Province Assembly and Extraordinary Chapter - Our Lady of Consolation - USA

Friday, 18 July 2008 10:11

The Friars of the Province of Our Lady of Consolation – USA gathered in Assembly from June 23-26, 2008 at St. Meinrad Archabbey in the hills of Southern Indiana, USA.

This was the culmination of two years of working on a “Strategic Plan” toward developing the most effective Conventual Presence into the immediate future. After having a series of regional meetings throughout the Province, it was time for the Friars to come together to affirm the objectives that will guide the necessary choices to be made in the next few years.

They were not alone! The Opening Prayer of the Assembly was a memorial for those Friars who have gone before us during more than 80 years of pioneering spirit – accepting and departing from various ministries as they recognized the needs of the Church in the United States and the world. During the prayer a candle was lit as the name of each Friar was proclaimed. These candles remained burning during the entire Assembly as a reminder of their presence with the Province as it continues to make decisions concerning service to the Church and the world, as they had to do. Archbishop Thomas C. Kelly, O.P., retired Archbishop of Louisville, Kentucky, USA, set the tone for our Assembly by sharing the experience of directing the evaluation of Religious Life in the United States, requested of him by Pope John Paul II.

The goals agreed upon by the Assembly are four (each including some strategies to make them a reality):

  1. We will live in an environment that is conducive to common life and ministry.
  2. We will be effective Ministers of the Gospel.
  3. We will have a least 1 or 2 men making Solemn Vows each year to enhance the growth and mission of the Province.
  4. We will have a stable financial base to support our common life and our ministries.

The Assembly also provided the opportunity for rich Liturgical Prayer, good fraternal time, and the celebration the various anniversaries for a number of the Friars in 2008. The Assembly concluded with a short Extraordinary Chapter to deal with some urgent issues.