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1st Formation Meeting for the Directors of America

12/04/2011: Brazil

There we were gathered in the city of Florianopolis, Brasil, to live, « dream » and vibrate once again together with the ideas of Champagnat. Today, perhaps more than ever, the Marist Directors are the work horse for the growth of the mission of the Institute and its coming to full strength through our evangelising and educational activity among the children and young people of the Continent - « evangelise by educating ».

The Marist Educational Mission zealously boosts the evangelizing education of children, adolescents and young people in their own times and places. We know that this challenge requires being able to count on Marist educators and managers with ongoing formation, capable of responding to it with the tools necessary for competence and efficiency, and for guaranteeing the continued vitality of the Mission of the Institute.

In this perspective, the Inter-American Subcommission for Formation of Directors, attached to the Continental Mission Team, and composed of the following members: Irma Zamarripa (Mexico), Br. José Wagner (Brasil), Br. Luís Carlos Gutiérrez (America Central) and Ernesto Reyes (co-ordinator of the Subcommission, Chile), have been given the responsibility of reflecting about a Project of Formation for the Directors of the schools of the Marist Provinces and Districts of the Americas.

The Project of Formation for Directors is justified for the following reasons:

  1. Urgency of an agreement on concepts based on the principles and values of Marist Education and contemporary models of management, education and evangelisation.
  2. Urgent need of bringing the Directors of Educational Units up to date in order to guarantee a strategic and professional Marist management, in conformity with the  charism and the mission.
  3. Urgency of putting in place models of management which guarantee the continuing development of the Marist Schools of the American Continent.
  4. Importance of developing a strategic position of the Marist Institute in the Americas, in the face of the challenges peculiar to the continent.
  5. Urgency of linking up the schools by creating an inter-American network of education as a response to the globalisation of the education market which, in most cases, does not have much concern for the human person and the quality of life of peoples and nations.
  6. Need of a first class Marist prophetic positioning with regard to the education of children, adolescents and young people of the American continent .
  7. Urgency of linking up professional and strategic management with the challenges of the Marist Mission today, so as to perpetuate and update the heritage of Marcellin Champagnat, thus guaranteeing the continuity of the Institute.

For the reasons explained, the Inter-American Subcommission for the Formation of Directors considers that an educational institution must necessarily form leaders and educators in a way coherent with its proper Mission. To organise a consistent and coherent proposal for the formation of Directors, the Subcommission has also carried out an extensive evaluation of the contexts and, concretely, the programmes of formation developed in the Provinces and Districts of the Americas, and their content and methodologies. From this survey, it has drawn up a report on the different programmes of formation offered for Directors, identifying their successes, possibilities, contradictions and  limits.

The results of the evaluation, a first in the Institute, have allowed the Subcommission to make a studied reading of the question relative to the formation of the directors of the Americas and have offered an important means of drawing up a formation proposal, in the international domain, for the American continent.

In harmony with the questions presented above, the Subcommission has worked hard for this meeting to attain the objectives we proposed for ourselves:

  1. General Objective: establish common goals or lines of action for Marist America.
  2. Specific Objectives:
    a) Approve and make known the contents of the questionnaire coming from the Provinces (2007-2008) and systematised in 2009 by the Subcommission, with the various programmes of formation of Directors.
    b) Have times of « lighting » which feed the formation model.
    c) Share experiences or « good ways of doing things » in the formation programmes.
    d) Construct a formation model for the future of our Directors.

We are certain that this Meeting will mark the initial and fundamental kick-off for the taking of a strategic position of the schools, and, principally, for the continuity and vitality of the Marist educational mission in the Americas. In this way, we are responding to the call of the XXIGeneral Chapter to « believe in formation processes and experiences involving both Brothers and Laity (and which) ensure a solid preparation and help us to be faithful to the intuitions of our founder. »

Moreover, in line with principles 3 and 4 of the second call, « we give priority to formation, both specific and shared, and we recognise co-responsibility for the development of Marist life, spirituality and mission. »

Disciples of Champagnat, who never spared efforts to form Brothers and lay Marists, we ask the blessing of Mary and the assistance of the Holy Spirit so that we may be able to undertake together the task of forming Marist Directors of quality who strive, in each of our Schools, for educational excellence inspired by our charism and by the Gospel.

In Jesus, Mary and Champagnat, congratulations and good luck for putting into action this new « Marist dream ».

New Marist Directors, en route « to a new land »!

___________________________________
Subcommission for the Formation of Directors:

Ernesto José Reyes (Management Team, Chile), Br. Luis Carlos Gutierrez Blanco (Vice-Provincial of « América Central »), Br. José Wagner Rodrigues da Cruz (Vice-Provincial of « Brasil Centro-Norte »), Irma Zamarripa Valdez (Education Team of « México Occidental »), Mércia Maria Silva Procópio (Mission Portfolio of UMBRASIL).

Florianópolis - SC, 28 - 30 March 2011.

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