03 July 2008

Western America Province Chapter

The tenth ordinary chapter of the Western America Province was held on 15-20 June 2008, in the picturesque setting of San Lorenzo Retreat Center in the Santa Ynez valley of California. The preparation that the brothers had put into the Chapter was evident from the outset. Besides electing a new Provincial Council, delegates spent time refining the Guiding Principles and Action Steps that were developed in local chapters and regional assemblies during the previous two years. Thanks in part to the help of Sr. Regina Fox in preparation for the chapter, the work of the brothers proceeded smoothly and quickly.

Besides the triennial report of the outgoing Provincial Minister, Br Tony Marti, the brothers also heard a report from Br David Beaumont on the Province’s mission in northern Mexico and one from Jesus Vela on the efforts of the Vocation Office. The newly-elected Provincial Council consists of (left to right in photo above): Jesus Vela (Vicar), Peter Banks, Matthew Elshoff (Provincial Minister), Robert Barbato and Michael Mahoney.

Five resolutions were passed with large majorities at the Chapter:

  • to ratify the Guiding Principles;
  • to ratify the Action Steps;
  • to consent to the establishment of a new friary in northern Mexico;
  • to use the help of outside expertise to improve the results of the Vocation Office;
  • to authorize the creation of a Strategic Planning committee, composed of both friars and lay people, to help the Province focus on its mission and to determine the resources needed to accomplish that mission.

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