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Study the Statute of Provincial Secretary

 

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Provincial Secretaries of Europe at Guardamar

29/04/2009: Spain

On the 15th and 16th of April 2009 there was a gathering in Guardamar of the Provincial Secretaries of the Marist provinces of Europe: Br. Segundo Barragán (Ibérica), Srta. Lorena Boronat (Archives Mediterranea), Br. José Mateo Torres (Compostela), Br. José María Rius (Mediterranea), Madame Nellie Beelen (Europe Central-West), Br. André Thizy (Hermitage) with Brother Jean Ronzon, Secretary General. Work centred on the Manual of the Provincial Secretary, together with records and documents describing and facilitating the work of management, the fruits of daily experience of this service in all the Provinces and made with the help of an ample contribution of documents. In the first session work was done on the document Function and Mission of the Provincial Secretary (file no.0.02) where it was expressed that the provincial secretaries work with documents, but behind each one of them there is a person, a religious, and our writings are the bearers or generators of sentiments and emotions which we must administer with honesty and love.

A study was also made of a text for the Statute of ‘Provincial Secretary’ to be proposed to the General Chapter. In our proper law there is no mention of this person who each day, especially with restructuring, is considered more necessary. Certainly in our Constitutions and Statutes this service is referred to indirectly in treating of the Acts of the Provincial Council, the Provincial Chapter (drawing up of lists, acts, province norms), provincial archives, communicating to the General Administration or the Superior General of personal or provincial petitions, statistics, annual returns, etc… The meeting at Guardamar advocated the professionalizing of this function, by giving the office of Provincial Secretary content, functions, and the means for better development. A first draft of this article of the statute was distributed to all the provincial secretaries of the Institute two years ago and received various comments which were taken into account in the present more developed text, drawn up with the help of Br. Juan Miguel Anaya, Procurator General of the Institute with the Holy See. The new article will be distributed to all the Provincial Secretaries to request their opinion. It will be delivered later to the Preparatory Commission of the General Chapter.

Another of the subjects treated was a report on the Official Recognition of the Marist Institute with respect to civil society in different countries. The study initially concentrated on Spain, emphasizing the documentation required by the Provincial Secretary for its application, and afterwards obtained information about France, Great Britain, Ireland, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Lebanon and Syria.

There was also a presentation on the second phase of the ARCHIVUM programme for the organization of the documental material of the Institute. At this time, various European Marist provinces, as well as the General Administration, have joined this programme. Srta. Lorena Boronat, archivist of the Mediterranean province, gave a practical lesson on how to arrange access to the system and ways of navigating for the consultation of documents or for entering or withdrawing computer filing systems.

Br. Jean Ronzon brought the sessions to a close by thanking those present for their collaboration in improving the services of the Provincial Secretary, and underlining the good work achieved.

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