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Extended General Council in Bangkok

13/07/2011: Thailand - Photo gallery

In its animation plan, the General Council includes the holding of Extended General Councils in the various regions of the Institute. This is one way of putting into operation the decisions of the XXI General Chapter regarding Animation and Government: The principal mission of the General Government (2009-2017) is the animation and government of the Institute. With the aim of achieving this mission, the principal focus of the General Government should be the accompaniment and animation of the leadership of the Provinces and Districts, especially of the Provincials and the  District Superiors.

Among the methods indicated is the Extended General Council, which is a means by which the General Council in plenary meets the Councils of a Region, to accompany the Provincial and District Councils, learn about the actual situation of the Region, and exercise co-responsibility in the  animation and government of the Institute.

After the Extended General Council for Europe, held at the Hermitage from 13 to 16 March, it was the turn of the Region of Asia. The place chosen was the Camillian Pastoral Care Center, in the city of Bangkok, Thailand, from 10 to 13 July 2011.

The meeting began on the morning of the 10th July with the singing of the Salve Regina. Br Emili Turú pronounced the words of welcome and outlined the main objectives of the meeting:

  •  To get to know one another and share about the situations of the two Provinces (East Asia and South Asia) and the Sector AMAG (Mission Ad Gentes in Asia).
  • To exchange about the ways the objectives of the XXI General Chapter are being put into operation in the Administrative Units and see what are the commitments leading to a New Land.
  • To look for possibilities of common work for Marist Asia today.

The Superior General invited those present to look beyond their frontiers, to think as a Region, to discover that resources are to be found within their group, and that the union of forces will be able to engender new vitality for the Marist mission in Asia. Finally, he recalled the importance of remaining attentive to what the Continent and Church of Asia expect today of the Marist Brothers.

The liaison Councillors for Asia, Brothers Michael De Waas and John Klein, took charge of everything relating to the organisation of the programme. There were presentations on the situations of the three Administrative Units. After a time for reflection, there was an exchange around the tables, looking for the common and significant elements in the three presentations, the signs of life as well as the challenges.

In the afternoon, the Vicar General, Br Joe McKee, stimulated discussion rising from the General Chapter and the current situation of the Region. He questioned the participants about what had already been done at the local level and what could be done at the regional level. He insisted it was necessary “to think outside the box” – to look beyond one’s own situation… And he concluded by saying we can do much more when we work TOGETHER. The day concluded with the Eucharist, filled with signs, and coinciding with the liturgical memorial of the martyrs of China of the XVII to XIXcenturies.

The participants in the Extended General Councilwere 26 Brothers coming from four groups of origin:

  • East Asia: Manny De Leon, John Tan, Robert Teoh, John Oh, Jacobo Song, John Chin and Pat Corpus.
  • South Asia: Shanti Liyanage, Mervyn Perera, Godfrey Perera, Chinnappan Devadoss and Paul Bhatti.
  • Sector AMAG: Luis Sobrado, Juan Castro, Michael Potter, Alex Arockiamasamy and Canísio Willrich.
  • General Council: Emili Turu, Joe McKee, John Klein, Michael De Waas, Victor Preciado, Eugène Kabanguka, Josep Maria Soteras, Ernesto Sánchez and Antonio Ramalho.

The three Unitsrepresented include the following countries:

  • East Asia (117 Brothers): China, Singapore, South Korea, Philippines and Malaysia.
  • South Asia (65 Brothers): India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
  • AMAG: Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India (West Bengal), Thailand and Vietnam.

NB.- The mission in Japan depends directly on United States, Lebanon and Syria are part of the province of Mediterranea and East Timor is part of the Oceania Region (Australia).

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