The Eucharistic celebration (with the prayers proper to the votive Mass of the Holy Spirit) presided over by Fr. Mathew Vattamattan (Superior General) marked the beginning of this fourth day of the Chapter. The ceremony began at 7:30 a.m. and included the recitation of Lauds. Fr. Abilio Ramos acted today as moderator of the Chapter sessions.
The morning session consisted of several moments. At the beginning of the first part of the session, which was held in the chapter hall, after a brief Marian Bible meditation, the Holy Spirit was invoked and the minutes of the 29th were read and approved. In the first place, Fr. General made a brief reflection on the Claretian mysticism to be taken into account in the performance of the
government function, according to four principles: respect for subsidiarity; responsibility, collaboration according to the principle of collegiality or synodality; and fraternal correction. At the end of this reflection, the result of the sounding carried out the day before for the election of the Provincial Superior was made public. The three most voted had the opportunity to express their willingness. We then proceeded in accordance with what determines our right: the Chapter pronounced itself unanimously in favour of the election being held within the Chapter itself. The question of the duration of the mandate of the Provincial Government to be elected was then raised. After a dialogue, the majority of the capitulants considered it appropriate to ask the General Government for the mandate of the Government to be for three years, instead of the six years foreseen by our legislation.
However, the Superior General, after consultation with the General Government, did not consider this request so the mandate of the Provincial Government will be for six years.
The second moment, animated by the Superior General, took place in the chapel where the capitulars had a time of adoration with the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. Each of the capitulants was invited to discern in silence with the Lord the future Provincial Superior of our Province. After the adoration the capitulars returned to the chapter hall for the election of the Provincial Superior. After the vote, Fr Carlos Alberto Candeias do Nascimento was elected. Asked by the Superior General about his disposition, he accepted the appointment, which was immediately confirmed by the Superior General.
We then went back to the Chapel where the newly elected Provincial Superior made his Profession of Faith and Oath. The ceremony, simple and moving, concluded with each one greeting and embracing the Provincial. Thus concluded the morning session. The afternoon session began today at 4 pm. Initially, the work was directed by Fr. Gonzalo Fernández (Fr. Facilitator). After a moment of prayer, provoked by the listening of a musical video entitled “What do you want from me, Lord”, the facilitator led us to a reflection in view of the programming phase foreseen in the Chapter. This space consisted in inviting us to “dream” how we imagine the Province of Fatima in 2030. Since dreams are places of God’s Revelation and keys to building the future, the Father Facilitator listed several types or examples of dreams present in the Holy Scriptures (Is. 25:6-8; 26.1-4; Lk. 1:51-53), in St. Anthony Mary Claret (Aut. 490-491), and in great figures of our time, like Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Luther King and Pope Francis. After this reflection, the capitulars went to the Cardinal Saraiva Hall, where the groups made a kind of shared lectio divina around several biblical passages alluding to the ideal of life proposed to us by the Word of God. This was followed by a dynamic, also done in groups and then shared in plenary, how we imagine the Province of Fatima in 2030. Several ideas emerged from the dialogue: a Province of small and witnessing communities, with a rich and intense community life, intercultural, meaningful and open-door, with agile and simple structures, with a flourishing vocational relay, in shared mission and open to the social environment.
The second stage of the afternoon’s work began at 6 p.m. The capitulants were invited by the elected Provincial Superior to make
proposals on how to organize the structure of the new Provincial Government in view of the complexity of our Province of Fatima. The discussion had two distinct moments. We began with an open dialogue in the Chapter Hall, but at the request of two members of the Chapter, we moved back to the Cardinal Saraiva Hall where the Facilitator led us to dialogue in groups to offer ideas to the Provincial Superior. Several proposals emerged from the sharing. The majority advocated that the majority of the members of the provincial government live in the same community; that the consultors take charge of the prefectures and that they be released from their duties. As for the areas of responsibility of the Prefectures, various proposals were submitted to the Provincial Superior, who will take them into account when he proposes to the Chapter the structure of the government team.
The day’s work concluded with the prayer of vespers at 7:30 pm.