assistants
the provincial superiors
the regional superiors
Elected: professed sisters representing the different provinces, regions and missions, elected according to the Statutes and in a total number greater than that of the capitulars by right.“
The laity first began to take part in a General Chapter in 1990. During the first Chapters this component was small as only one person from each province participated. The laity have never been present for the entire duration of the Chapter but only for a few days and only when the mission is mentioned since they are directly involved.
In addition, the next General Chapter is attended by a commission that used to be exclusively pre-capitular and was in charge of presenting its work to the General Council; but this commission in the chapters of the past years did not take part in the General Chapter, which will be the case during this XVI General Chapter.
Also from the Constitutions we read that:
“The supreme extraordinary internal authority of the Institute resides in the General Chapter in session. Ordinarily, it resides in the Superior General who exercises it according to the Constitutions approved by the Chapter and the decisions deliberated by the Chapter itself. Resolutions are made by an absolute majority of votes. Modification of any point of the approved constitutions requires the consent of two-thirds and the approval of the Holy See, to which the authentic interpretation is also incumbent. All provisions issued by the General Chapter remain in force until the next General Chapter at which they may be confirmed, modified or abandoned.
The Ordinary General Chapter will be convoked every six years for the election of the Superior General and part of her Council. It may also be convoked earlier if the office of the Superior General remains vacant. An extraordinary General Chapter may be convoked by the Superior General. An extraordinary General Chapter may be convoked by the Superior General only for serious reasons with a deliberative vote of the General Council and the approval of the Holy See.“
Read more about the MSC Chapter participants in the four languages HERE.