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Marist European Conference (CEM)

 

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Edinburgh, 7th – 10th April 2014

28/04/2014: Scotland - Photo gallery

The 16th meeting of the Marist European Conference (CEM) took place in Edinburgh, Scotland, from 7th to 10th April. Brother Emili Turú S.G. attended the meeting, along with Brothers Ernesto Sanchez and Antonio Ramalho, the members of the General Council with responsibility for Europe.

The meeting began with a workshop on Facilitative Leadership which was led by Brother Ronnie McEwan, Provincial Bursar and member of the Provincial Council of West Central Europe. Brother Ronnie works as a trainer, facilitator and coach with a range of groups and individuals. He prepared a workshop which was carefully tailored for the needs of provincials. 

The business part of the meeting took place on 8th and 9th April, receiving and responding to reports from the four teams that have been established by the CEM – Mission, Brothers Today, Vocations, and Communion between lay people and Brothers - and the Champagnat Movement of the Marist Family. 

Two sessions were dedicated to reflect on the outcome of the special meeting that was held in San Leone Magno on Sunday, 2nd March, to reflect on the structure and vision of the CEM. The members of the CEM made the following decisions:

  • To keep the current structure of the CEM, which involves the provincial and one other brother from each province, who will come, as far as possible, from a different country from the provincial. 
  • To invite the co-ordinators of the work teams to meet the CEM at one of the two meetings of the CEM that are held each year. This should help with the sharing of information and co-ordination of the work of the teams. 
  • To appoint an executive secretary who will assume many of the responsibilities for preparing the meetings of the CEM, to follow up on decisions taken between meetings, to keep a note of the need to renew mandates of members of teams or make new appointments, and to keep in contact with the co-ordinators of teams regarding activities of the CEM. This change should help to improve the functioning of the CEM.

Following on recommendations made during the meeting of European provincial Councils that was held in Koblenz in November 2013, the CEM has decided to bring the expand the Vocations team to include Marist youth ministry in Europe. The CEM also reflected on the work of the teams and identified the following tasks for each team:

Youth and vocation ministry.

  • Develop a pastoral project with university students, and not only within our own Marist world.
  • Plan and organize concrete experiences with young people who have a vocational interest and ensure accompaniment for them.
  • Formation of leaders of animation in the areas of pastoral and vocation ministry and accompaniment. 
  • Reflect and share on Marist movements in Europe. 

Brothers today

  • Ongoing formation.
  • Plan inter-provincial activities for Brothers. Give priority to getting to know each other.
  • Reflection on mission for retired Brothers.
  • Support the network of communities. 

Mission

  • Formation of leaders in identity, charism and co-responsibility for mission.
  • Co-ordinate and animate evangelization in our works and educational projects.
  • Share activities, presence and lines of social involvement, and strengthen Marist solidarity.
  • Support and animate the protection of children and young people.
  • Co-ordinate with youth and vocational ministry in Europe. 

Brothers and lay people.

  • Ongoing contact with the secretary for lay people of the Institute. Work on a common approach.
  • Articulate elements of interprovincial communication.
  • Support, understand and value the Marist lay vocation. Joint formation for Brothers and lay people.
  • Move towards the creation of structures that facilitate joint formation of lay people and Brothers.
  • Accompany the shared experience that is developing in each province. 

The CEM ended with a discussion of the celebration of the Bicentenary of the Institute that will take place in 2017. Some Provinces have already started to make plans for this important event. The members of the CEM discussed possible ways of marking the Bicentenary at European level.

The president of the CEM is elected for a two-year term of office, and Brother Brendan Geary’s term of office came to an end at this meeting. Brother Oscar Martin was elected as the new president and assumes this role with immediate effect. 

The members of the CEM took time to visit the beautiful city of Edinburgh. They visited Edinburgh Castle, and walked along the Royal Mile to the new Scottish Parliament. 

When visiting Spain the members of the CEM have sometimes visited vineyards and wineries. It was therefore appropriate that the members of the CEM had an opportunity to find out more about Scotch Whisky as part of their visit to Scotland. On the evening of Wednesday, 9th April Mr Paddy Hanrahan made a lively and entertaining presentation to reveal some of the mysteries of Scottish Whisky to the CEM. 

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