April 25, 2012
GENERAL CHAPTER 2012 - Eucharist
First reading : Is 58,7-10
Second reading : Ef. 5,8-14
Gospel : Mt 5, 13-16
A call to a prophetic mission
The theme chosen for this general chapter is “A call to a
prophetic mission” What relationship is there between this
theme and the readings we have just heard? It’s obvious that
there is a narrow link. During this general chapter we will
share on the way to realize, for our times, animated by our
charism, a prophetic mission in favor of children and the
young, to really be, salt of the earth and light of the world.
You are the salt of the earth
In the second reading of today and in the gospel,
we see that accomplishing a prophetic mission requires of us,
accepting the invitation of Jesus to be “salt of the earth and
light of the world”. Salt is the first of the images that Jesus
refers to (uses) to define the identity of his disciples. It’s a
common element in any culture; since always it’s been used to
give taste to food ( Jb 6,6). But, moreover in the biblical and
jewish culture, salt also meant «wisdom» (Col 4,-6; Mc 9,50). It
is not in vain that the latin languages, the words taste,
knowledge and wisdom have the same semantic roots. Salt
penetrates food to give it a better taste. In the same way, as
the disciples of Jesus did, we have received the Gospel not only
for ourselves but to commit ourselves in the construction of the
Kingdom, making the world in which we live a better place to
live in. Salt gives taste because it is different from the food
which it penetrates. We will give taste to humanity in as much
as, avoiding accommodating ourselves to a world that has
distanced itself from God, we identify ourselves with Jesus and
his gospel. If it is not so, we are like salt that has lost its
tastiness and that has become worthless.(Mt 5,13)
You are the light of the world
As Christians and religious, we are called to be
the light, an example of Jesus who says: “I am the light of the
world”. We are the light, first of all, by the witnessing of
our lives. The second reading invites us to let ourselves be
enlightened by Christ; this implies living like children of the
light, pleasing God in everything, demonstrating goodness,
practicing justice, being friends of truth, being transparent.
The light of the prophet shines before men
We have read in the Gospel: « May your light
shine before people so that they see the good things you do and
praise your father in heaven ». (Mt 5,16) Today, the Lord Jesus
entrusts his disciples the mission to be “the light of the world
and the salt of the earth». It refers to the light that must
illuminate everything with the good things – the good works –
that come with the fulfillment of the commandment of love and
Vision of Isaiah
The prophet shines before people with his life,
with his words and his good works. With all of this, he calls
the attention of people, he challenges, he moves them and awakes
in them the desire to commit themselves for the glory of God and
for the good of the people. The prophet is a just man. The
prophet is a just man who works to bring justice to his people
and so that people have mercy for the poor, for orphans and
for widows. He who helps the needy is light for the world. The
prophet Isaiah tells us in the first reading that our darkness
turns to light when we practice works of mercy and when we do
not close our hearts to the sufferings of the brothers. In
effect, shines as the aurora the light of who gives some of his
bread to the hungry, welcomes in his house he who does not have
a shelter, he who is not clothed; he meets the necessities of
the needy, he makes an effort to free people from the yoke of
the oppressor, from threats and maledictions. The just man is a
good man with the eyes of the Lord. The Lord is always with
him. God comes to meet the human being especially in the
person of Jesus and neighbor. The prophet sees God and meets
God especially in the poor. The poor is for the prophet a
“sacrament” of the presence of God. In the document from
Puebla, March 1979, it encourages us to look at the faces of
many people who suffer today of injustice and poverty , and « to
recognize in them the suffering traits, of Christ, the Lord, who
questions us, who challenges us. The faces of children
poverty-stricken before birth…, of exploited children… the faces
of young people, disoriented (and frustrated) for not being able
to find their place in society… of indigenous people, of
peasants, of workers, and of unemployed or underpaid people, of
marginalized people and of crowded urban people, of elderly
people…» (cf. Doc, of Puebla, No 31-39, March 23 1979).
