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The enlarged General Council with the Marist regions of Brazil and Cono Sur (1)

31/10/2008: Argentina - Photo gallery

Brother Superior General and his Council convened a meeting of the provincial Councillors of the Marist regions of Brazil and Cono Sur, from 27 until 31 October 2008, in the Villa Marista of Mar del Plata (Argentina). Brazil and Cono Sur, where today can be found one of the most significant presences of the Marist mission in the world, already share a number of common interests that allow them to define operational policies with which to strengthen their presence in these extensive lands. These common interests merited combined consideration by the General Council and the Provincial Council in the meeting held in Cochabamba in 2003 when the General Council began to put into practice the projects of its mandate.

Brother Demetrio Espinosa, Provincial of Cruz del Sur, welcomed those taking part, wishing them a happy experience in Argentinean lands. The work began with the words of Brother Seán Sammon, Superior General, who highlighted the importance of this meeting attended by the representatives of one of the most numerous parts of the life and mission of the Institute. This convocation, Brother Seán said, is an exercise in shared responsibility in the government of the Institute. And among the tasks proposed to the provincial Councils for these days of meeting in Mar del Plata is the creation of possible inter-regional government structures related to the general government to present them to the General Chapter if this were the case. The repeated meeting of the enlarged General Council shows the necessity for new government structures that favour the pursuit of projects and accompaniment in the experiences. The General Conferences gather the Brother Provincials around the General Superior and his Council to study matters of general interest for the Institute. But needs have appeared which are characteristic of the different regions of the Institute which are claiming creativity to give new responses which strengthen the combined work of the General Council with the regions. In his intervention he pointed out that in the course of more than half a century in which we have been working on the renewal of religious life and of the Institute there has existed a first generation of brothers who went ahead with building the foundations of renewal. And he concluded: The generations that must take the second step are here.

Objectives of the meeting

The objectives proposed for the meeting are the following: 1. to evaluate the action plans agreed globally in the enlarged General Council held in Cochabamba in 2003, giving continuity to the visits of the General Council carried out in the two regions. 2. to reflect, together with the General Council, on the two topics suggested by the Provincials and their Councils as being important for the life of the two regions: accompaniment of the young brothers and mission - lay people. 3. to give the opportunity to the provincial Council to enrich their action plans in these reflected areas, open to a regional or inter-regional collaboration. 4 to meditate together, by the light of the experience of the current General Administration, on possible structures of animation and government, at general and regional level, in views of the next General Chapter.

Global evaluation of the action plans proposed in Cochabamba.

The evaluation was made in small inter-provincial groups which were provided with two questions: How do we value the progress made as regions globally and jointly? What do we learn of our operation as regions for the future?
In the plenary session evaluations such as the following were noted: We have progressed in inter-provincial formation. The Network of Marist apostolic Spirituality has been very positive for the region. Structures and effective processes of communication are essential. It is necessary to consolidate structures already existing in the Provinces (UMBRASIL), and to create other inter-regional ones. It is very important to revive processes: at the moment we have many events and few processes. There is a desire to foment exchange and participation in the spaces that have already been created. A greater animation of spirituality is needed and growth in institutional participation. One also mentioned the role developed by the Marist universities.

Accompaniment of the young brothers

The reflection on the accompaniment of the young brothers in the two Marist regions is made from the perspective held by the brothers of each province involved in the processes and from the view of the General Council after visiting the Provinces. The afternoon session began with the presentation of the formation plans and the accompaniment of young brothers in the provinces. In the presentation statistics were shown that reflect the numerical reality of the young brothers of each province, the formation plans, the structures for welcoming in the communities and of insertion in the Marist mission. They highlighted the strengths of the formation plans applied in each one of the provinces and the challenges that must be confronted in the future. Brother Maurice Berquet completed the information with statistical data

The second part of the afternoon was devoted to sharing some criteria suggested by the General Councillors in the reports carried out after the two visits to the Provinces.

Participants (see photos)


Brasil Centro-Norte: Claudino Falchetto, Vicente Falqueto, Joaquim Juraci Farias de Oliveira, José Nilton Dourado da Silva, Lúcio Gomes Dantas, Joaci Pinheiro de Sousa.
Brazil Centro-Sul: Tercilio Sevegnani, Dario Bortolini, Davide Pedri, Délcio Afonso Balestrin, Frederico Unterberger, Jorge Gaio, João Carlos do Pradero.
Rio Grande do Sul: Lauro Francisco Hochsheidt, Dionísio Roberto Rodrigues, Evilázio Francisco Borges Teixeira, Lédio de Jesus Matias, Romidio Siveris, Roque Ari Salet.
Distrito da Amazônia: João Gutemberg M. Coelho Sampaio, Sebastião Ferrarini.


Santa María de los Andes: Antonio Peralta, Mariano Varona, Patricio Pino, Jesus Pérez, Barsen García, Pablo Gonzáles, Alfonso García
Cruz del Sur: Demetrio Espinosa, Agustín Martínez, Gerardo Accastello, Horacio Bustos, Juan Ignacio Fuentes, Raúl Goitea.
Paraguay: Ángel Medina Bermúdez, Domingo Giménez dos Santos.

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