From December 13-15, the General Council of the Congregation of Holy Cross gathered for its second meeting under the leadership of Fr. Robert L. Epping, C.S.C., Superior General. As with the Council's first meeting, this meeting took place at the Congregation's Generalate in Rome, Italy.
In addition to its standard business, one of the main topics of the General Council meeting was planning the first meeting of the Council of the Congregation under this new General Administration, which will take place January 9-13, 2017, at the De La Salle Christian Brothers Generalate in Rome.
The Council of the Congregation is a consultative body convened and presided over by the Superior General. In addition to the General Assistants, it includes all the major superiors in the Congregation. The Superior General can also invite other members of the Congregation to participate in the meetings.
Over the years, the Council of the Congregation has become a key instrument in developing and advancing a deeper international consciousness and awareness in the Congregation. As the Congregation’s Constitutions state, “The Council [of the Congregation] concerns itself with ongoing life and mission of the congregation. It also provides the superior general with wider consultation in his duty to unify congregational planning, especially for new international works and foundations” (7:104).
Accordingly, a major agenda item for the Council of the Congregation will be the 2016 General Chapter’s call for a simplified structure for the Congregation to be developed by the General Administration by December 2017.
In its December meeting, the General Council also received a report on the visit of Br. Paul Bednarczyk, C.S.C., Vicar General and First General Assistant, Fr. Abraham Kochupurakal, C.S.C., Second General Assistant, and Fr. Gaspar Selvaraj, C.S.C., General Steward, to the International Shrine of Blessed Basile Moreau in LeMans, France. They met with the Shrine’s Rector, Fr. John DeRiso, C.S.C., and Fr. Romuald Fresnais, Superior of the Vicariate of France, to review the great work and ministry of the Shrine as well as to begin deeper planning for its future.
The Council also discussed the current status of the causes of Blessed Basile Moreau and the four Holy Cross Servants of God: Fr. Patrick Peyton, C.S.C., Br. Flavian LaPlante, C.S.C., Bishop Theotonius Ganguly, C.S.C., and Archbishop Vincent McCauley, C.S.C. The Council decided that the priority at this time will be the promotion of devotion to Blessed Basile Moreau and his cause for canonization.
The General Council also had a chance to recognize the service of Br. Edward Dailey, C.S.C., a member of the Midwest Province (Notre Dame, Indiana), who has been the General Secretary of the Congregation since 1986. His service in the Genearlate has spanned three different Superior Generals. Having completed faithfully this work in Rome, Br. Dailey now has accepted an assignment to Bangladesh where will teach English to the Holy Cross aspirants and reside with the St. Gregory’s Brothers Community.
All in all, they were three busy, yet productive days of meetings for the new General Council.
"The General Chapter gave the new General Council several challenging mandates, but with trust in Divine Providence and with the support of the Council of the Congregation and the membership at large, we will create together a vibrant future for Holy Cross," said Fr. Epping.