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Merger between the Hospitaller Brothers and the Little Brothers of the Good Shepherd

The Commission with responsibility for planning and implementing the process of merging the two Institutions is tasked with managing the whole process from the beginning to the end. Initially, it was asked to define, and then evaluate, the objectives of the committees and working groups needed to perform the process. It was also asked to consider not only the organisational but also the spiritual aspects of the process. The process will end with the final approbation of the merger by both Institutes (the Hospitaller Order of Saint John of God and the Little Brothers of the Good Shepherd), and obviously by the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

 The second meeting of the commission for planning the merger process was held on March 7-8, 2013 at Westville Grove NJ. Unfortunately because of the bad weather conditions many of the flights had been cancelled (even though the meteorological situation ended with a light snowfall on March 8). But the result was that some of the participants only managed to arrive on March 7 and not the 6th, as planned. That left only one day on which to deliberate, but thanks to the excellent work of the moderator, Brother Ray of the Christian Brothers, we managed to get through all the items on the agenda. We might summarise the practical conclusions of the meeting in the following terms:

-           Committees and working groups were set up to support the Commission responsible for planning the merger process, and the following composition was decided upon:

  • A Brotherhood Commission. This committee will deal with community life and contacts between the two Institutes.
  • A Governance Commission. This committee will deal with the organisational structure, administration and aspects of both secular and canon law.
  • A working group for the formation of the Brothers, called a Vocation Panel. This Panel will deal with the Prepostulantancy, the Postulancy, the Novitiate and the Scholasticate.

-           A timetable was laid down for the committees? and working groups? meetings.

-           We began reflecting on the official communication to be submitted to the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (this communication has already taken place, but only informally).

-           The timetable has been set for the upcoming meetings of the Commission.

-           The timetable has been set for the forthcoming assemblies of the Little Brothers of the Good Shepherd, and the agendas.

-           We have begun initial reflections on the date on which the merger may take place.

-           We have already laid down the terms for circulating the minutes of the various meetings, and the procedures for exchanging information between the two Institutes.

 

Finally we wish to express our most sincere thanks to the Community of the Brothers of St John of God at Westville Grove for their superb hospitality. Our Brothers manage a Centre for people with disabilities at Westville Grove (http://www.stjohnofgod.org).

 

For more information on the Little Brothers, please consult the following websites:

-           www.lbgs.org

-           www.goodshepherdcentres.ca

-           www.facebook.com (Little-Brothers-of-the-Good-Shepherd)

 



 


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