DAY 1, MONDAY, JUNE 11, 2007 - The XIV Provincial Chapter of the U.S. Western Province will be officially convoked at 7:30 PM, by Father Gonzalo Fernandez Sanz, C.M.F., General Prefect of Spirituality and President of the Chapter. Eighteen delegates, additional Province members, as well as Fr. Alejandro Ceron, C.M.F., visiting Provincial of the Province of Mexico, are in attendance. The Chapter Retreat is presently taking place at the Claretian Retreat Center in Los Angeles. (1:45 PM)
Following the Official Convocation of the Provincial Chapter at approximately 7:30 PM, with all 18 Chapter Delegates, Province members and Claretian visitors present, the President of the Chapter, Father Gonzalo Fernandez Sanz, C.M.F., led the members in official Chapter business, including the election of Father Art Gramaje, C.M.F. as Chapter Secretary.
One of the first official actions of the Chapter was to authorize the Direct Election of the Provincial Superior and Council by all the perpetually professed members of the Province with active and passive voice.
After a few other administrative tasks, the Chapter adjourned until breakfast at 8:00 AM, on Tuesday morning. (9:20 PM)
DAY 2, TUESDAY, JUNE 12, 2007 - Fr. Gonzalo Fernandez Sanz, C.M.F., Chapter President, began our morning session by reading a letter from our Superior General, Father Josep Abella, C.M.F., animating the Chapter and expressing his hope and prayers, while also encouraging us to remain faithful to our special missionary charism as Claretians in the United States today.
The minutes of Monday's opening session were read and approved by the Chapter.
Father Gonzalo announced the selection of Father Brian Culley, C.M.F. and Father Steve Niskanen, C.M.F. as Moderators, and Fathers Frank Ferrante, C.M.F., Paul Keller, C.M.F. and Daryl Olds, C.M.F. as the Committee for Revision of the Minutes.
A detailed Government Report for the past six years was presented by our Provincial Superior, Father Roland Lozano, C.M.F.
We concluded the morning session with the Eucharist presided by Father Alejandro Ceron, C.M.F., Provincial of the Province of Mexico. (1:10 PM)
Our afternoon and evening sessions concluded all the prefecture reports and related discussions.
Father Eddie DeLeon, C.M.F., Provincial of the U.S. Eastern Province, arrived this evening as a guest of the Chapter and was officially welcomed.
The Chapter adjourned until Wednesday morning. (9:30 PM)
DAY 3, WEDNESDAY, JUNE 13, 2007 - Our session began with prayer, the reading and approval of the minutes from Tuesday. We then began the planning stage of the Chapter with the review, discussion, and approval of Chapter resolutions for the areas of Finances and Spirituality.
Bishop Gabino Zavala, Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles, presided at the Eucharist. (1:10 PM)
Father Richard DeTore, C.M.F., currently Pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Prescott, Arizona, has been elected Provincial Superior. We congratulate and thank Father Richard for his spirit of availability and offer him our prayerful and fraternal support. (4:45 PM)
DAY 4, THURSDAY, JUNE 14, 2007 - The morning began with prayer to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Confirmation by Father Gonzalo Fernandez Sanz, C.M.F., President of the Chapter, of Father Richard DeTore's election as Provincial. The review and approval of the minutes followed.
The morning session continued with Father Richard DeTore's statement of preference that a total of four Consultors be elected for the new Provincial Council, to consist of the Economo and three Consultors at-large. The Chapter voted to support the new Provincial's preference. The election phase of the Chapter then continued with the election of Father Fred LeClaire, C.M.F., of Prescott, Arizona, as Economo. We congratulate and offer our fraternal support to Father Fred. (1:45 PM)
DAY 5, FRIDAY, JUNE 15, 2007 - The President of the Chapter, Father Gonzalo Fernandez Sanz, C.M.F., oriented the Chapter for the work to be completed on this final day. Father Art Gramaje, C.M.F., Chapter Secretary, read the minutes from Thursday. The minutes were then approved.
