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Taking the pulse of the Institute two years after the XXI General Chapter



Meeting of the General Council with the Secretariats

01/02/2012: General House - Photo gallery

The meeting took place from 23 to 25 January, in the General House, with 24 participants, Brothers and Laity. 

The first day began by recalling the theme of the General Chapter: “With Mary, go in haste to a new land!” And the first topic was “shared leadership” exercised by those making up the Secretariats,  FMSI (Rome and Geneva) and those responsible for ongoing formation (Manziana and El Escorial), with its characteristics:  integration, horizontal (circular) communication,  fraternal dialogue, the responsibility of the Secretariats and offices in "liaison" with the General Council, in intercommunication with the others, and the participation in the reflection of the brothers and laity of the General House.

The programme was: To take the “pulse” of the Institute, from the different perspectives, to see where we are two years on from the XXI General Council. With the question “where have we arrived?” to detect “points of energy” and “points of weakness”, including some “alarm signals”. From this, to identify priorities and review the Global Action Plan.

The methodology employed included tables for dialogue, mixed and by areas, plenaries and open forums. Two key aspects: co-ordination and joint vision.

First day:  “Detecting points of energy”, such as:

•       Value the new that is appearing ,  “signals” (versus great burden that restrains us)
•        New areas of solidarity (Geneva, etc.) - Protection of minors (policy) - Advocacy of child rights.
•       Broader vision of MISSION (new manner of being ) – Other ways of carrying out the mission in the school  - AMAG
•       Style of leadership: collaboration, fraternal dialogue – Marian face of the Church.
•       Brothers and laity: identity, collaboration, formation.
•       Internationality, “beyond tribalism”, (frontiers: wall? bridge?)
•       Experiences of initial and ongoing formation, joint formation of brothers and laity.
•       The “energy” coming from young brothers in some regions of the Institute.
•       The wisdom of so many older brothers.
•       The potential of so many schools and the great number of lay collaborators.

At the end of the day there was a Mass, during which, at the Offertory, various symbols were presented for the areas representing the particular mission and activity of each.

Second day:  “Weak points” and “alarm signals”. Aspects such as: Can we begin the change by ourselves? Can we announce today to the Institute not only decisions referring to structures, walls, or organizations, but above all decisions which affect us personally?

And to find our place in the two years run, a suitable dynamic was used to identify priorities.

Last day: Applying the priorities to each area. Reviewing the Action Plan in accord with these questions:

•       In the light of what we are saying these days, what are the implications for the Action Plan?
•       What needs to be given priority?
•       Will something need to be changed?
•       In the spirit of co-operation and collaboration, are there possibilities of working together on some theme?

At the end, each Secretariat and FMSI defined what it wants to share with the General Council, sentiments and suggestions.

 Final reflection - an invitation to hope: “God sows always in silence”. “Our elders continue planting trees knowing that they will never sit in their shade”. “Trust in the Lord, that He will act” (Psalm 37: 5). 

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