NEW DATES FOR THE XXI GENERAL CHAPTER
Dear Confreres and Lay Spiritan Associates,
Greetings from the generalate in Rome. I hope and pray that you, the members of your local community and of your family are keeping safe and well in the extraordinarily difficult circumstances in which we find ourselves as a global community.
As you are aware, the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life has given permission for General Chapters to be postponed sine die in view of the present Covid-19 pandemic. On 15th April 2020, the General Council took a decision to postpone indefinitely the 21st General Chapter of the Congregation, scheduled for 14th June – 11th July, with the hope that it might eventually be possible to hold it in October-November 2020, if the situation were to evolve favourably in the meantime.
As the pandemic unfortunately continues to spread globally and predictions of a possible second wave of the virus later in the year become more prevalent, it is now clear that international travel restrictions are likely to remain in place for many months to come in the absence of a widely available vaccine or cure. Against this background, it is not possible to envisage a large international gathering, such as a General Chapter, before the end of the current calendar year or indeed in the early months of 2021. Accordingly, the General Council at its meeting on 22nd July 2020, following consultation with the Province of Poland and the authorities at Lichen, decided to reschedule the General Chapter for 30th May – 26th June, 2021. This decision is in line with that of the many other religious congregations who are in a similar situation according to information we have received from the USG and UISG.
Francis Libermann spoke often about the need to wait patiently for God’s moment in history in the knowledge that we are not masters of our own destiny. (cf., for example, N.D. IX, 328; L.S., II, 457). In regard to his own difficult personal journey he once wrote: “Our Lord wishes our business to drag on. Every step I take must have its hitches and delays, so that I learn to abandon everything into his hands and rest in him in everything” (N.D. II, 443). In the same spirit of patient trust in Providence we leave our Chapter in God’s hands as we continue to remain in prayerful solidarity with each other, particularly with the communities and circumscriptions that have been most affected by the pandemic.
Yours fraternally in the Holy Spirit,
John Fogarty, C.S.Sp.