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PUT OUT INTO THE DEEP (LK 5:4)

FINAL STATEMENT
THIRD PROVINCIAL CHAPTER
PROVINCE OF CEBU
JULY 1-12, 2002

DIRECTION

In the light of the coming Centenary celebration (2006) of the Redemptorist missionary presence in the Philippines, we hear the urgent call to renew our apostolic community life.

The recent National Pastoral Consultation for Church Renewal (NPCCR) challenges us as religious to be agents of renewal.

In view of this two-fold call, we commit ourselves as Redemptorists in the Province of Cebu to a radical renewal of life as individuals and as a religious community. This renewal will focus on our vowed life and witness as religious and a reclaiming of our missionary identity and dynamism.

Together with our lay cooperators, we enter into this renewal with confidence, in response to the Lordís invitation to "put out into the deep" (Lk 5:4).

Gathered in the Third Provincial Chapter, the Delegates, guided by the Spirit and after much discernment and prayer, believe that this renewal will involve many changes in our present way of life and ministry in the Province. The following decisions of the Chapter, we hope, will pave the way for this renewal.

I. APOSTOLATE

Missions

  • The Chapter directs the OPC to constitute all communities as mission communities that will engage in different forms of missions, including urban missions, as well as retreats.
  • The Chapter directs the OPC to strengthen the Dalat Mission.
  • The Chapter directs the OPC to proceed with setting up the join mission with Manila.
  • The Chapter directs the Apostolic Secretariat and the members of the mission teams to examine the methodology and viability of our present missions vis-à- vis the number, location, duration, lay participation and morale.
  • The Chapter directs the OPC to dialogue with confreres who are not engaged in mission (e.g. administration, formation, vocation promotion, parish, retreats, etc.) to get involved in missions on a part-time or short-term basis.
  • The Chapter directs the Apostolic Secretariat to initiate as soon as possible
  • during the new triennium the process of thoroughly reviewing our existing mission system. This review will aim at revitalizing our mission apostolate in the direction set by the Chapter. An important aspect of this review is the redesigning of our mission method so that provision is made for the involvement on a part-time or short-term basis of confreres who because of other necessary assignment, health or age, are not engaged fully in mission work.
  • As Redemptorists, our charism calls us to respond quickly to contemporary issues of justice from the perspective of moral theology. So, the Chapter directs the OPC to ensure the functioning of the Social Concerns Center, and ensure to make the above concern one of their major tasks.
  • In order to make a more consolidated Province and to promote new initiatives in the apostolate, the Chapter directs the EPC to make an objective evaluation of the existing apostolic work in the Province with the purpose of finding solutions to the growing tension between the ageing profile of the Province and our present commitments.
  • The Chapter directs the EPC to initiate consultation with communities on the question of rationalization and its criteria and to set up the process of discernment in the Province.
  • The Chapter directs the EPC to reposition some of our communities to enable us to fulfill our missionary charism.
      1.  
        Parishes/Churches
         
      2. The Chapter directs the EPC to review our existing parish ministry and recommend which parishes to keep and which to turn over to the diocese.
      3. The Chapter directs that in the course of the triennium: a) we move towards withdrawing from parish ministry, and b) in the churches that we retain, the thrust will be refocused to enable them to become centers of evangelization, centers of prayer, centers of reconciliation and healing, centers that welcome the poor through concerted effort to initiate programs that respond to the needs of the poor.

      4.  

         

        Retreat Houses, Retreat Apostolate
         

      5. The Chapter directs the Apostolic Secretariat to set up a training program to equip/enable us to give retreats to priests and religious.
      6. The Chapter directs the OPC/EPC to work towards transforming our retreat

      7. houses into centers of renewal and Alphonsian spirituality.

        Lay Cooperators
         

      8. The Chapter directs all communities to read carefully and study seriously the provisions of the RELCA HANDBOOK and to dialogue/discuss with the lay cooperators in order to draw up appropriate programs at the local level (e.g. sabbatical leave, formal studies, ongoing formation, separation/termination, etc.)
      9. The Chapter directs the Apostolic Secretariat to help RELCA clarify itsidentity in the light of Communicanda 4.
      II. COMMUNITY AND INDIVIDUAL RENEWAL

    Community

  • In view of the concern expressed for a deeper understanding of the religious life aspect of our Redemptorist commitment, the Chapter directs the community secretariat and the local communities that in this coming triennium the Province focus primarily on the Renewal of Living our Religious Life.
  • The Chapter directs the OPC in conjunction with the Community Secretariat to incorporate in any Province-wide retreat in the coming triennium.
  •         a.  Input on how recent sociological realities brought about by globalization have influenced the manner  in which we view lifestyle, community, individual assertions, power, authority and other such concepts;
  •          b.  Deeper discernment on how to live our vows (especially poverty and obedience) in view of the above.
  • The Chapter directs the young CSsRs and the mid-lifers to undergo a workshop-seminar on Pastoral Leadership and Management during their annual gathering this triennium.
  • We refrain from non-essential major projects in the coming triennium in order not to dissipate our energy. The Chapter directs the Finance Secretariat to define what are non-essential major projects.

