The chapter will take place from 5 to 17 June 2017 in Vught (the Netherlands), in the convent ZIN, which belongs to our CMM brothers. As far as the election procedure for the delegates is concerned, each part of the congregation has received the required information via their own provincial council.
The following theme has been chosen for this chapter: ‘trusting in the power of the Spirit’ thereby referring to a phrase from text no. 4 of our constitutions. We believe that this theme will immediately put us on the right path to holding a chapter, for we certainly cannot do this on our own. It also calls on us to keep faith and that is an attitude, which we will need very much, in particular during these difficult times.
I would also like to refer again to article 142 of our constitutions, which states that ‘Every sister has the right to participate in the preparatory work of the chapter and to send wishes and suggestions for a general chapter’. Of course, this right may also be exercised in a group for ‘opportunities must be provided to ensure this’.
Dear sisters, let us remember this chapter in our prayers and let us work together to turn it into something good. We do not hold the future in our hands, but we should not pretend that we have no responsibility for the future. Our Pope Francis tells us: ‘He who has met Christ and who follows Him faithfully, is a messenger of the joy of the Spirit. Thanks solely to this encounter or renewed encounter with God’s love, we are liberated from our narrowness and self-absorption.’(The Joy of the Gospel, no.8). This thought may assist us, for some of us, including our elderly sisters and the sick, may think that they may not make much of a difference anymore, but that is not true. As far as God is concerned, what counts is not what we do but who we are. Mercy has been given to all of us as God’s gift and His command.
Let us live in this way in the coming months on our way to the general chapter.