A very exciting day at the Norbertine General Chapter. We started the day listening to Abbot General Thomas Handgrätinger’s farewell address on the prudence and balance of the local house superior. He pointed out that this is made possible in a global community by modern technology. He even got in a couple of quotes from Pope Francis’s Apostolic Exhortation, Gaudete et Exsultate. Four Definitors were sworn in today; they are the governing board of this General Chapter. Mid-morning we enjoyed a coffee break with Abbot General Noots, the 86 year old predecessor of Abbot General Handgrätinger.
After we had the opportunity to read the considerations for the election of a new abbot general, Abbot General Handgrätinger offered his formal resignation. No one won a majority on the first vote, so the drama was set for the rest of the day as we prepared for a second ballot. On that second ballot, we elected a new Abbot General, Jozef Wouters of Averbode.