Brother William Mann, president of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, is serving as a delegate for the 45th General Chapter of the Institute of Brothers of the Christian Schools from April 22 to June 8 in Rome.
Held every seven years, the objectives of the 45th General Chapter include evaluating the life of the Institute, providing for continuing adaptation and renewal, setting main guidelines for future action, and electing the superior general, vicar general and the Brother councilors. Additionally, revision of the “Rule” — a set of statements that Brothers worldwide take as directives — will be considered and potentially implemented.
The 88 Brothers attending the General Chapter as delegates form the highest level of governance in the Institute. Brother William is one of four representatives sent from the District of Eastern North America (DENA). This is his first General Chapter as president of Saint Mary’s University; he attended the 44th General Chapter as vicar general of the Christian Brothers, a position he held from 2000–2007.
Brother Robert Smith, vice president of Saint Mary’s Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs, traveled to Rome for the 45th General Chapter’s Preparatory Commission seven times over the last two years. He and six other Brothers met to establish rules and procedures for efficient and effective running of the General Chapter.
Previous General Chapters will be evaluated as the Institute sets new goals for the future. The 42nd and 43rd General Chapters focused on association with Christian Brothers’ collaborators and service to the poor. The 44th General Chapter put emphasis on the vocation of the Brothers, especially in terms of an integrated spiritual life lived together and in association for the educational service of the underprivileged.