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Eighth Gathering of the Continental Team, Marist Mission in the Americas

07/08/2009: Chile

On June 9 and 10, the Continental Team, Marist Mission in the Americas, met in Santiago de Chile. The members present were Angelica Alegría, Landelino Ortego and Luis Carlos Gutiérrez (Arco Norte), João Carlos do Prado, Mércia Procópio and Wellington Mousinho de Medeiros from Brazil, Ernesto Reyes and Juan Ignacio Fuentes (Cono Sur), Emili Turú (General Councilor) and Juan Miguel Anaya (secretary of the General Council’s Mission Commission). Annabel Correa from Arco Norte was unable to attend.

A special feature of the meeting was that Angelica, Luis Carlos and João Carlos were attending for the first time. As a result, the meeting began with personal introductions on the part of all the members. Afterwards Brother Emili showed a power point explaining the origin and history of the Team, along with an explanation of the main activities the Team has been involved up to the present time.

Those who were in charge of the Team’s most recent activities gave detailed reports on their projects, briefly explained as follows:

• January 2009, Belem, Brazil, in connection with the World Social Forum;

• Subcommission on Youth Ministry: work accomplished since 2008 when changes were introduced in the subcommission. Work has already started on preparing the subcommission’s next meeting (Guatemala, August 2010) which will be for Province delegates. The topics of the meeting will be (a) the formation of pastoral ministers and (b) coordination at the Province level.

• During the Guatemala meeting of March 2009, the following topic was treated: Manage-ment at the Service of Mission - Looking at the Future.

• An update on the topic of Formation for Leadership.

In view of the General Chapter, the time seems ripe to give a report to CIAP (Provincials Council of the Americas) about our activities and future programs. The report, to be prepared by Emili, will be structured as follows:

a) An account of where we have come from and what we have done, highlighting the last two meetings that we organized, the one on Solidarity and the one for Youth Ministers.

b) Our own evaluation of the undertakings we have set up, an evaluation that touches upon how the Provinces feel about (1) the benefits brought by the creation of networks on different themes, and (2) the introduction of a very simple structure on which various working groups are dependent. In light of such undertakings, we hope that the Team will be able to continue the activities and the policies it has initiated.

c) Several requests that we have received and information regarding the future: moving to-wards the solidarity meeting targeted for the first half of 2010; the group of laity (men and women) and Brothers who have been working this year on writing the document on social action in the Americas; the start of a Project that will study ways of providing formation for those who are to assume executive roles.

Unless the upcoming General Chapter decides to set up some sort of Regional structure to ab-sorb the tasks which we are looking after, or unless CIAP decides otherwise, we foresee our next Team meeting in Brasilia, April 20-23, 2010.

Brother Emili offered a simple thank-you gift to Brothers Landelino and Wellington who will leave the Team after having been members from the very start. Previously Brother Emili had offered a similar token of appreciation to Anabel. We are very gratified to think of the extraordinary work that they have done over the years, and of the wonderful family spirit they help to create at all the meetings in which they participated.

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