This Work of God’s is Also Ours!
From the Paschal mystery to Pentecost! From Parmenie to the “noise” of the city!
By Br. Dennis Malloy, FSC
Having completed the Acts of the Chapter and the revision of The Rule, the 45th General Chapter came to a close on Saturday afternoon beginning in the Aula Magna with an inspired and well received closing presentation from the new Superior General, our own Bob Schieler, and with the formal passing of the motions for closure by the Chapter Delegates. With great relief, we left that auditorium where we had spent countless hours over the past seven weeks, and made our way to the fresh air and clear sunlight of the Garden of Parmenie where the Chapter began. From there, and keeping you near in our thoughts, we shared prayers of thanksgiving and praise, and through the symbolic tying of colored ribbons around the Parmenie cross, we sent blessings forth to all who share in the Lasallian Mission. Finally, we moved away from Parmenie, and processed into the Chapel to recommit ourselves to “This work of God’s which is also ours.”
Motivated initially by the letter of the principal Brothers to De La Salle at Parmenie in 1714, we had lived the experience of the first Brothers in these fifty days, sometimes confused and overwhelmed but coming to a renewed sense of hope and action for the future. For the Founder, Parmenie was a place of refuge and re-examination, interrupted by the Brothers who ordered him back to Paris to take up again the leadership of this fledgling mission. In the words of a very wise Brother at this Chapter,“It is time now to leave our Parmenie and return to our Brothers and Partners, to take up again with them our mission in the “noise” of the city!”
The past two weeks were grueling as we worked diligently but with pressure to complete the revision of The Rule. It was not at all clear through the first week that we could meet this goal as we struggled with the challenges of language, culture, and the fatigue that comes with so much human contact, multiple daily meetings, listening intently, and working to build consensus. While there were some impassioned and robust exchanges in the plenary sessions in the Aula Magna, the spirit of fraternity was vibrant and good will prevailed.
As we reflected on our work, we began to appreciate the clear and strong threads that had emerged: the integral significance of evangelization and catechesis for our lives and mission; a deepened commitment to provide a human and Christian education to the poor; a greater call to go beyond our borders geographically and metaphorically; the internationality of our vocation which allows us to be called and sent to those places where we are most needed; and, the courage to be more open to the Spirit in recognizing and promoting the vocation of our Partners with whom we are associated in the Lasallian mission and charism.
In Brother Bob Schieler’s presentation (which follows), he does a masterful and clear job of weaving together all the elements of this Chapter: the charismatic, the historical, the pedagogical, the ecclesial, the “Francis effect”, and the immediate discernment and actions of the 45th General Chapter which has been so richly informed and inspired by all the meetings and assemblies that have contributed to it over these past two years of preparation. He also sets forth with faith and energy, the broad strokes of his vision for these next seven years.
Please take the time to view Brother Bob’s presentation and read his presentation through the links below.
Come Holy Ghost, Creator Blest!
Live Jesus in our hearts and in the hearts of our educational communities!