GENERAL CHAPTER 2020 (2021) INSTRUMENTUM LABORIS: Animate & Guide with Servant Leadership
Cover Letter To Questions From 2021 Instrumentum Laboris
Memo to: Regional and Local Council members From: Michel David, International Councillor, OFS Canada National Re: Questions from the 2021 Instrumentum Laboris
The origins of the Secular Franciscan Order (OFS) lead us back to the Penitents of Assisi. And, of course, we have good reason to evoke this past, when it is precisely next year, 2021, that we will celebrate 800 years of the approval by St. Pope Honorius III of the Memoriale Propositi. This document became the first Rule approved by the Church for those "converts" who lived in their homes. Under this Rule, the men and women who followed Saint Francis were embraced as part of the Franciscan family, interpreting and living it according to the spiritual teachings of the Saint. The 2021 General Chapter will include time to deepen and honor our origins, focusing on the Memoriale Propositi.
This Instrumentum Laboris should serve as preparation for the celebration of the 2021 General Chapter, which constitutes the highest governing body of our OFS1. We will remind the OFS brothers and sisters around the world, first of all, of the path we have taken since in 2014, when we reflected on the topic How to manage a worldwide Order like the OFS. Not only was this the central theme of the 2014 General Chapter, but it was the basis of study, evaluation and projects, which the vast majority of the Fraternities of the world worked on for three successive years until the General Chapter of 2017. This was a theme that fit very well within the framework of the celebration of our Rule approved by St. Paul VI in 1978, as we set out to examine our commitment as Secular Franciscans in these last 40 years.
On behalf of the Council of the National Fraternity of Canada, I send you warm greetings and pray that St. Joseph looks after your Franciscan families in this year of his jubilee.
A General Elective Chapter is being planned for November 13-21, 2021 in Rome, Italy. Though there is some doubt that it will be held due to the Third Wave of COVID-19 we must still prepare for its eventuality.
The theme of the General Chapter is “Animate and guide with a servant leadership” and it is meant to help Secular Franciscans around the world to reflect on what it means to animate and guide in harmony with serving and leading. To help in this reflection, a working document (Instrumentum Laboris) has been developed and is being shared with you.
The Presidency of the International Council of the OFS (CIOFS) has sent us a 17-page Instrumentum Laboris that addresses issues of concern for everyone and follow up questions for us to consider. As International Councillor representing Canada, it will be my role to bring your concerns and answers to the General Chapter.