At fixed times all the abbots/abbesses come together. They discuss there the salvation of their own souls and of those committed to them. They take measures regarding the observance of the Holy Rule and of the Order where there is something that needs to be corrected or added. They foster anew among themselves the benefit of peace and charity. They devote themselves to maintaining the patrimony of the Order and safeguarding and increasing its unity. (C.77)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Something new and something old

Today we woke up to the new reality of being one single General Chapter, not the Mixed General Chapters of former times. The immediate experience was that of simplification and unity, although there is work ahead with adjustments and changes of the Constitutions.

Because the abbot general had a vote both in the former Chapter of Abbots and that of Abbesses, we had to retake the vote on Statute on Foundations in regard to how many professed monks or nuns should be a minimum for a foundation to be raised to an autonomous simple priory. The vote taken on Tuesday resulted in the nuns requiring 8 professed, the monks requiring only 6. Both results were with one or two votes’ difference.

By the time a new vote was taken, things had already changed: To the suggestion of minimum eight only 68 of the capitulants said yes, 81 said no and 8 abstained. So it remains that 6 professed is enough for autonomy. What a joy it was with the simple procedure of voting together! This will save us a lot of time in the future.

Something new and something old also applies to the liturgy. The familiar sound of the Gregorian chant “Mihi autem” mixed with tunes you never heard and languages unfamiliar. The last few days have given a great variety in the Masses, we have heard Latin, Italian, Dutch, English, French, Irish and Norwegian in our celebrations. 

Sr. Hanne-Maria of Tautra