The second Ordinary Chapter of the Province of Our Lady of Consolation, Brazil - one of two provinces in the Amazonian country - was held on 12-14 December in the city of Belo Horizonte
Fr Alejandro Moral and the Assistant General for Latin America, Fr Alexander Lam, together with 38 friars of the province participated in this Chapter. The chapter was conducted in an atmosphere of "complete freedom, in complete understanding, and in complete synodality and unity among all", the Prior General later commented
This Chapter assembly served to ratify the re-election of Fr Luiz Pinheiro as Prior Provincial, and to confirm the previously elected Provincial Councillors, which was the responsibility of the President of the Ordinary Chapter.
In the words of the Prior Provincial, this Chapter was an "important synodal meeting" structured around three key words associated with three phrases: Gratitude, "with God for bringing us together on this journey, each one with his presence and his history"; serenity, "for how serious and profound questions were tackled" and courage, much courage, to "walk with fearlessness, determination, strength and without fear" in the mission entrusted by the Lord to the Augustinians of the Province of Our Lady of Consolation of Brazil.
A Chapter that follows in the steps of work done so far
The Chapter, as Fr Alexander Lam told us, saw the Augustinian brothers actively collaborating to ensure a fraternal atmosphere "of great serenity and tranquillity" during the working sessions, plenaries and presentations on the general state of the Province.
On the first day, Fr. Luiz presented the official programme for the next four years, drawn up by the provincial council in meetings prior to the Chapter, which was "analysed and approved unanimously", as well as the financial road map.
The second day was devoted to the presentation of the activities of the Society of Mind and Heart (la Sociedad Inteligencia y Corazón, SIC), as well as the religious societies Ancora and Meta Cordis, set up to manage the educational works and projects of the Province.
P. Álefe Lucas Vieira Oliveira
The third and final day of the Chapter was marked by the presentation and approval of different proposals for Justice and Peace for the next four years, as well as the appointment of the new delegate for the OALA (Organization of Augustinians of Latin America and the Caribbean). The Prior General declared that "it has been really very gratifying to be able to celebrate this second Chapter", at the same time that he highlighted with gratitude the circumstances and the events that took place around its celebration, such as the participation of almost all the members of the Province, the solemn profession of three Augustinian friars - Flávio Cassiano dos Santos, Caio Filipe de Lima Pereira and Eduardo José de Oliveira - and the request of the Brazilian episcopate to the Order for the care of a new parish.
At the Closing Mass of the Chapter, Fr Luiz warmly thanked the Prior General for his “friendly presence” and for “walking side-by-side with the Province like an older brother … always patient, loving and guided by comradeship.”
As the Assistant General for Latin America told us at the conclusion of the Provincial Chapter, in addition to the ordinary matters, two important topics for the life of the Province were dealt with, such as "initiating the first steps for the possible processes of beatification of two brothers of the Province - whose names will be announced later if they are successful - and the beginning of the prenovitiate in Fortaleza and the transfer of the prenovitiate for the city of Fortaleza/CE and the professory for the city of Belo Horizonte/MG".