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Schoenstatt
Apostolic Movement

On the way to the future – Sixth General Chapter of the Schoenstatt Fathers

By: Heinrich Brehm

Until 30 th August, 41 capitulars will meet in the Father House of the Community on Mount Sion, Vallendar. Collegially and in democratic co-responsibility, the will of God for the community and for its service in the Schoenstatt Movement and in the Church will be sought together and with providential faith. Together, strategic decisions are made for the coming years and priorities are set for the deployment of personnel. In addition to the important point of electing a new General Council, other international personnel matters must also be decided.

camino al futuro

A multicultural Chapter of a multicultural community

The 41 members of the Chapter come from 13 countries. The American continent makes up the largest group with 18 capitulars. Nine capitulars from five European countries will be present. Asia is represented by eight Indian Fathers and Nigeria, Burundi and South Africa provide a total of six African capitulars. For more than half of the capitulars it is their first participation in a General Chapter. Only 19 of the 41 participants have already attended a General Chapter one or more times. Looking at the age of the participants, 41.5% of the Chapter participants are younger than 50 years.

Challenges and future issues

Territorial Chapters, filiations and individual Fathers of the Secular Institute, founded on 18 July 1965 as the youngest branch of the Schoenstatt Movement, have submitted more than 80 motions for the Chapter to discuss and decide. In doing so, the community, which has been international since its foundation, will have to deal especially with the question of how the increasingly noticeable developments towards a multicultural, heterogeneous community, which now encompasses many generations, will affect it.

In view of the discussions about Schoenstatt’s founder, the Chapter is also challenged to address the question of how his mission and charism can be realized in the present time and in the future, how the community can be faithful to the charism and yet innovative. And last but not least, it is also important to discuss opportunities and challenges regarding the role of the community in a Movement whose apostolic and missionary dynamics are increasingly supported by lay people and want to be shaped by lay people as well.

These are just a few of the topics of an exciting General Chapter, which the Sion Community would like to conduct above all as a time of encounter with Jesus and renewal in following Jesus. In this sense, the community is grateful for the accompanying prayer throughout the international Schoenstatt Movement.

 

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