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Province of « Norandina »



Meeting of provincial animation teams

24/02/2011: Ecuador

On 10, 11 and 12 February 2011, the provincial animation teams of the Province of « Norandina » met in Quito, Ecuador, under the co-ordination of Brother Libardo Garzón, Provincial, and his Council. The participants were members of the Spirituality Network, the Bureaus of Solidarity and Formation of  Brothers and Laity, and the Commissions of initial and ongoing formation of the brothers, ministry to children and youth, vocations, education, laity and administration. The gathering consisted of 31 persons (27 men and 4 women). Of the brothers, 6 came from Venezuela, 5 from Ecuador and 12 from Colombia, while of the lay people, 2 were from Venezuela, 3 from Ecuador and 3 from Colombia.

The main reason for the meeting was the evaluation, initiation and programming of activities of animation established and put in operation during the first year of exercise corresponding to the 3rd  Provincial Chapter and oriented towards realizing the pastoral objectives it had adopted. We worked in a pleasant atmosphere of fraternity and dialogue. With all working on the same objectives concerning the Marist life and mission, the meeting facilitated the deepening of provincial unity among the participants.

Mgr Gonzalo opened the period of prayer and work with an account of his experience of apostolic activity for 40 years in Ecuador, a good part of it as Bishop of Sucumbíos, directing his efforts towards integrating lay people into the ecclesiastical task of evangelisation and human development. After serenely sharing with us his joy for the mission and for the fruits harvested, as well as his pain at the sad way in which they had put an end to his mission, he transmitted to us a single fundamental idea and certainty: Jesus alone and his Gospel are the raison d’être for everything we may do. The rest, simple variations of relative value. We hope that prayer and the eucharist will help us to always have present in mind the centrality of Jesus and his Gospel, for the good of humanity and especially for those excluded from the human community.

The plan of work and respective methodology presented (the search for consensus through  dialogue), we evaluated the performances and successes of the activities and the ends proposed; we also suggested some alternatives for improvement during the year begun. Thanks to the team work first, then in the general assembly, the objectives of the first working day were achieved. When we shared the evaluation in the assembly, we were reminded once more of the immense amount of information to be assimilated. On the one hand, this expresses, in the words of Br. Libardo, the life bubbling in the Province, but on the other, it allows us to grasp the difficulty there is in co-ordinating so many activities and the cost that represents, as much from the personal as from the work and economic points of view. We asked ourselves whether all this activity is, as it should be, productive from the economic, human and evangelical points of view.

The morning and a good part of Friday 11 were devoted to programming the animation of the year underway. This was done at the level of the teams (Bureaus, Network and Commissions). About 4 pm we had a brief sharing in assembly of the new Action Plan for each team. The participants were then able to ask questions and request clarifications. It would appear we have learned to simplify the planning somewhat… Some wanted to end the day with a visit to the beautiful historical centre of Quito – cultural patrimony of Humanity -, bathed in the charm of night lighting.

The first part of the morning of Saturday 12 was consecrated to rearranging the Action Plan of all the animation teams. Particular attention was given to important activities involving travel and meetings, in order to avoid clashes. Then materials on solidarity (Volunteer Plan) and spirituality (aid material)were presented, with insistence on the need to adjust our institutional and personal expenses as far as possible, but without giving up what needed to be done. Br Libardo’s words of encouragement, then the fraternal repast, taken in the spirit of the meals of Jesus, put the final point on this agreeable, and we hope, efficacious meeting. Thanks to Brothers Wilson and Andrés for hosting us with such kindness.

Br. Alfonso López

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