Lujan, Argentina. After the IV Provincial Assembly’s conclusion in Lujan, Buenos Aires, the III Provincial Chapter of the Province of San José del Sur began on Thursday, January 11, 2024. The chapter has 41 Claretian Missionaries and 4 lay guest persons in attendance. These guests are the coordinators of provincial teams of the pastoral areas, Marita Laineiker (Education), Fernando Guzmán (SOMI), Jaime Michea (Biblical Animation), and Emilia Sena (JPIC).
Certainly, there are few experiences in which lay people participate in chapters in the congregation and throughout the Church, but San José del Sur Province believes that it is good that the shared mission that characterizes their way of being and doing as a province, is reflected in this important governing body and that gathers the great wealth that these four committed lay people can contribute to the evaluation of the path traveled and the projection of what they will do in the next six years.
On the first day of the Chapter, the Presidential Table was formed. As per the direction of the Directory of the Congregation, the table comprised Fr. Pedro Belderrain, CMF, General Prefect of Apostolate, as President, representing the General Government. Fr. Mario Gutiérrez, CMF, the outgoing Provincial Superior, and the newly elected Capitular Secretary, Fr. Ezequiel Fernández, CMF, were also part of the table. In the coming days, two moderators will be elected to join the table, and committees for writing minutes, liturgy, and animation, will be formed.
As per the Constitutions of the Claretian Missionaries, the Provincial Chapter serves as the governing body that represents the Province and expresses the participation, co-responsibility, and communion of the entire Province. It has several tasks and functions, such as reviewing the state of the Province to determine the program of action in the future, applying the norms and guidelines of the General Chapter on missionary life according to the peculiar circumstances of places and persons, and choosing the Provincial Superior, his Consultors, and the Econome, or determining another way of designating them according to the Law. This provides an important opportunity to define the objectives and means for realizing their dreams for the journey of their province for the next six years.
Let us pray for the San José del Sur Chapter members so that the Holy Spirit may guide and enlighten their discernment. May their decisions align with the vision of Father Claret and lead their Province toward building a Kingdom of peace, justice, and freedom.