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    Pre-Capitular Meeting

    Pre-Capitular Meeting

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    In due time the Superior General, with the consent of his Council, establishes a General Precapitular Commission.

    CICM Constitutions, Art. 122


    The General Precapitular Commission consists of the four members elected by the Regional Assemblies and other members appointed by the Superior General, with the con­sent of his Council.

    The Commission is responsible for the preparation of the Chapter. It fulfills its mandate under the supervision of the Superior General, in close collaboration with the Secretary General. The work of the Commission is made available to the Chapter well in time.

    (CICM General Directory; art 122. 7)


    It is the task of the Precapitular Commission:

    1. to gather and study information concerning the state of the Institute. It makes use of the reports of the Superior General, the Regional Assemblies and the Provinces and Autonomous Districts, the studies done at the request of the Superior General, or submitted by individual confreres;
    2. to synthesize issues to be discussed at the Chapter and to include its own suggestions. The Commission may consult the members of the Institute;
    3. to prepare a tentative agenda and procedure. (CICM General Directory; art 122. 8)

    Experience of the General Precapitular

    Rex SalvillaBy Rex Salvilla, cicm

    On January 9, 2023, four members of the General Precapitular Commission (GPC) arrived in Rome at the Generalate of the Missionary Benedictine Sisters of Tutzing, which is about a five-minute drive from the CICM Generalate. Our Superior General, Charles Phukuta, and Secretary General, Matthieu Ndjeok, drove us there. Msgr. Tim Norton, SVD, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Brisbane, and our upcoming General Chapter facilitator arrived earlier. We were all assigned to the Philippines, and our working language quickly became English, which made meetings very convenient.

    Upon arrival, we received all the materials, both hard copy and digital copy, for our five-week grinding. The Secretary General would come by every now and then to replenish our office supplies and bottles of spirits. The bottles were observed to have a faster turnover. We prepared for the liturgy and prayer leader assignments. The Sisters were in charge of the food, lodging, and dishwashing. Sundays were completely free.

    We were eager to begin after preliminary discussions with the Superior General and a day of reflection with Msgr. Tim. In fact, the bishop preferred to be addressed merely by his first name. Monsignor facilitated an extended General Government (GG) meeting in July 2021 at Centro Ad Gentes in Nemi, Italy, to determine the theme for the 16th CICM General Chapter and to develop the guide questions for reflection and discernment. Centro Ad Gentes will also host our upcoming General Chapter in June 2023. We visited the place on January 20, 2023,  for an ocular inspection.

    At first, we agreed to read some materials and meet daily. Later, however, we decided that everyone should read all the materials and take notes on the key ideas that the Provinces or Regions wanted to present to the Chapter. Reading is difficult, especially when the temperature is below 10 degrees, one is in a bedroom with a comfortable bed, social media is easily accessible on one’s laptop, and the reading materials contain some unsolicited creativity.

    After completing the reading marathon, it was time to meet and plan our next steps. We reviewed the Working Documents of the previous General Chapters and decided to adopt their format. We created an outline based on the themes of the three Memos that the GG  sent to the Provinces for reflection. The three Memos were as follows: 1) Spirituality and Mission: to Evangelize is Our Joy; 2) Reconciliation as a Gift from God and as a Missionary Task; and 3) Interculturality as Witnessing.

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    In addition to the three Memos, the reports from the Provinces and Regions raised important issues that we could not ignore. As a result, the Working Document has ten main sections, including the Special Topics presented separately by four confreres. A topic typically includes an introduction, references to important Documents, excerpts from reports (of the Provinces, the Regions, the Asia International Formation Community, and the Communauté Internationale de Formation en Afrique), reflections and observations of the GPC, a proposal for a process, and questions for personal, or group discernment.

    We divided among ourselves the topics to be developed. We worked independently until we met for correction and finalization. Each topic was thoroughly reviewed and discussed. 

    We would meet in the evenings after dinner to let the spirits settle some unfinished business. Charles Phukuta helped us bond one evening with the help of mozzarella. We had two Zoom meetings with Msgr. Tim to exchange ideas. Raul Caggauauan, our Treasurer General, came for some financial clarification. He would present financial matters to the Chapter.

    Overall, the task was difficult, but it was made manageable by the support of the GG, the Secretary General, the Treasurer General, and  Msgr. Tim. In addition, the wonderful Sisters of the venue did their best to make the stay conducive to serious output.

    On February 10, 2023, we met with the GG at the Casa Generalizia CICM to present the hard copy and the digital copy of the Working Document with the theme: Witnessing to the Gospel in a Changing World.