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1857:foundation of the Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary (SMSM)
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First assembly of the Marist International Solidarity Network

23/01/2018: General House

During the first assembly of the Marist International Solidarity Network, held at the general house from Jan. 15 – 19, the network established an operating and a strategic plan.

The assembly, organised by FMSI, also proposed nominees for a new coordinating team that are awaiting approval from their local provinces, and trained participants on different topics with internal expertise.

“This network wants to follow the Chapter’s guideline, particularly in walking together as a global family and building bridges, and this corresponds to us, so we can be protagonists of this change,” affirmed Marzia Ventimiglia, director of FMSI.

“It is important to have a network to share what we’re all doing and establish goals at a global level,” she told the general house press office on Jan. 18.

Forty-two Brothers and laity from 19 provinces, districts, the general administration, FMSI and UMBRASIL attended the assembly.

The represented organisations including: Solidarity, Justice and Peace Commission; Australian Marist Solidarity; Educadys; Fundamar; Fundación Gesta; SED; Asociación Espiral Loranca; Fundaçao Champagnat; L'Associazione Maristi Onlus.

The Network focuses on advocacy for children’s rights and vulnerable people; promotion of a shared social conscience and education in solidarity; promotion of programmes of social transformation through fundraising, mobilization of human resources and sharing of good practices; prompt and effective response to emergencies.

The meeting aimed at getting a global understanding of mission, vision and activities of each entity, as well as defining standards and mechanisms of operation.

Brother Allen Sherry, CEO of Australian Marist Solidarity, was among the guest speakers and discussed models of funding for mission using experience from the Marist world of Asia Pacific and best practice of the business world.

“I think the meeting has great energy and a high openness to a distinctive Marist network where the smaller organisations have the same voice as the larger ones and this makes it distinctively Marist,” he remarked. 

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