DAY NINE: (22 September) Working on the theme of the Chapter
September 23rd, 2016 – 36th General Chapter
The Oblate scholastics in Pune, India, joined the Chapter through a video and a Morning Prayer prepared by them.
As part of the prayer, Fr. Alberto Huamán gave a brief conference, accompanied by touching images, concerning the new faces of the poor and abandoned. This is an excerpt from his talk:
“Here are some new types of poverty and vulnerability in which we are called to recognize Christ: the homeless, drug addicts, refugees, indigenous people, older adults who are increasingly alone and abandoned, migrants, victims of trafficking of persons, women who are doubly poor and who suffer from exclusion, abuse and violence, unborn children. In all these cases, it is a question of the defense of life and human rights.
“To this we add the vulnerability of creation which is at the mercy of economic interests and indiscriminate exploitation; this leads to global warming and destruction of the environment, the desertification of the land, ecological illness, even changing the wonderful marine and coastal world into cemeteries stripped of life and color.”
For the rest of the day, the capitulars went into the groups they had chosen to discuss the themes designated on the previous day. The methodology for the discussion includes the following:
1. Identify the questions, problems or concerns related to each theme as well as the context of these concerns.
2. Identify our resources to address these issues: intellectual, practical, scriptural, ecclesial, congregational, etc.
3. Discern the calls for our Congregation resulting from the above.
4. Choose orientations and strategies at the local, regional and congregational level.
5. Draw up the implications of any proposals: financial, formation, etc.
In mid-afternoon, there was a brief plenary session so that the capitulars could simply communicate how the method is working for their group. Then they went back to their groups to continue preparing a document to be presented to the Chapter in coming days.