Go and repair my church: Chapter gets personal
Reflection of Provincial Minister John Puodziunas, OFM (ABVM)
Pace e bene
from Assisi. I hope you are receiving and enjoying the daily briefings about the General
Chapter experience being sent out through the English Speaking Conference.
We are all thankful to Tom Washburn, our executive secretary, for this service in communication. So as not to duplicate the daily experience I would like to offer a weekly reflection, something to help each of you enter into the spiritual experience that is the General Chapter. With that said, I offer you this reflection for week one.
|John Puodziunas, OFM, serving as Moderator of the Chapter, alongside General Minister Michael A. Perry, OFM
Chapter is about receiving a charge, an inspiration, a direction. We can take this charge from the Gospel from Mark which we heard on Sunday in the celebration of Ascension, "Go into the world and proclaim the good news." (Mark 16:15)
But the charge we heard this past week as we began chapter is much more personal. We were reminded by one of the chapter delegates, in a response with respect to mission ad gentes, of the words Francis heard at San Damiano, "Francis, go and repair my church..." noting that he did not just hear, "Go and repair..." but "Francis, go..." And again when our General Minister, Michael, was asked "From where will this renewal of the Order come?" He responded, "from you, the members of this chapter; from the friars who you represent."
As I engage the friars of the Order I am constantly reminded that we are universal, representing many different lands and cultures; we are very provincial, engaged in a variety of ministries and unique expressions of fraternity. Yet, the richness of this diversity is built upon the stone that is each friar, personally having heard the command to "go".
Brothers, I thank you for the prayers you are making for the chapter that will in some way effect our lives as many of you have expressed on your emails. Continue to pray. But also, I invite you to engage personally in listening for and hearing that invitation...that command..."John, Michael, Edward, Kim, Ted, Hugh, Steven...go, and repair my Church."
Brothers, we all have something to offer, something to bring to the table of our lives. How will you hear that command anew this day, this week, within this chapter of your life?
This seems to be the personal charge of the first week of chapter.