Pre-Chapter Preparation: Ministry at All Stages of Life

WP ministry

 

Below are the Brothers’ responses from the first phase of the pre-chapter reflections.  After reflecting on the Description of the Charism, the Brothers were asked to think about and discern what practices or exercises could be adopted by all members of the Congregation in order for us to live more deeply and intentionally the Charism of the Congregation.  Here the suggested practices from the Brothers are grouped according to specific statements from the Description that gave rise to each suggested practice.  You will see that certain themes are repeated. We did not want to combine similar practices in this document, but rather allow the Brothers to see all that was suggested, and thus see some common themes.  The Working Committees for the General Chapter will further refine these practices based on feedback received from the Brothers individually, or from community/area gatherings.

At this stage of the process, you are invited to reflect on this material both individually and in community or area gatherings.  Please identify what practices you support, or make suggestions as to any additional practices you think should be considered.  Please send group summaries or individual responses to Stephanie Stricker at the Generalate by 15 June 2013. (Sstricker@xaverianbrothers.org). Chapter Delegates have been encouraged to help organize gatherings, if possible.

 

SPECIFIC STATEMENT FROM DESCRIPTION:

“We believe that it is through our life of Gospel witness lived in community that we respond the Spirit’s summons ‘to manifest God’s care and compassionate love to people of the world in these times.'”

Suggested Practices:

(1)There seems to have been such a good response to the workshops run by Jane Thibodeau for our older men….Articles and books by people like Jane Thibodeau would be good reflection material for some of the “convenings” mentioned in my first proposal.

 

SPECIFIC STATEMENT FROM DESCRIPTION:

“We see our way of life as being intimately connected to our mission.”

Suggested Practices:

(1) Every brother will have to look to balance his obligations at the community and his ministry in or out of the community.

(2) Interest from the members of the community in ministries of their fellow-brothers can be an encouragement for them.

 

SPECIFIC STATEMENT FROM DESCRIPTION:

“Like Martha, we are transformed by that love and compelled to place impelled to ourselves in humble service to Jesus through our service to others.”

Suggested Practices:

(1) Regional gathers of Brothers to occur annually and one of which would deal with “ministry” – our ministry to one another in community and with the congregation and our ministry to the large world via our corporate and individual ministries.

 

SPECIFIC STATEMENT FROM DESCRIPTION:

“Like Martha we . . . place ourselves in humble service to Jesus through our service to others”

Suggested Practices:

(1) Periodically meet with Brothers and Associates to prayerfully discuss and examine how we carry this out.

 

SPECIFIC STATEMENT FROM DESCRIPTION:

“Sent as missionaries to the world…”

Suggested Practices:

(1) Find ways to be missionaries here at home

 

SPECIFIC STATEMENT FROM DESCRIPTION:

“Gospel witness lived in Community…”

Suggested Practices:

(1) Live in actual communities or meet regularly to share in one another’s formation and frequently.

 

SPECIFIC STATEMENT FROM DESCRIPTION:

“We are called to live our mission on the frontier, whether those frontiers are on the outskirts of society among…etc.

Suggested Practices:

(1) Brothers listed in the Xaveriana are listed by their ministry – (avoid term retired)
 
(2) Encourage Brothers to seek out ministry options regardless of income earned.

 

SPECIFIC STATEMENT FROM DESCRIPTION:

“We are called to live our mission on the frontiers…” etc.

Suggested Practices:

(1) Clarify the distinction between work and ministry.  Continue to identify a Xaverian way of ministry.

(2) As we get older and older, we can still be involved in ministry with our own Brothers, friends and Associates.

(3) Retired Brothers continue to minister to others in their area who are in need of help and assistance.  Example: Brothers living in senior housing or in the Brother’s retirement houses can find ample opportunity to help others less fortunate.

 

SPECIFIC STATEMENT FROM DESCRIPTION:

“We are sent as missionaries to the world to participate in the church’s mission of evangelization.”

Suggested Practices:

(1) That the General Superior and/or his assistants, during their annual visitation, encourage each Brother to think of concrete, doable ways to engage in missionary activities, even though he may be retired, infirm or incapacitated.

(2) Need to find ways of helping the US Brothers feel more aware of and part of the ministry in Africa, Haiti, Bolivia.  The video interviews with the Kenyan Postulants is a good start.

(3) Also, are there ways in which the African Brothers can become more aware of our sponsored schools, for example?

(4) Teach all peoples

(5) Leave the familiar and comfortable

(6) As we get older and older, we can still be involved in ministry with our own Brothers, friends and Associates.

(7) Retired Brothers continue to minister to others in their area who are in need of help and assistance. Example: Brothers living in senior housing or in the Brother’s retirement houses can find ample opportunity to help others less fortunate.

 

SPECIFIC STATEMENT FROM DESCRIPTION:

“Last sentence – we stand ready”

Suggested Practices:

(1) Ready to give witness to all

(2) Embrace the practices of poverty, celibacy, and obedience.

 

SPECIFIC STATEMENT FROM DESCRIPTION:

“Evangelization”

Suggested Practices:

(1) Offer and share ideas on specific ways each Brother can evangelize

 

SPECIFIC STATEMENT FROM DESCRIPTION:

“We place ourselves in humble service to Jesus through service to others”

Suggested Practices:

(1) Discern with community what God is calling one to.

