Closing of the 15th General Chapter
On Sunday morning, January 30th, the Chapter members gathered in the auditorium to finalize the Chapter activities. Each of the groups from the Continents presented a plan of how to share and implement with the sisters in their respective provinces and regions all that was decided during the Chapter, especially the Congregational Directions.
Afterwards, the Capitulars voted to bring the 15th General Chapter to a close, since all the planned activities had been accomplished. Then the Chapter President, Sr. Maria Theresia Hörnemann, declared the Chapter closed. Everyone applauded with great joy because all the objectives had been reached.
Gratitude for Mission Accomplished
Despite all the challenges faced, especially the concern about a few sisters who tested positive for Covid-19 and needed to stay in isolation in their rooms, the Chapter went smoothly and with all health protocols. Thanks to technology, even those in isolation were able to actively participate via Zoom, including in the elective process.
In all the decisions made, consensus and great convergence prevailed. Many expressed how they perceived the action of the Holy Spirit leading the capitulars. The peace of spirit, the joy of being together and the gratitude for the experience was palpable.
Before ending the concluding session, the current Congregational Leadership Team thanked, in the name of all the members of the Chapter, the people who contributed to its realization, especially the facilitators, the translators, the secretaries, and the Communications Team. They also remembered all the services performed by the commissions, the group facilitators, the Generalate Community, the SVD and SSpS of Perpetual Adoration, all the personnel of the retreat house in Ariccia, and so many other people who directly or indirectly collaborated in the realization of the Chapter.
In the following days, the sisters returned to their communities in the different countries. There was no possibility to go to the Vatican and meet the Pope, no possibility to visit beautiful places in Rome and no possibility to receive guests… Even telephone calls were restricted during the 3 weeks of intense work, prayer and discernment.
However, the sisters were very happy and returned to their countries with joy. One of them said that even the limitations resulting from the pandemic helped them to focus more on the themes of the General Chapter and to achieve a very good result in less time than usual, considering that former general chapters lasted at least a month.