On Tuesday, June 18th, Sr. Ann Rehrauer, a Sister of St. Francis of the Holy Cross and a Canon Lawyer spoke to the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity gathered in St. Mary’s Chapel. Her presentation was entitled “Chapter as a Whole.” She reminded us that one of the values that underlies governance is participation; that is, what impacts all should be decided by all. She reviewed the history of religious life concerning representation in governance. Specifically she presented the three parts of Canon 631 that address representation at Chapter:
- Representation of the entire community is important so that all are united in charity, one in mind and heart.
- The Constitutions of each community define Chapter and how it is conducted.
- Any member can send wishes and suggestions to the Chapter, protecting the rule of participation.
Guidelines for Chapter as a whole are:
- Whether the community had the tradition of full participation in Chapter in the past
- The community is small enough (about 100-110 members)
- The group is geographically centralized and able to come together for discussion.
Sister cautioned that if the majority of members are active in the Chapter, they must not forget to engage and inform those who cannot participate.
Following Sr. Ann’s talk, the 10:20 am Mass was celebrated in St. Mary’s Chapel. Fr. Jim Dillenberg, a visiting priest, presided. In his homily, he reflected on the first reading in which Saint Paul exhorts those living in Corinth to be generous.
Sister Ellen Pachmayer, Sister Jan Villemure and Sister Monica Martin are serving as Chapter News Reporters.