 

SPECIFIC STATEMENT FROM DESCRIPTION:

“Religious never are really retired. Their ministry changes and on this way their busy activities prevent them to give to God the most important place.”

Suggested Practices:

(1) We have to find time and to look for another way of life with God in prayer, in gratitude for our life and for the congregation’s life. But besides that not to forget the fellow men and be more consciously together with our fellow-brothers, also in prayer.

 

SPECIFIC STATEMENT FROM DESCRIPTION:

Suggested Practices:
(1) Be more intentional that our ministries (esp. in Kenya and Haiti)  are more “Xaverian” ministries then simply ministries of the individual Brothers involved (and will vanish when the latter move on).

 

SPECIFIC STATEMENT FROM DESCRIPTION:

“In community we are encouraged to discover talents”

Suggested Practices:

(1) Try new ministries

 

SPECIFIC STATEMENT FROM DESCRIPTION:

“Poor and marginalized”

Suggested Practices:

(1) Each Brother who is able commit to 2 hours a week in direct service to the economically poor and marginalized

 

SPECIFIC STATEMENT FROM DESCRIPTION:

“We are sent as missionaries…”

Suggested Practices:

(1) Promote a better sense of being “missioned” by and for the Congregation.

 

SPECIFIC STATEMENT FROM DESCRIPTION:

“But we realize that education takes many forms.”

Suggested Practices:

(1) To make concrete what the mission of the congregation means; to settle what many forms of education means, also in the perspective of the education of our young brothers.

 

SPECIFIC STATEMENT FROM DESCRIPTION:

“our place in the Church is on the margins, in solidarity and availability among the people.”

Suggested Practices:

(1) In order to practice responsible awareness of current human needs, according to their personal abilities Brothers at all stages of life will take advantage of reading, attendance at lectures and other available resources.

(2) As much as possible, Brothers will use letter-writing and technology as ways to advocate for the needs of their sisters and brothers of all races and beliefs.

(3) Prayer will be considered as another form of advocacy.

 

SPECIFIC STATEMENT FROM DESCRIPTION:

“we see our way of life as being intimately connected with our mission.”

Suggested Practices:

(1) At least twice a year, each community or group of Brothers will meet to discern the nature and quality of their hospitable sharing with others of their communal lives.

 

SPECIFIC STATEMENT FROM DESCRIPTION:

“it is through our life of Gospel witness lived in community that we respond to the Spirit’s summons ‘to manifest God’s care and compassionate love to the people of the world in these times.'”

Suggested Practices:

(1) Part of each Brother’s daily prayer will include an examination of the quality of his fraternal presence to his Brothers and to all those whom God sends into his life.

 

SPECIFIC STATEMENT FROM DESCRIPTION:

“we are called to live our mission on the frontiers…and stand ready to leave the familiar and the comfortable to go throughout the world to teach all peoples.”

Suggested Practices:

(1) Periodically feature a brother’s ministerial outreach in the generalate bulletin or some other communication—interview with Chris Irr, for example.  We could begin with the three Xaverians who live in Virginia who are all in their 80’s, yet live the aspirations of the congregation in their outreach to the poor and marginalized/the environment/peace and justice.  They could serve as great models.  The brothers on Beechfield in Baltimore could be a second group featured, and the brothers in our retirement centers who continue to utilize their giftedness in service to others. Brothers in Belgium who also minister in their retired years  could also serve as great inspiration to the entire congregation. Spread the word…

(2) Could a retired brother or two volunteer for a short time to minister at the new trade school connected with the orphanage in Hinche, Haiti?  The contribution could be reinforcing math and/or English skills, as well as computer literacy. Details would be available in the fall of 2013 as the school develops its curriculum and needs in greater detail.

 

SPECIFIC STATEMENT FROM DESCRIPTION:

“WE BELIEVE THAT THE BEST WAY TO BRING OUT THE GIFTEDNESS IN AN INDIVIDUAL IS THROUGH EDUCATION.”

Suggested Practices:

(1) Let us make great efforts in order that all religious lessons in our two secondary schools in the Congo be given by brothers, which, it goes without saying, does not exclude that our brothers teach other subjects too.

 

SPECIFIC STATEMENT FROM DESCRIPTION:

“LIKE MARTHA, WE ARE TRANSFORMED BY THAT LOVE AND IMPELLED TO PLACE OURSELVES IN HUMBLE SERVICE TO JESUS THROUGH OUR SERVICE TO OTHERS”

Suggested Practices:

(1) That some brothers in the Congo, next to their congregational and professional charges, be, once a week, efficient members of one or other live ecclesiastical community! In this way they bear witness to God’s Church among us and contribute, in an enriching and encouraging way, to the formation of lay-people.

(2) If time allows it, it would be worthwhile if some brothers cooperated on vocational and pastoral committees and organized holiday-camps. These are ideal moments in order to have a considerable influence upon the human and spiritual growth of young people.


CLICK HERE FOR A PRINTABLE PDF VERSION

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*