Today, Wednesday, May 14, marks the halfway point of the 45th General Chapter. In many ways, it seems as if we have all been here a long time. However, I suspect the second half of chapter will move more quickly than the first half. I must admit that this whole “paperless” plan has actually worked out amazingly well. The first question we are asked each day is whether everyone is connected. Google Drive has become a very familiar—and eminently useful and practical—part of this chapter. Hats off to Bro. Jesus Martin, Bro. Gus Sinco, and Bro. Alexander who are the core technology team. They are doing a great job!
As I mentioned in the last entry, this week is a key week as we all were assigned to one of seven thematic groups where we are drawing up proposals following a quite specific template to ensure consistency. I have the privilege of serving on the Vocation group with eleven other Brothers. Our moderator is Bro. Chris Patiño from the San Francisco District. Because he is bilingual, and most of the group are Spanish-speakers, he has proven to be a wise choice. Plus he is also a well-organized and insightful young Brother. Earlier today I asked him to share his experience of the Chapter thus far:
We really are blessed to have several young Brothers appointed to this Chapter; they add much our experience here on many levels, plus they are—to a man—wonderful Brothers.
Beginning this afternoon, each thematic group will present its proposals to the plenary (full) group of capitulants. That is when we will begin to see what concrete plans will emerge from this Chapter. Tomorrow, of course, is Founder’s Day, which will involve a mid-day liturgy with a special meal to follow. We are scheduled to have the rest of the afternoon off, unless a group needs to continue its work. Fortunately, my group is quite efficient, so I suspect we will be free—I hope!
Last Friday night at San Giuseppe, we found that with the appearance of Bro. Emmanuele, who works at San Giuseppe, several members of our SIEL group from 1990-91 were reunited for the evening. Needless to say, we all looked pretty different then, much more like the table of young Brothers in that last photo.
I think it’s time for another gelato review. On Bill Coughlan’s last evening in Rome, we went to the nearby “Al Vicoletto”; it’s close and cheap and I found the gelato very creamy and tasty. The toughest part of these visits in deciding which two or three flavors to sample. It really is hard to go wrong, although I’m partial to lampone (raspberry) combined with any variation of “cioccolata”. Your suggestions are always welcome!
On to Founder’s Day!