Provincials from Canada, Chile, Spain and the United States gathered last month with Fr. Robert M. Egan, CSV, Superior General and members of the General Council for the annual Extraordinary General Council. As a group, they also brought to the table news from their respective foundations, including Burkina Faso, Colombia, Ivory Coast, Haiti, Honduras, Japan and Peru. Only the Provincial and Assistant Provincial from France were unable to attend, due to health reasons.

Fr. Egan sits between translators Fr. Ron Hochman, left, and Fr. John Peeters, right, with EGC members (R-L) Fr. Claudio Ríos, Fr. Marcelo Lamas and Fr. Jesús Arroyo

The international meeting took place April 24-28, at the Province Center in Arlington Heights. The EGC meets once a year to discuss and reflect on significant items of interest for the Congregation. The meeting was held in a collegial and collaborative setting that allowed for significant and useful dialogue, Fr. Egan said.

“I was delighted with the outcome of our meetings,” Fr. Egan said. “The exchange of views and respectful dialogue helped to produce a successful meeting. I am grateful for the collaboration of all who attended.”

Major items on the agenda included reports from the Provincials on the important moments in the life of their Provinces. The EGC also received a report on the January, 2023 meeting of Provincial Treasurers recently held in Colombia.

(L-R) Fr. Mark Francis, Br. Benoît Tremblay, Fr. Carlos Orduna and Fr. André Crozier

A significant amount of time was dedicated to discussion and continued planning for the General chapter of 2024. All the Provincials reported that reflections and meetings are underway with the initial phase of the preparatory documents and reports on those personal, communal and provincial reflections will soon be submitted to the General Direction.

Members of the EGC also agreed that the Nov. 1, 2023 statistics of the Congregation would be used in the determination of the number of delegates from the Provinces and Foundations that would attend the General Chapter. Elections and designation of delegates and alternates must be reported to the General Direction by Jan. 1, 2024.

The EGC also had an extensive discussion on the questions of Congregation structures. The discussion included significant exchanges on questions of leadership, governmental structures and the need for creative and innovative options for the future.

The meeting also included socializing. (L-R) Fr. Arroyo, Fr. Lamas, Br. Tremblay, Fr. Crozier and Fr. Orduna

There will also be elections in three Provinces in the coming months. Dates have been established for the election of Provincial and Councilors in Spain (Nov. 25), France (Dec. 2) and Canada (Dec. 15). These elections are scheduled to respect the requirements of the General Regulation 178 to avoid the election of a Provincial Superior six months before a General Chapter.

The next meeting of the Extraordinary General Council will be held Feb. 5-7, 2024 in Bogota, Colombia.