What are the functions of the chapter sisters?

The functions of the Chapter Sisters are defined in our Constitutions and the Directory 

  • “The General Chapter is a collegial assembly which - within the limits fixed by the Church and according to the Constitutions- exerts the normative authority in the Congregation.
  • It carries out the union of responsibilities within the Congregation and searches its constant renewal and adjustments being attentive to the needs of the Church and of the world, in fidelity to the Gospel and to the charism of the Congregation.
  • … It pertains to it, the election of the General Government…” (C. 105)
  • “… It is its duty to study the situation of the Institute in its different aspects in order to take make the necessary decisions for the revitalization of its spirit and its apostolic activities” (D. 54)

The Sisters attending the Chapter  count on the experience, the reflections, the prayer and the support of the all Spínola Sisters. 

Who will participate in the general chapter?

All Spínola Sisters are committed in the preparation of the Chapter, even if not all of us are participating with our presence.  The following are the ones who will participate:

  • By proper right: the General Government
  • By election: the delegates of each country elected in the proportion of 1 to 10 sisters – 1 delegate, from 11 to 20 sisters, - 2 delegates, etc.” (D. 58) 

The Chapter assembly will be composed of 34 Handmaids, 7 of them by proper right and 27 by election according to the following distribution:

10 General Superiors in 137 years

In its 137-year history, the Congregation has had 10 General Superiors. In this Chapter the Handmaids of the Divine Heart will elect their 11th General Superior.

What is a General Chapter?

In July of this year 2022, the XXI General Chapter of the Congregation Handmaid of the Divine Heart will be celebrated. But what is a General Chapter?

It is a collegiate assembly formed by a group of sisters who are democratically elected from among the perpetually professed sisters. It is held every 6 years and its purpose is to be faithful to the Gospel, to the Congregational Charism and to the historical moment, to today’s reality. The Chapter is responsible to:

  • elect the General Government
  • study the situation of the Congregation in order to make the necessary decisions to revitalize its spirit and its apostolic activities.

For this, the Chapter takes into account the contributions of Sisters, communities and apostolic works, Spínola lay affiliates and of all those with whom we share the charism and mission. For all that has been said, we can affirm that it is a very important event not only for the Congregation, but also for all of us who make up the Spinola Family and ultimately, for the Church and the word.

It seeks the constant renewal and adaptation of the Congregation by being attentive to the needs of the Church and the world in fidelity to the Gospel and the Congregational Charism