The election phase of the Chapter continued with the confirmation of Father Daryl Olds, C.M.F., Father Jose Sanchez, C.M.F., and Father Paul Keller, C.M.F. as at-large Consultors. The Chapter offered our fraternal support for their new ministry to the Province and Congregation.
The planning phase continued with Spirituality resolutions. We concluded the work at hand until 1:00 PM, and proceeded to the chapel for the Installation Eucharist for the new Provincial, Father Richard DeTore, C.M.F., on this Feast Day of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. (12:45 PM)
Our final session included work on the resolutions for the areas of Spirituality, Formation and Vocations, Ministries and Juridical. We concluded the XIV Provincial Chapter of our U.S. Western Province with an evaluation and final words of gratitude and prayer. (6:15 PM)
The XIV Provincial Chapter of our U.S. Western Province will take place at the Claretian Retreat Center in Los Angeles from June 11-15, 2007. Each province of delegation of the Congregation meets every three to six years for a canonical Chapter of Elections. The Chapter includes formal resolutions that will guide the province life and mission during the following three to six years. As the Constitutions of our Claretian Missionaries state:
"The provincial chapter is the instrument that represents the province and expresses the participation, joint responsibility and communion of the whole province. The greatest care should be taken to see to it that through this chapter the provincial community may achieve the greatest inner strength in its missionary life while adapting and opening itself to the general community of the Institute." (No. 122)
We will make every possible effort to fulfill our mission as Claretian Missionaries in the Western United States and throughout the world, most especially in light of the needs and challenges reflected in the XXIII General Chapter Declaration That They May Have Life . Calling us "Servants of Life," the General Chapter Declaration urges: "We have been invited by the Master to 'enter into Life' ( Mt 19:17) and to live it fully: to be with him, and to be sent to preach with the power to overcome evil (cf Mk 3:14-15). If we are not united with Jesus, if we do not walk with Him, we will not have life (cf Jn 15:5). All missionaries (brothers, students and ordained ministers) are servants of life within our own particular ministry and status. We serve life when:
--We enjoy it and celebrate it as a gift of God;
--We attend to others by giving them the best of ourselves in the "prophecy of ordinary life";
--We defend it, contribute to its development and education, and proclaim its ultimate purpose in our missionary service;
--We commit our own life, in work, in prayer, and in suffering, so that others may live." (No. 14)
Our XIV Chapter will be presided over by Father Gonzalo Fernandez Sanz, C.M.F., General Prefect of Spirituality for the Congregation and member of our General Government in Rome . Final preparations are presently taking place under the leadership of our Pre-Capitular Committee and Provincial Council. We look forward to a spirit-filled chapter that will enable us to live faithfully our vocation as Sons of Mary's Heart-passionate Servants of the Word of Life-for our world in this new millennium of Christianity.
Following the dynamic example of Saint Anthony Mary Claret, our Founder, a prayerful spirit of humility before God, one another, and those whom we have been called to serve, especially the poor and marginalized, will empower us to live and serve with the love of Christ, and open our hearts to our mission as disciples of the Risen Christ. Faithfulness to our Claretian missionary spirituality and daily prayer life is a central component of the success of the chapter. Please join us in praying the Prayer for Our XIV Provincial Chapter . May the days and weeks ahead be filled with grace, hope and peace for us all.
PRAYER FOR OUR XIV
Source of All Creation,
Send forth the Light and Wisdom
of your Spirit to be with us as we
prepare for our Provincial Chapter.
Holy Spirit, Spring of Beauty and Wonder,
enlighten and guide our minds and hearts,
that our discernment will enable us to be faithful
to the Gospel of Life, the Good News of Jesus,
Missionary and Evangelizer.
Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Our Founder,
unite us with your zeal as missionaries sent
to bring the Good News of God's Reign of Justice,
Peace, and Love to all creation. Empower us
with your passionate and prophetic spirit.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Our Mother and Model of Discipleship,
Intercede for us during this time of active preparation
for our Provincial Chapter. As you were present
with the Apostles and Disciples on that first Pentecost,
be with us now that, like you, we might be true servants
of the Word and follow ever more faithfully the way
of your Son Jesus, who is Lord forever and ever. Amen.