The 128th Chapter of the Province of St. Nicholas of Tolentine will center its reflections and decisions from the synodality perspective of the Church and the Order.
A total of 32 elected religious and other religious that have to be present in the chapter due to the service they have been offering until now since the last provincial chapter, have come together to celebrate the 128th Provincial Chapter of the Province of St. Nicholas of Tolentine of the Order of Augustinian Recollects, with Father General, Friar Miguel Angel Hernandez, presiding.
Twenty friars are originally from Spain, eight are Mexican, two Filipinos, an Irish and an American. They are working in different parts of the world. Thirteen serve in their ministry in Spain, eight in Mexico, six in the United States, two in Brazil, one in Costa Rica and another one in Great Britain. Father General has his residence in Rome.
The average age is 59. The majority are 50 to 59 years old, seven are 60 to 69, another seven are 70 to 79 years old. Five range from 40 to 49 years and only one is younger than 39.
In his inaugural speech, the Prior General highlighted the propositions presented by the General Chapter for all the Provinces Life and Mission Projects.
He especially focused on five main topics of common ground for the Church, the Order and the Province: Formation processes especially through accompaniment; the sharing of our charism with the laity; importance of the missionary responsibilities done with passion and as a team; solidarity especially through the Order’s charitable network ARCORES; and the protection of children and most vulnerable of our population.
Fr. General suggested three important attitudes the chapter delegates should consider as they present their opinions with the intention of knowing what is best for the Province: Humbleness to acknowledge the importance of listening to others to have better dialogue; prayer and total confidence in God; and last but not least, love for our brothers in Augustinian fraternity.
Chapter mechanics began with the election of persons who, within this meeting, constituted as the highest legislative body of a religious institution, have some special assignments.
Thus, the oldest and youngest capitulars (Jesús Rada and Gustavo Camarena, respectively) and the delegated capitular from the religious brothers (Alberto Eraña) were the scrutinors who collected and counted the votes in the successive ballots until reaching the necessary majorities according to each vote.
In this way, the offices of moderators (Fr. Francisco Javier Acero and Fr. Rafael Mediavilla), secretary (Fr. Benjamín Miguélez) and counselor (Fr. Sergio Sánchez) have been chosen. The four, together with the president of the Chapter, the Prior General, make up the so-called Table. This team takes care of the development of the Chapter and makes the necessary decisions so that nothing can hinder their task.
After the singing of the Veni Creator, the Latin hymn that serves to invoke the Holy Spirit, the religious capitulars then elected the newly elected Prior Provincial, Fray Carlos González Castellanos (Capilla de Guadalupe, Jalisco, Mexico, 1964). Once the new Project of Life and Mission of the Province is finished, he will be confirmed as Provincial, he will receive the seal of the Province and the embrace of his brothers.
In the afternoon, the capitulars received instructions on how to carry out the voting, they approved the document that will mark the dynamics of work and they were distributed among the different work teams (liturgy, writing of the capitular message, collecting and responding to received messages and communications team).
Eucharist of the Holy Spirit
The first chapter day began at eight in the morning with the Eucharist votive to the Holy Spirit, in which the Prior General proposed that all the religious chapter members be open to listening attentively to the Spirit in order to know how to respond to the challenges that the Province must respond to in the coming years.