For I know the plans I have in mind for you; plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future full of hope (Jeremiah 29:11)
We are in the midst of our congregation’s 24th General Chapter, my first. As un-Dominican as this may seem, I find myself in a space where the events of the world, while so present to me and to all of us in both our conversation and our prayer, almost seem suspended. I am finding Chapter to be an immersion experience.
While in session, General Chapter is our highest governing authority, making decisions affecting the entire congregation and electing the prioress and congregational council. Its purpose is to protect the patrimony of the congregation, understood not as money, but as the intentions of our Founder - that which we most treasure. I love that we are being asked to look to both our Dominican identity and our Sinsinawa Dominican identity to root us in the work we are being called to do.
So far, I am finding Chapter to be a profound time of coming together as sisters and associates to share in the renewal of our common life and mission. A time to practice what we preach as Dominicans: to seek truth by engaging, in charity, those with whom we may disagree and those whose perspectives may be different from our own. We are being asked to suspend judgment, to open the ears of our hearts, to listen deeply without personal agendas, to “silence our whining egos”, and to listen for the Spirit at work among us. Chapter is about ‘we’, not ‘I’.
This is not an easy time, but it is a graced time. As we ‘set out anew together’, our future is one full of hope. Providence will provide as Providence has always provided.
Please pray for us.
Kathy Flynn, OP
Whitefish Bay, WI