André Coindre, prophet
“To rescue young people from ignorance , to
prepare for life, and to give them a knowledge and love of
religion, Father André Coindre, in 1821, founded the institute
of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart.” (Preamble of the Rule of
Life). André Coindre is the prophet who lives a profound
experience of God in a prophetic mission. This means that:
He sees the tender and compassionate heart of the
Lord and loves him with a love without reservation. He sees
the children and the young with the eyes of God and loves them
with the heart of God. The preferred ones are the most
neglected, those most affected by pressing unsatisfied needs.
Driven by love, he sets in motion very specific initiatives that
help them to form themselves as men who will do good for God,
for themselves and for others.
The prophetic mission of Father André Coindre and
to be the light and salt so that the children and
the young pass from A to B
life without meaning
Wisdom, knowledge (knowing how to live)
Give your Spirit to us Lord, and to all the
brothers and collaborators of our family to be salt of the
earth and light of the world of today accomplishing a truly
prophetic mission in the service of the children and the young,
minding especially for the most needy.
Send your Spirit, Lord, so that from this general chapter
derives abundant fruit for the children and the young,
recipients of our mission, for our religious family, for the
Church and for the world. Amen
Brother José Ignacio Carmona Ollo, S.C.
April 25, 2012
WORD OF WELCOME
(in the chapter
room, at the beginning of the session)
Brothers, welcome to each and everyone. With great joy, I
officially proclaim the beginning of this 35th general chapter.
We begin this chapter with the firm hope that the Lord is with
us. We prepare ourserves to experience a time of abundant graces
that must stimulate the institute to energize, to enliven its
prophetic mission with a renewed dynamism.
call to a prophetic mission» is the theme for our chapter. At
this moment of our history, The prophetic mission is a
tremendous challenge, an important responsibility and a great
opportunity for each and every brother and collaborator of our
prophetic mission begins and develops when we allow ourselves to
be guided by the Holy Spirit. It is He who touches our hearts so
that it may vibrate in resonance with the Heart of God as it
did for Father André Coindre.
our dear Founder, we feel profoundly loved by God especially as
we turn our compassionate look towards the open side of his Son.
With Father Coindre, let us respond today with love to the
Loving Lord, for our compassion on behalf of all his sons and
daughters, especially for the most needy children and young .
It’s a question of a compassion that has eyes to discover their
most urgent unmet needs; at the same time, it is a question of
being the hands and feet to respond to these needs in a concrete
way through a truly prophetic mission.
entrust ourselves today to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary and to
all our patrons, to Father Coindre, to Brother Xavier, to the
Venerable Brother Polycarp and to all our predecessors. That
through their intercession, this chapter produce the fruit that
God wishes and the fruit that we hope for.
Brother José Ignacio Carmona Ollo
General Chapter preparatory calendar
The general council will be in Rome December 8 to
24, 2009; February 22 to March 14, 2010; May 1 to June 10, 2010;
and August 1 to September 30, 2010. We will devote most of that
time to writing the first series of preparatory documents for
our General Chapter of 2012.
Here is the calendar for various steps in the
preparation process for the chapter:
Beginning November 30, 2009:
preliminary consultation among the entities regarding possible
topics to be dealt with during the General Chapter of 2012.
No later than February 15, 2010:
results of that preliminary consultation arrive in Rome.
December 8, 2010:
the chapter’s indiction and some preparatory documents are sent
to all entities (by e-mail and by regular mail).
December 8, 2010:
the date upon which the superior general in council will base
its decisions in determining the number of delegates and
be elected in each entity.
The year 2011:
preparation in all entities for the general chapter of 2012.
End of December 2011:
the general council will know the results of the elections for
delegates for the general chapter.
Beginning of January 2012:
official convocation of the chapter will be sent.
pre-chapter assemblies will take place.
March and April 2012:
preparation of final documents coming from the entities and from
the pre-chapter assemblies.
April 25 to May 25, 2012:
General Chapter in Rome.