Community June 18
Community chapters are . . . the place . . . where the confreres meet each other in solidarity . . . so as to share their pains and their joys and decide collegially . . . about personal, spiritual, material and pastoral policies (Congolese Regional Statutes 1.10).
The assembly of the confreres, according to St. Augustine, is the point of departure for concretizing the Christian life. The assembly, where the Lord is known, is the root of all prayer. There conversion and Gospel love are lived. In the assembly, the mission of Jesus is discovered, as well as the participation of each member. The assembly, called “the chapter” in the Constitutions, is more than a meeting. We are always the assembly, the chapter, at prayer, at table, at play, on mission, even when we are separated from one another. The assembly asks that each member give priority to the other and to the group. The assembly is not strange to African culture. The individual finds identity and well-being in the tribe. It is not of little consequence that the African author of the Augustinian Rule put the assembly at the heart of it.
The fish is only strong in the water. (Mambwe)