  •  

     

    Poverty

  • To ensure the greater transparency and accountability, to encourage the practice of personal responsibility in the area of poverty, and to raise consciousness of solidarity with the poor and the middle classes, the Chapter, through the Finance Secretariat, directs local communities to make proper budgeting in such a way that:
  • personal budgeting is included in community budgeting
  • a community report on income/expenses be given to the community each month
  • percentage of income be allotted for the poor and the sick
  • the community sets a ceiling to be approved by the EPC as to how

  • much a confrere can spend. Over and above that, permission from the Superior is needed.
  • to ensure that values emphasized in our Manual of Finance, particularly Gospel stewardship, are owned by all.
  • On Healthy Relationship
  • The Chapter directs the OPC to institute a process of drawing up guidelines to nurture healthy relationships:

  • In doing so, it is good to distinguish between three kinds of relationships:

    • Situations which involve sexual abuse. In situations like this, the policy must be very clear:
      • The welfare of the victim is vital and no attempt should be made to silence him/her.
      • During the process of investigation, care is to be taken that the accused does not lose the right to his good name.
      • Civil law implications must be honored.
    • Consensual relationships (hetero and homo): In situations such as these, the vow of celibacy and existing relational commitments must be safeguarded.
    • Those that can be open to misinterpretation.
    The third category is not easy to describe. However, it can involve an incorrect reading of the reality of the situation where actions or words are misconstrued by the persons involved or by others.

    In all three cases, the good name of the Congregation, cultural sensibilities, the reputation of those involved and appropriate confidentiality and secrecy must be observed.

  • In view of the urgency of the matter, the Chapter directs the OPC to appoint a group of competent people to draw up a Province Policy for dealing with allegations of sexual misconduct. We ask that this be completed before the Assembly in October 2002.

  •  

     

    Individual Renewal

  • Radical renewal of community begins with individual renewal. Each confrere is encouraged to make an eight-day personal retreat, ideally a directed retreat, during which he will identify, in the light of the Chapter, blocks in his living of the vowed life and discern the concrete steps/plans he is called to take.
  • A community retreat as a support for the individualís ongoing conversion may follow. It is the responsibility of the superior to facilitate it.
  • III. VOCATIONS/FORMATION

    Vocations

  • The Chapter directs the OPC to oversee the creation and evaluation of any Redemptorist Itinerant Vocation Team (RIVT) team/s during the triennium.
  • The Chapter directs the local communities to revitalize their commitment to the vocation ministry as a community priority concern and to promote the Provinceís target to recruit at least ten well-screened young professionals.

  • Formation

  • The Chapter directs the EPC to set up a Board to periodically review the implementation of the EPCís decision of March 2000 on SAT.

  • 4. The Chapter directs the EPC to set up a Board to annually review the different

    stages of formation vis-à-vis the Directory of Formation.
      1. The Chapter directs the OPC, in conjunction with the Formation Secretariat, to look seriously at the area of First Assignments, considering the importance of a confrereís first assignment. In doing so, the following values must be considered:
        1. transition to full-time ministry and the opportunity to develop confidence in ministry
        2. the centrality of community life
        3. exposure to the different apostolic works of the Province
        4. a substantial mission experience
        5. the possibility of the confrere involved, choosing his own mentor or Director, in dialogue with the OPC, his formator and the confrere chosen.
        6. the needs of the Province


      IV. RELATIONSHIP WITH MANILA VICE-PROVINCE

      The Chapter directs the OPC to continue the ongoing efforts at joint cooperation between Manila and Cebu in the following areas:
        1. formation
        2. apostolate
        3. age-group meetings
        4. Ordinary Councils
        5. Retreats and seminars
        6. lay collaboration


      V. ELECTORAL LAW

      The Chapter directs the EPC to set up a Commission to study changes in our electoral law, which include: a) Chapter Assembly, and b) Election of the Provincial Council. The proposed changes are to be presented at the October 2002 Assembly.

      In the light of the above, the Chapter convenes an Assembly of all confreres and representatives of the lay cooperators, to take place this coming October 2002. The purpose of this Assembly is to enable all in the Province to come together, in a spirit of collegiality, to commit ourselves to launching out into the deep and undertaking this journey towards renewal which will result in our reclaiming of our Redemptorist identity and missionary dynamism in proclaiming the Lordís plentiful redemption, especially to the poor and the most abandoned.

     
     
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