The Chapter’s General Secretary

General Chapter Chronicle 9 - Day n°22 - 08/04

As you might expect from Italians, the organization of the General Chapter has been almost spotless. Even the small complications encountered by the brothers have an upside if you look for it. For example, the weather is so hot and humid that the Capitular Fathers wear shorts and T-shirts. Sometimes the internet-speed is slow, but this allows you some extra-time to think about what you are writing (and no... I don't have a superfast connection). There is almost too much pasta to eat, but it will last you until your next journey to the Bel Paese. Definitively #Bologna2016 is an organizational success.

Behind every successful General Chapter there is an efficient General Secretary. And this is the case with #Bologna2016 and its Secretary, Fr. Roberto Giorgis. He studied in Fribourg, has extensive experience as a conventual Prior and took part in the General Chapter in Trogir. Even his degree in Psychology can help the Capitulars with managing conflicts and bearing stressful situations. He is bald and bold, thin and clever. He does cycling, trekking, swimming, jogging and drinks a lot of coffee – but only during General Chapters.

When you have a problem, Fr. Roberto is the man to go to. Is the microphone not working? Ask Roberto! Do you want reimbursing for your travel expenses? Ask Roberto! Has the clean laundry not been delivered yet? Ask Roberto! You are not sure about the correct proceedings for a plenary session? Do you need a dentist? Are you late for your airplane? Ask Roberto!

Indeed, an assembly of a hundred Dominicans requires a lot of planning and work. Undoubtedly, the most important side of his job is coordinating all the participants in the Chapter. Many decisions have to be taken, such as where to meet, to sleep and to eat, or who does what task (cleaning, photocopying, making coffee, taxi driver, media relations, payments...) and when. He attends the plenary sessions and writes the minutes. He is member of the steering committee, which plans the next day’s schedule. He spends the rest of the day in the office doing paperwork and spends the rest of the night doing the same. At the end of proceedings, he is the one who produces the Acts, which the Chapter approves and the Master of the Order validates.

After three weeks of work like that, even a man like Fr. Roberto needs a very long rest in a very peaceful priory, where the climate is pleasant and the prayers well sung. So, if your priory is a suitable destination, step forward! Fr. Roberto deserves it.

Your devoted Chronicler would like to conclude his Chronicle thanking you, my patient Reader, for your kind attention and wishing all the best to the next General Chapter Secretary. May God help him, whoever he will be.

Ps. Dear next General Chapter Secretary, if you need any advice on how to organize a General Chapter, ask Roberto!

The Chronicler