Directives of the 26th General Chapter

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MISSION FORMATION

As a Congregation in mission, we need to reflect on the unfolding Xaverian mission and how we respond to it.  Therefore, we urge Brothers to gather in community, intentional groups and regions to reflect, pray and discern our communal mission and our response to it.  The results of these gatherings should be sent to the congregational leadership.

We ask that an international commission be established to continue to promote the study and explication of our Founding Vision and Charism and its on-going implications for the life and mission of the Congregation.  A goal of this commission would be to provide a compelling articulation of Ryken’s vision, his choice of Francis Xavier as patron, and our congregational identity for our use in programs in initial and on-going formation.  Furthermore, this articulation will inform the ministry of the Brothers and their collaborators as we respond to the needs of the Church and the world today.

We are also asked to reflect continually on the witness we give in living out our mission in community.


COMMUNITY

We are now and have for some time experienced a crisis in our community life. For example, we have very few communities in the Congregation where young brothers can be sent to continue their formation in Xaverian religious life.  We urge the new general administration and all brothers to make the revitalization of our community life a priority.  We need to find ways to form communities that are prayerful and present to one another in more deeply personal ways, so that the Congregation becomes each brother’s primary source of life.

We ask that a task force be formed to pursue other forms of association, including volunteers, associate membership and temporary membership.


CONTEMPLATIVE STANCE

The General Chapter reminds each brother that the cultivation of the contemplative stance is impossible without setting aside time each day for personal and communal prayer, meditation, spiritual reading, and other practices, including those found in the statutes of our constitutions, that support a more prayerful style of life.

 Becoming men of prayer includes allowing God to convert us to an increasingly hospitable presence to each other, to those we serve and to our world.


SOLIDARITY WITH THE POOR AND MARGINALIZED

In the course of the coming twelve months, each Brother and each community are to examine prayerfully his and its personal practice of poverty and simplicity.  This includes consideration of style of life, common ownership, dependence on, availability and accountability to the community, and how we connect and interact with the social structures of the larger world. 

We ask that each geographical area of the Congregation examine and devise strategies to address the following calls:

  • How does each institution, community or ministry respond to the poor and marginalized? 
  • How do the Brothers make themselves more aware of the structures in society that make people poor and keep them poor? 
  • Does our work with the materially poor enable them to become agents in their own development? 
  • In Africa, above all, how do we move from a “charity model” to a self-sufficiency/development model of work?

We ask that the entire Congregation surface and address a particular social issue after input from all the geographical areas of the Congregation.


INTERNATIONALITY

Regardless of our community composition, we are called – as individuals and as a Congregation – to new ways of thinking, self-understanding, mission and support for one another throughout the world.

We ask that African brothers be increasingly involved in congregational and regional leadership, e.g. general administration, general council, committees, etc.

There should be a focused attempt to create (including adequate preparation, facilitation and animation) truly intentional, multi-cultural communities throughout the Congregation.


DISCERNING DIRECTION

The new congregational leadership will continue to evaluate the current structures of governance with a view to improving collaboration and co-responsibility among all the members of the Congregation.

  • What are the major impediments to personal and congregational discernment? 
  • How has the governance structure of the past twelve years helped us to take “a long, loving look at the real”? 
  • How do we promote discernment leading to a clearer vision and an improved capacity to “stand ready” to new direction?
  • What regional and/or geographical structures are needed that will give all the brothers the opportunity to participate in discerning our direction?

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