Pre-Chapter Preparation: Xaverian Associates

Wp associates
 

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 Xaverian Brothers, associates, and collaborators are a true religious family, striving to fulfill the spiritual aspirations that Theodore James Ryken had for his Congregation. Following the path of our Founder, we are called to live ordinary lives that give witness to God’s unconditional love.”

Suggested Practices:

(1) I think that Associate Gail Dennig’s description of the Xaverian Associate charism contains most of what I would suggest for the Associate program.

(2) The Director should work carefully on the quality control of the program in terms of its finances, its provision for quality input at area meetings and large assemblies, his establishment of best practices for groups throughout the country, and his collaborative approach with the Associates and the Brothers.

(3) The Brothers shall be encouraged to take part in Associate gatherings.

(4) We need to plan ways in which the Associates, can more easily be “in communication with the Brothers”

(5) We need to plan retreats, assemblies, etc. open to both Brothers and Associates

(6) Associates along with Brothers could serve as area coordinators and be the “face” of the GS and lead area meetings and prayer gatherings.

(7) Explore concept of temporary membership especially with the single male teachers in the XBSS schools.

(8) Have specific times and events for meetings with the various Associate members.

(9) Keep Brothers informed about Associates

 

SPECIFIC STATEMENT FROM DESCRIPTION:

“In a spirit of hospitality…try to be approachable/available as true Brothers/sisters who welcome others and accompany them in joys and sorrows.”

Suggested Practices:

(1) Kind

(2) give witness

(3) Participate in regional meetings of Associates

(4) Invite prospective members into the Associate program.

(5) Provide resources for prayer and reflection on Xaverian Spirituality to the Associates.

 

SPECIFIC STATEMENT FROM DESCRIPTION:

“…place ourselves in humble service to Jesus through our service to others.”

Suggested Practices:

(1) Challenge Associates to develop ideas whereby they could participate more fully in this concept

 

SPECIFIC STATEMENT FROM DESCRIPTION:

“A band of Brothers who mutually help encourage, and edify one another and who work together.”

Suggested Practices:

(1) List our Associates in the Xaveriana and their ministries

(2) Invite Associates to think of living for a period of time with/Brother(s) – or for regular prayer or get- togethers.

 

SPECIFIC STATEMENT FROM DESCRIPTION:

“As consecrated lay men, we Xaverians freely choose an ‘ordinary life’ without privilege or entitlement…” etc

Suggested Practices:

(1) As we grow more accustomed to involving our Xaverian Associates into our unspectacular lives, we need to discern together through area meetings, and our Area Coordinators, common, ordinary ways of inviting local Associates into the every day-ness of our prayer, communal and liturgical lives.

 

SPECIFIC STATEMENT FROM DESCRIPTION:

“It is through our life of Gospel witness … 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 Associate’s daily prayer will include an exam of the quality of his/her presence to all those whom God sends into his/her life.

 

SPECIFIC STATEMENT FROM DESCRIPTION:

“We believe that the Xaverian calling is a way of being put in our place in the world…from which we receive the grace to … fall in love with God…”

Suggested Practices:

(1) Recognizing his need to nurture his love relationship with God, each Associate will seek out such appropriate resources as spiritual direction, days of recollection, retreat, faith sharing groups, lectures and course work to supplement /her his daily/regular prayer life.

 

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 Xaverian Associates at all stages of life will take advantage of reading, attendance at lectures and other available resources.

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

     

    SPECIFIC STATEMENT FROM DESCRIPTION:

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

    Suggested Practices:

    (1) We need to plan more ways in which Brothers and Associates work together, more intentionally, with us in the common mission to the poor and marginalized.

     

    OTHER STATEMENTS FOR CONSIDERATION:

    (1) I don’t know enough about this right now in order to suggest practices to incorporate.

    (2) No discussion about associates!


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One Comment

  1. Bonaventure Scully says:

    7/14/13 OCCASIONAL REFLECTIONS—bonaventure
    Xaverian Associates: why, what, where, who, when???I
    We Xaverian Brothers are now in our fourth year with our Associate members and questions and need for clarification continues. I have been involved since Larry Harvey ask Rich Costello and his wife to do the initial planning. Larry must have seen an opportunity here to initiate the first steps to form such new membership. Many years earlier I had proposed diversifying our membership and Matthew made complete and thorough proposal when he was in leadership. So, I would like to personally explain associates or alternate membership from my point of view.

    Right now we have 44 current members plus two ones as of last week end’s orientation with regional groups in MD(2), Brooklyn/NY, KY, and NE. These regions meet periodically as they decide, i.e. monthly, four times a year etc. for prayer, sharing their lives and ministries. Each region has brother moderators and associates are encouraged to take leadership for the meetings.

    RATIONALE
    Why associate members? Why not? We are inviting those who know and in some way already associate with us to share our spiritual life, our spirit or charism, our ‘way’ and our ministries and we in turn share in their ‘way’, their spirituality. Of course. such association enhances and expands our own religious life. . In a short time associates have become a part of us. 4409 refers to ‘Xaverian Brothers and Associates’. Future possibilities seem many and right now maybe too soon to grasp.

    Such association is far from new in our Church; Benedictine oblates, Third Order Franciscans, Ignatian Volunteers and many religious women congregations.

    NATURE-WHY? Our associates are non-vowed members with a limited, annual commitment to share our faith life with a commitment to a prayer life, to service to the poor, and community formation with us. We brothers and our associates faith share mutually growing and maturing in our Catholic life.
    Associates formally commit themselves in a simple ceremony and renew this commitment as they so chose. All have so far renewed their commitment.

    XBA help diversify our membership and they enhance our vowed commitment. The future is wide open to future possibilities such as participation in our missions and, or, other corporate ministries

    WHERE? Associates and brothers form regional cells where it is possible and convenient.

    WHO? New members are nominated by brothers and other associates with annual commitment retreats.

    NEXT JUNE : A RETREAT IS SET FOR ALL BROTHERS AND ASSOCIATES @ MARRIOTTSVILE.
    ALL ARE ENCOURAGED TO COME.

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