Community June 19
The principle of collegiality means that members should enjoy full and effective participation in the life, the responsibility, and the decisions of their communities on local, provincial, and general levels (Const. 7.4).
There is a technique of group dynamics that insists on participants being in a circle for dialogue. The circle should be “perfect,” that is, those in the discussion should position themselves so that each can see the face of every other participant for a real face-to-face sharing. All the members of the group are there as equals. No place in the circle is either privileged or disadvantaged. The leadership of the group can be in the hands of the leader, but the leader participates as an equal, in accord with all the rules of listening and sharing. If the leader is at the same time responsible for the group (as the “first among equals”), he or she exercises that responsibility according to the agreements already reached by the group. In fact, the circle symbolizes the collegiality of an Augustinian community. The confreres assemble as equals, each respecting the dignity of the other, for a face-to-face exercise of co-responsibility. The superior takes a place in the circle. All feel called into the circle by the Spirit of God and the Spirit is their inspiration. Being in circle is not limited to chapters. In effect, it is the spirit of all the interactions of the followers of Augustine.
Persons are only equal when sitting. (Nande)
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