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Continental Marist Mission Team in America

19/05/2010: Brazil

The American Continental Marist Mission Team met in Brasilia (Brasil) on the 21st and 22nd of April. Present were Mrs. Angélica Alegría and Br. Luis Carlos Gutiérrez (Arco Norte), Br. João Carlos do Prado, and Mrs. Mércia Procópio (Brasil), D. Ernesto Reyes, and Br. Juan Ignacio Fuentes (Cono Sur) and Br. Juan Miguel Anaya acting as secretary of the Mission Commission of the General Council.

We were able to take part in some of the festive celebrations marking the fiftieth anniversary of the city. The 23rd was devoted to visiting some Marist works in the city and a neighbouring natural reserve, following the program prepared by Brother João Carlos. The meeting was held in the Provincial House of Brasil Centro-Norte. We are grateful for the hospitality shown by the brothers of this community, especially the Superior.

The Team meets only once a year, but is responsible for the on-going functioning of the various subcommissions working on the different subjects approved by the Provincials of America. The current subcommissions, and the principal tasks performed, are:

1.- Solidarity Subcommission: Its members are Mércia and Angélica, together with Mrs. Dilma Alves (Brasil Centro-Norte), Br. Juan Carlos Robles (México Central) and Dña. Mónica Linares (Cruz del Sur), representing the 3 American subregions. In the III Meeting «Corazón Solidario» in Belém, the participants were engaged in drawing up a document on «Marist Solidarity in America». The subcommission had the help of Brothers Jorge Gaio and Vicente Falqueto (Brasil) in this work.

At this time, they are working on the different chapters of the document with great participation from the persons and groups of the various Provinces. One of the major challenges is to design instruments and processes for collecting the contributions and dreams of our young people and adolescents, thus permitting our activities to respond to their needs.

With the approval of the American Provincials, preparations have been started to hold the IV Meeting «Corazón Solidario» in the first term of 2011, so that the document may be shared and validated. The solidarity teams of each administrative unit will be invited.

2.- Youth Ministry Subcommission. Br. Juan Ignacio is a member, together with 4 provincial co-ordinators elected by the combined co-ordinators. The creation of a Blog and the work of D. Ulises Centeno (México Central) as “communications secretary” have been a great help in communication, exchange, and following-up of the themes.

The strategic planning of the subcommission aims at animating 3 main processes:

* To complete the work on “formation of pastoral agents” (data, exchange, joint reflection...). Some conclusions on this topic would be: if much progress has been made in the Provinces in this respect; all rely on requests for formation; valuable experience can be exchanged.

* To push for reflection, exchange and the construction of new common paths towards a Youth Ministry in “new scenarios”. Some conclusions on this theme could be: the situations are very different; these new scenarios are not easily acceptable to the provincial animation of Youth Ministries, which are more centred on groups and “typical” communities; there are valuable and rich experiences which deserve to be become known.


* To push for reflection about the provincial, national, local co-ordination of Youth Ministry... Some conclusions on this theme would be: Youth Ministry has a recognized place in the life of the Provinces; it counts on planning, structures, resources; there needs to be a greater reference to the “vision” and the “mystique” which are the heart and soul of our Youth Ministry.

CIAP 2007 approved the holding of meetings of the provincial co-ordinators of Youth Ministry every two years. The next will be held in August in Guatemala. The topic to be studied is provincial co-ordination. It will count on the presence of Br.Afonso Murad and of M. Socorro Álvarez to throw light on the work.

3.- Formation of Directors Subcommission: Its members are Ernesto and Luis Carlos, together with Mrs. Irma Zamarripa (México Occidental) and Br. José Wagner (Brasil Centro-Norte).

At present it is making an investigative survey of the situation in this area and its connection with the needs of animation of the Marist mission in the continent. The conclusions were sent in a report and letter to the Provinces at the beginning of 2010.

In order to validate and socialize the contents of the inquiry and the different programs of formation of directors, in a way as to make it possible to establish a horizon of performance or joint lines of action for Marist America, it has been decided to ask the authorization of the Provincials for the holding of a «Continental Meeting on the formation of directors of formal education» in March 2011 in Campinas (Brazil), aimed at those charged with the formation of directors or the team with the corresponding task in each province.

Continuing the reflection begun at the last meeting in Santiago de Chile in 2009, the Team has initiated a process to draw up a strategic plan for the coming years. We believe it necessary for this plan to be prepared for presentation at the next meeting of CIAP in Argentina in 2011. Juan Miguel and João Carlos have been asked to prepare some materials for study. The drawing up of the plan will be the principal task of the next meeting of the Team.

_____________
Juan Miguel Anaya Torres
Acting Secretary of the Mission Commission

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