This week and next, the General Chapter of the Congregation of the Josephites takes place in our French speaking boarding school in the Chateau of La Berliere in Ath in Belgium. A chapter happens once every five years and delegates come from all the regions/countries of the world where we work. Frs Ludo, Ed and Aidan Peter are attending from the USA. We review the last five years’ work in the Lord’s vineyard from many angles such as; apostolate, prayer, community life, vocations, formation, and of course finances! We try to work out a path for the next five years and then we elect a team to lead us. This means we have to elect a new Superior General (currently Fr Robert), a Vicar General (currently Fr Jacob, a Congolese Josephite working in Belgium) and three other counselors. This team then steers the congregation, putting into effect the next five years’ aspirations. It is an important time for the Josephites, so I ask you to fervently pray the prayer (on the next page) each day for the next two weeks as an act of fraternal support for the Josephites.
A word about Fr Robert Hamilton the current Superior General:
Fr Robert has served the Congregation with distinction for fifteen years. He should, by normal canonical procedure, only have served 10 years (two terms of office) but, such was the regard we had for his leadership and Fatherhood last time, we had to ask Rome to allow us to elect him for one extra term. However,this time we have to elect a new General. Robert has brought about a renewed appreciation and application within the community of our charisms, our apostolates and our spirituality and he has helped us grow in our inter-regional connectivity, fraternity and hopes. He will be a very hard act to follow. I, for one, have always considered him since the days of my novitiate in 1984 as my spiritual Father (he was my novice master) and hold him in the highest regard and fondest affection. Give thanks to God in your prayer for his witness to all the Josephites and to those they serve. It was Robert who asked me to come to StLdM. So you have him to thank (blame)!
God bless you, your families, and the week ahead.
Fr. Aidan Peter, CJ