Monday, October 8, 2018

So much for Thanksgiving... back to work!

Monday was Thanksgiving Day in Canada. Here in Rome, there was not a turkey in sight (as long as you don't count the bishops themselves, of course). It was also the day for our small groups to meet and finalize the observations we wanted to make for the main assembly, as well as to vote on concrete proposals to modify the Instrumentum laboris. 

These small group tasks meant that, as Rapporteur, I had two main jobs today:
  1. To prepare a set of minutes summarizing the previous 4 sessions of small group meetings.
  2. To prepare the texts of the proposals and chair the voting on those proposals.
In order to facilitate this work I had given the members of our small group my work email address, so they could send me their proposals in advance (allowing me to just copy and paste). Unfortunately, as reported in my previous blog post, the email server in Canada went kaput, so I did not get them as early as I would have hoped. I therefore headed over early to the Paul VI Hall, where I knew there was reliable wifi. While I am not a morning person, I have to admit my commute is not that bad. Here is my main view as I walk along the Via della Conciliazione:

Yup, not bad at all. Anyway, I managed to get a whole bunch of the proposals received this far transferred into the special forms the general secretariat of the Synod was asking us to use (I created my own template in Word to make things go faster). Then, after our morning session (when even more proposals were developed) I shifted into high gear. In total, 65 proposals had come in! Happily I had also brought a mobile printer with my from Canada, so I was able to print these documents on the spot.

Despite taking a bit long in the beginning, the session for the voting went well. We managed to finish voting on all the proposals 30 minutes early, allowing me to make corrections and amendments to the sheets as necessary (as well as type up the minutes). Our deadline was 7:30 pm, and with the help of the two trusty assistants in our group we managed to get the paper copies of everything handed in. Of course, upon entering the secretariat I was asked for a USB key with the electronic copies -- the first I had heard of this requirement! Well, I told the fellow he'd get it tomorrow, as it had been enough for one day. 

I want to thank my small group for their collaboration. They did their part, offering their observations and suggestions, but they did it in a way that helped me do my own work. It's great to work as a team!

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