Rome, July 4-27, 2023

The OLS XXXV General Chapter concluded its works on July 27, 2023, in Rome at the General Curia of the Congregation. The 29 Delegates to the Chapter, elected and ex-officio, and the three sisters invited to participate as representative of the younger sisters, began the Chapter with a day of Retreat, the fulfillment of the initial requirements and the participation in the Eucharistic celebration presided by His Eminency Cardinal João Braz de Aviz the Prefect of the dicastery of Religious life, at the basilica of St Mary Major.

After the presentation of the 6-years report by the Superior General, Mother Carla Bertani, on the State of the Congregation, and the presentation of the report on the Financial State of the Congregation by Sister Mirella Ricci, the Treasurer General, the delegates gathered in groups to evaluate the two reports.  On Saturday, July 8, the delegates met with the International Council of the Lay Association MPA via a zoom meeting and listened to their reports from Italy, Brazil and Mexico.

The following week the Chapter Assembly reviewed the Revised Constitutions article by article, and discussed the amendments previously sent in by the Chapter Delegates, and at the end, the entire document of the Revised Constitutions were approved.

We then moved to discussing and approving the Core Values of Our Charism, and the Mission of the Congregation that had been ad-experimentum for the past 6 years. Once completed the approval, the delegates, divided into groups, worked on the Vision which was approved in the General Assembly. These documents and statements will greatly help us and our collaborators to have a clear identity and to be more focused on these values in our ministries.

The last two tasks the delegates worked on were the study and discussion of the Working Document and of the norms.

The Working Document, called “Chapter travel notes”, included information from the work done by the two OLS Assemblies (2021 and 2022) and from the on-line presentation of each nation: life, mission, and vision for the future.

The delegates also shared in four cultural evenings prepared by sisters from the English-speaking countries, from Italy, from Mexico, and Brazil.  The food typical of each nation, the dances, the games, and the little gifts – expressions of their culture – allowed us to enjoy the richness of our diversity. These evenings together helped us to grow in unity and in a deeper appreciation of one another.

At this General Chapter we did something new, we shared with the entire Congregation – via the web – some important moments of our being together: the opening and the closing of the Chapters, the opening Mass at St Mary Major, several interviews of different delegates and of the facilitators, Mr. Alberto Frassineti and Mrs. Eva Gullo, the evening prayer and the daily news on the Facebook page, all prepared by the Communication Committee.

The XXXV General Chapter of the OLS family is now over, and we are ready to continue the journey together putting into practice what we have prayed, discussed and approved. We place ourselves under the loving protection of our Mother Foundress, Blessed Elisabetta Renzi that we may continue to be a witness of God’s love for all those we meet.  We are one family, and our sense of belonging will help us to be united and to support one another.