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Visit of the General Council to Arco Norte

16/05/2005: Guatemala

As the 12th May was devoted mainly to the Provincial Councils’ study of their reports prepared by the teams of visitors, the 13th and 14th May were devoted to the broader outlook across the whole region.
On Friday the 13th, we worked in interprovincial groups and then in the whole assembly, trying to identify the most important common challenges in Arco Norte. These challenges can be summarised under the following headings: Mission, Spirituality and Consecration, Laity, Com-munity Life, Formation and Vocation Ministry, Animation and Government.
In the words of Brother Seán, the second stage of these days of group work has invited us to look out the windows of the Provinces that constitute Arco Norte. In doing so, we have seen, without a doubt, a lot that was already known to us. But we have also found aspects of Marist life that were different from those in our own Provinces… you have incredible resources and talents in this region. Signs of hope for the future of our Institute and of our mission also exist. But, at the same time, we are living in times that are not very different from those that Saint Marcellin lived. The Church of his time experienced a crisis of change. Many of his contempo-raries looked to the past to find answers to their situation. The future didnt belong any more to them than to those who, as our Founder did, had a deep faith, audacity, the desire to run risks, a great love for young people, and who fixed their attention on the building of the fu-ture.
Saturday 14th May was devoted to summing up the challenges the brothers wished to confront together as a whole region. This was done in Provincial Council groups, interprovincial groups and the whole assembly. Brother Seán posed this question for the brothers to discuss: “Can we find the necessary ways to join the wisdom and experience that exist in this region, so we can give valid responses to the challenges that are presented? . To be able to do so - he added – we will need to be willing to leave aside some of our fixed ideas so we can learn from others. We also need to share our own experiences to be able to enrich the combined work.”
Saturday concluded with a meeting with all the brothers who live in the City of Guatemala. This took place in the Liceo Guatemala, a Marist secondary school.

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