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Hospitaller Brothers and Brothers of the Good Shepherd Merger

As part of the process of merging our Order and the Congregation of the Little Brothers of the Good Shepherd, a course on the Order?s Constitutions and General Statutes, attended by 36 participants, was organised on 9-14 June 2013 at the Jericho House youth centre in Ontario, on the northern shore of Lake Erie. It was moderated by Brother Brian O?Donnell and Brother Joseph Smith, both members of our Oceania Province. The General Curia was represented by Brother Rudolf Knopp who is in charge of the amalgamation process. Two Brothers from our Canadian Delegation, and one Brother from New Jersey, were also present. All the other participants were Little Brothers.

The course not only dealt with the distinctive aspects of our Order?s proper law, but also historical aspects linking our Founder, John of God, to the Founder of the Little Brothers, Brother Matthias Barrett (photo 2). To visually emphasise this linkage, two staffs were displayed throughout the course: the staff of St John of God, symbolising our Order, and the shepherd?s crook or staff, symbolising the Congregation of the Little Brothers of the Good Shepherd (photo 1). Historical references and benchmarks played an important part in the discussions, both to acquire a better understanding of the development of the Order?s proper law, and of their significance and meaning. For example, our Order played a leading part in another merger process as long ago as 1574, the year in which St John Grande and his companions joined forces with our Order in Spain.

During the course there were also moments of intense communion, shared in a climate of affectionate fraternity, including an outing to the famous Niagara Falls.

Links:

Website of the Little Brothers of the Good Shepherd www.lbgs.org

Website of the ?Jericho House? youth centre www.jerichohouse.org

 

 

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