5th August, 2015: The Opening of the Fifth General Chapter
The Chapter began with Holy Mass in the Sion Shrine to continue as participants shouldering the respective national flags and carrying a lantern with burning flame processed into the House chapel for the continuation of the Mass.
This flame has needs to become vital for the Jubilee (of the Community) and enflame the Fathers of the Chapter with the Holy Spirit.
Instead of a sermon Fr Heinrich Walter turned to the picture of Mary in the House chapel, with the appeal that She enlivens an atmosphere and attitude among the Chapter participants that is tangible: “for the ability to thrive and give counsel, to the glory of God, for the wellbeing of the Church and for greater profound service to the Schoenstatt Family.”
The Job ahead
After the Opening Ceremony work began: In the Chapter Hall, the procedures and the operation (House-keeping) of the Chapter were presented. To fully enable all forty-one participants of the Chapter to follow the procedures, Papers, documents are available in Spanish, German and English and simultaneous trilingual translation of talks and ad hoc comments from the floor are on hand.
In the background there are numerous helpers taking care of written translations, photocopying and other practical tasks. What is clearly evident is that there are various people with different responsibilities, abilities, skills working together for the Common Good and Goal.
Report of the General Superior
After lunch and Communal prayer in the Shrine the Second Session began. Towards the end of the afternoon, Father Heinrich gave his report on the activities of the General Chapter during the past twelve years.
He presented developments and the increasing challenges of the Community and also those effecting Schoenstatt internationally. In grave tones the key issues were presented. After several questions and answers, prolonged applause ended the session.
The evening get-together in the Common Room, featuring the large fireplace, finally afforded the Fathers and others an opportunity to get to know one other better.