On Wednesday 21st June the Franciscan Missionaries of St Joseph concluded their Chapter.
Here is a brief report:
21 June chapter summary
This is the last of our chapter summaries. As we write, the rest of the sisters are cleaning up after supper in preparation for the end of the chapter social and entertainment – always a great laugh! So the day began with a simple prayer service, led by the UK area, celebrating the life of St. Aloysius Gonzaga.
In the morning and early afternoon, we continued the business of the chapter, voting on the various Constitutions, Directives and chapter recommendations which you will all see soon in the post chapter document. Mgr. Paul Smith, parish priest of St. Charles, Swinton, celebrated the liturgy for us. He spoke about remembering the past, living in the present and planning for the future in the spirit of Francis and Alice Ingham. He asked:
how can we live our missionary lives today?
noting that the question was basically the work of the chapter that we had been doing all along. He used one of the alternative Eucharistic prayers, praying that we all be faithful to proclaiming the Gospel today in our missionary vocation.
After finishing the business, we had a lovely closing ceremony. Sr. Paula, our facilitator, anointed each of us as we prayed for one another to go forth from the chapter, returning to our communities. Each sister wrote a blessing and placed it in the small boxes that we had at the opening ceremony (filled with our hopes for the chapter at the ceremony). At the end of the prayer, we all took a box and read the blessing that was meant for us. Sister Maureen took the opportunity to thank all the people who had made the chapter possible, the sisters of the Congregation who prayed for us throughout it, and the Regional Leaders and teams, as well as the Congregational Leadership Team, who had been so supportive of her over the past 6 years. Sr. Anne Moore also thanked Sr. Maureen for her generous leadership.
Tomorrow morning Bishop John Arnold, Bishop of Salford, will celebrate the closing Liturgy for us.