Chapter at the Gricigliano Motherhouse
Posted in General on September 10, 2016

There's no place like home, is a sentiment most people are familiar with, and for the canons of the Institute this common feeling takes on a new resonance every year at the General Chapter meeting. For our priests who minister on three different continents, coming back for a week of prayer, fraternity and spiritual conferences in our motherhouse at Gricigliano is a homecoming they look forward to all year. This year, with 12 new priests attending their first Chapter, we were able to get a better sense of the importance of the ongoing building works at the seminary, as the chapel and refectory are now full to overflowing when the whole community gathers!

As always, the Chapter begins with the traditional invocation to the Holy Ghost, the "Veni creator," and a Eucharistic holy hour. In addition to singing the hours of Vespers and Compline in common every day, our priests also attend the solemn Masses celebrated by our superiors in the seminary chapel. We were honored by the visit of the Most Reverend Luciano Giovannetti, emeritus bishop of Fiesole and friend of long date to the Institute, who celebrated the Pontifical Votive Mass of Our Lord Jesus Christ Eternal High Priest, for the First Thursday of the month.

The last night of the Chapter, the canons enjoyed watching a film edited by the seminarians showing the history of the Institute going back over 25 years. Although our modest Institute, in the scheme of the 2,000-year history of the Church is still a very young foundation, it was very striking -- especially for our youngest priests, who were not yet born when the Institute was canonically erected in 1990 -- to get a taste of providential growth of our community and to appreciate the sacrifices made by the founding generation. Monsignor Wach, in his final conference of the Chapter, inculcated for our priests the importance of the forgotten Christian virtue of gratitude. Watching this very moving documentary made it easier for us to exercise this virtue, not only to divine providence but also to the generous prelates over the years who have accompanied the Institute since the beginning, exemplars of the spirit of "Romanitas" which has always been so dear to our founders.

As every year, the Chapter concludes with the singing of the Te Deum in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, in thanksgiving for the many graces of the week.

– Canon Francis Altiere

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Chapter at the Gricigliano Motherhouse
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