From 22 to 24 March 2022, we celebrated the first part of our General Assembly.
This was preceded by a great deal of work.
Originally, we wanted to organize our 2022 General Assembly in St Petersburg, but as it was difficult to obtain visas when we wanted to go there to prepare the event, we had to abandon the idea of an Assembly in Russia. So we settled on the Netherlands, namely Rolduc Abbey. But the closer we got to the date of mid-March, the less likely it was to have a “live” meeting because of the pandemic. That’s why we cut the meeting into two parts: one via Zoom in March and the second part “live” in Rolduc in October. Our intention was to elect the new Executive Committee and vote on some decisions, including the reworking of our statutes, in Rolduc in October. But since the mandate of two of our Committee members had already “expired” two years ago, the Congregation for Religious in Rome preferred that we elect digitally before the summer of 2022. Our programme for March was ready; after the notification from CICLSAL, we had to make major changes.
Thank God, this all worked out and so we celebrated the General Assembly Part 1 online on 22, 23 and 24 March 2022 from 9am to 12am with the very competent moderation of Sr. Katharina Kluitmann (DOK, DE).
On Tuesday 22 March, after the greetings and prayers of our President, Fr. Zsolt Labancz, we heard a report on the situation in Ukraine from the President of the Ukrainian Conference CORU, Sr. Olena Bys. This was followed by a short introduction by Sister Katharina and the presentation of the speaker, Prof. Dr. Myriam Wijlens, by Sr. Marjolein Bruinen. Prof. Wijlens’ lecture entitled “En route towards a more synodal Church: theological reflections and canonical implications” was very interesting and stimulating and was followed by an exchange of ideas.
After a short break, Fr. Zsolt gave a brief summary of what had happened in connection with the elections and presented a list of persons eligible for election as president and as members of the Executive Committee. Dates were proposed for an online election in April or May.
Wednesday 23 March was entirely devoted to a meeting with Cardinal João Braz de Aviz and to work on a document on synodality, as it is lived in the European national Conferences, which we want to send to CICLSAL on behalf of the religious.
The participants had prepared a synthesis on which they worked in 7 language groups (Italian, English, French, Russian). Each group had a secretary who, after a break, presented very briefly the results of the group’s work. All through the morning the Cardinal was present and worked with us; at the end of the meeting he gave us his fraternal blessing.
In the afternoon, a small drafting group made a synthesis of what had been elaborated in the morning.
On Thursday 24 March the results of the previous afternoon’s work were presented and the participants went back to their language groups to prepare their opinions.
Everything was done in an atmosphere of friendly seriousness and the few amendments will still be integrated into the text. All participants can send in a comment until 13 April.
We returned to the subject of the elections which were being prepared so that they can take place on 19 April 2022 from 2pm. The president informed us who had been suggested for a mandate during the previous days and interviewed those mentioned about their availability. Until 13 April, suggestions can still be made for candidates who have not been nominated.
And so, with a feeling of joy, we thanked each other and said goodbye, hoping to meet again on 19 April and form a good new Executive Committee.
Please note: the report in Russian can be found here.