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Creating synergies to encourage the global family



Collaborative week of the General Council with the directors of the Secretariats and Departments

17/09/2019: General House - Photo gallery

From 9 to 13 September, during the plenary session of the General Council, the Superior General and his Councillors met with those responsible for the Secretariats and Departments of the General Administration. The objective of this week, held for the third time this year, is to create synergies and to work so that the animation of the Institute is carried out in a coordinated manner.

In this session, for the first time, two days were dedicated to the formation of the participants. The other days were characterized by the work of coordinating between the areas, especially those of mission and Marist life, together with the respective Liaison Councillors. Special emphasis was given to the coordination of the work of animation according to the progress of each of the 6 regions of the Institute, with the help of the Liaison Councillors of each region. Ángel Diego García Otaola, new director of the Secretariat of Solidarity, who has been part of the team since the beginning of September, participated for the first time.


Workshop on Child Protection

On Monday and Tuesday, the participants reflected on the global crisis caused by child abuse. On the first day, the Superior General, Br. Ernesto Sánchez, shared his experience during the meeting held in the Vatican last February on "the protection of minors in the Church". In the first place, he highlighted the points that caught his attention and finally he underlined what he learned during this experience, which he summarized in 5 different themes: victims at centre; attention to initial and ongoing formation; the role of women; better protection policies and protocols; and transparent, effective and professional communication.

The second day was coordinated by the General Councillors, Brothers Ben Consigli and Ken McDonald. It was a unique opportunity to become aware of the reality in the Institute, and it was emphasised that the issue of abuse of minors represents a global issue that affects all those who are involved in the Marist mission, anywhere in the world. Participants will then continue to ask themselves what can be done, in a proactive way, to respond to the crisis, being aware that apologising is not enough.

In the course of these days, the participants were reminded of the three documents that the Institute has and that serve as a parameter for animating action at the institutional level: the 2012 document on the standard procedures of the Institute, which will be revised shortly; the declaration of the XXII General Chapter, addressed to the victims of abuse; and the document of the General Council "A response to the global crisis of sexual abuse", in force since last February, which are recommendations of the General Council addressed to the Provinces.

It became clear that, for the Marists of Champagnat, the starting point that should guide pastoral and all missionary action is that Marcellin Champagnat also experienced situations of violence and did not tolerate them.

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