Opening of the Chapter

Enflaming the Hope Within Us

The Twenty-Fourth Chapter of the Federation of St. Benedict convened with a prayerful roll call. Seated at tables so that people from several monasteries were present, each prioress received a candle bearing the name of her monastery.

After singing the refrain which will begin all of our meetings (sometimes in English, other times in Spanish, Japanese or Chinese, the other languages of member monasteries), members attended to the words of 2 Timothy 1:6-10,14.

The roll was called by monastery, not by alphabetical order. Beginning with the Prioress, each person from a monastery was called by name and position – prioress, delegate, councilor, translator, officer – and responded with solemnity, “Present.” When all the participants from a monastery had been named, Sister Susan Hutchens, the President, procclaimed “Bring forth the light of St. Scholastica Monastery of Duluth, Minnesota” or the other monasteries. Each prioress in turn carried forward the lighted candle until all the lights burned together at the front of the room.

After singing the refrain again, the participants adjourned to a social — an important part of the business of the Chapter as we get to know each other.

The agenda includes presentations, action on a number of proposals, the election of councilors – and time for reflection and prayer, informal discussion and – on Friday – visits to local attractions.

One comment

  1. I guess I would have expected that kind of “ceremony” from a group of Benedictines: attention paid to detail, deliberate reflection, and unhurried beauty. It sanctifies each moment, and will surely bless all the other moments, too. Thanks for this peek into the opening of the chapter!

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