Our Way into the Future and the Orientation Program

The day began with a prayer of gratitude led by Sister Alba.  She stressed that if we had only one prayer to say, it would be one of gratitude for everything we have, are and experience.

Then Br Julian McDonald offered a reflection on how Our Way into the Future was the result of an evolutionary process, beginning with the Chapter in Johannesburg (1996) where the idea of the four directions highlighted the themes of vulnerability, a call to the margins, internationality and the Edmund Rice Network, all of which can be seen in the Proposition of Journeying Together. The Chapter of Rome (2002) the theme became  The Heart of Being Brother. During this Chapter, seven insights were identified that became invitations to the Brothers to undertake a change of heart.  In summary, the seven insights were:

  • Deepening the Spirituality of Being Brother
  • Healing and Reconciliation – A Need and a Call
  • Seeking New Brothers
  • Educating the Minds and Hearts of the Young
  • The Edmund Rice Network- The Unfolding Story
  • A Prophetic Call to a Quest for Justice
  • New Wineskins for New Wine

Here again these elements can be identified in the Proposition of Journeying Together.

At the Chapter held in Munnar (2008), the document The Spirit is Moving in Our Midst: Be My Disciples expressed the vision of the Chapter  in the four primal elements of earth, air, fire and water, symbolic ways of realizing the vision which invited us to explore the presence of the Divine in all of creation. Here again this insight lay at the heart of the Proposition and of the eight calls of the Nairobi Chapter (2014).

In the afternoon David introduced the idea of the prayer of quiet, highlighting the fact that there are many ways of praying and encouraging the Brothers to spend twenty minutes each morning in any one of these methods.

The day concluded with a Bread and Wine celebration which remembers the many meals that Jesus had with many diverse people and especially with his Apostles and disciples.

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