Provincial Chapter 2021

Provincial Chapter: definition, process and stakes

Initially planned for April but postponed due to health restrictions, the next Chapter of the Europe-Togo Province of the Sisters of Our Lady of the Cenacle will take place in Rome from 25 September to 4 October 2021.

A first virtual meeting was nevertheless held from 23 to 25 April to launch this major event for the congregation. It brought together 70 participants, sisters and lay people, for 3 days, on the theme of “How do the challenges facing the Church affect us?”. An article dedicated to this first meeting is available here.


What is a Provincial Chapter?

It is a gathering that takes place every 6 years for all the sisters who are able to attend, in order to:

  • Elect delegates to the General Chapter made up of the elected sisters from all the countries where the congregation is present.
  • Work on the theme proposed by the Superior General and her Council. The theme chosen by the General Government was first worked out with the leaders of different countries and their councillors.
  • Re-read the past 6 years of the life of the province (apostolic service, economic life, formation, community life, etc.). The rereading makes us aware of the calls of the world and the Church for our mission, calls that were heard and to which we may or may not have responded.
  • Listen together to the Spirit of God to discern what new steps we need to take the directions and means we need to take for its implementation over the next 6 years. This year, we know that we need to address the important subject of Safeguarding.
  • Work on the subjects that the Province wishes to see dealt with by the General Chapter.


How does a Provincial Chapter take place?

Each sister comes from a country and a local community to which we belong. During a celebration, we symbolically make the important passage of leaving our place of belonging to form an assembly at the service of the whole province.

Coming from different countries, and therefore with different languages (English, French, Italian, etc.), we rely on the competence of interpreters, even if some of us are at ease with several languages. This requires patience and a friendly atmosphere.

Throughout the chapter we pray together and personally ask for the grace of availability and inner freedom.

A professional facilitator accompanies us throughout the Chapter to help us work in large and small groups and to discern the choices to be made.

In listening to each other, we move forward step by step, together. At the same time, we risk exposing our personal convictions and we try to welcome those of others to allow ourselves to be transformed. In this way, we seek to discern and let emerge the focus for the mission, points of attention for our religious life.


How is the voting done?

In electing the delegates to the General Chapter, each one, in good conscience, ensures that they are representative not of a community, but of culture, language, age and responsibility. And it is important that the delegates are able to work over the long term, in a very international group.


How does the Provincial Chapter end?

During a final celebration that closes this strong spiritual experience, this shared responsibility at the service of the congregation and its mission, the sister responsible for the province gives the delegates the mission to participate in the General Chapter on our behalf and sends each of the sisters to her community.


By Sister Lydia and Sister Erica, Versailles community (France).

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Provincial Chapter: definition, process and stakes
Provincial Chapter: definition, process and stakes
Provincial Chapter: definition, process and stakes
Provincial Chapter: definition, process and stakes
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