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Provincial Assembly on Vocation Ministry

15/10/2010: Mexico

From September 23rd to the 25th, 2010, the Marist University of Guadalajara was the site of a meeting of 21 brothers and 15 lay people from the apostolates of the province (México Occidental) for the first assembly on Vocation Ministry.It was an historic event. The custom had been that the vocation team be composed exclusively of brothers. On this occasion, committed lay people from our various apostolates were included and played an active role in the reflection and planning for the change of model of vocation ministry that the Province of Western Mexico is undertaking.At the meeting presentations were made on the history of vocation ministry in the province and the new direction we wish to take. From working on a traditional approach, the proposal now is to develop a general vocational culture, based on awareness that God calls all people to holiness; an invitation that is directed towards a change of heart and making specific commitments in whatever area of society. Likewise, the vocational culture provides space for the young person to discover his or her specific vocation. It is in this setting, where we, lay people and brothers together, will awaken in young people the call to Marist life. It is a province-wide consideration that we are undertaking together and visualizing the challenge of forming networks of commitment to vocation ministry as part of our Marist mission.Explained as well were the courses in vocational formation; steps that are being taken in some apostolates relating to vocational culture were detailed; it was worked the identification of the elements that favor or hinder the vocational culture by a short film and a workshop on accompaniment. And the Provincial Project on Vocation Ministry was presented.To carry out this project, a provincial structure was designed to help involve more people from our apostolates. The province was divided into regions. Each region will have a brother in charge. The director of these brothers will be the brother coordinating the province vocation ministry. Together they will form the commission on vocation ministry and they will be charged with visiting and encouraging the apostolates, schools and communities with the goal of explaining vocational culture and to create plans tailored to each region. At the same time, lay people have been appointed as vocation links in each apostolate. In the brothers’ communities a brother was appointed as a link. The regional coordinator and the link persons will design and implement activities that favor a vocational culture and an increase in Marist vocations.For the entire meeting an atmosphere of openness, dialogue and availability prevailed. In addition to the work there was an evening celebration on the occasion of the Bicentennial of the beginning of the independence of Mexico and the party was enlivened by the presence of the scholastics, whose clown show was very entertaining and served to reinforce the bonds of friendship.Brother Provincial, Eduardo Navarro de la Torre, in his address at the close of the assembly, urged us in a energetic manner to first believe that everyone has been called by God to be saints and therefore to live as such. The Marist vocation is important in the measure that it serves the building up of the Kingdom of God. We are heirs of a charism much needed in our world nowadays and it is worthwhile to work together._________________Br. Alfonso Junior Chiquini Méndez, secretary

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