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European Marist Forum on evangelisation and care for the marginalised

11/03/2008: Spain

The European mission team gathered on 21st February 2008 in Madrid to plan several actions it was given by the Marist European Conference (CEM) during the meeting of 9th December 2007 at Guardamar: one such issue was to organise a European Assembly on “Evangelisation and care for the marginalised”. Brother Robert Thunus (Central western Europe) was appointed coordinator of the process. During the meeting of the representatives of the four Provinces the members of the team were invited to the house of Xaudaro (Madrid), to start and prepare the Assembly. Also brother Emili Turu and brother Juan Miguel Anaya, the secretary of the Mission Committee of the General Council, were invited to the meeting.

Brothers Oscar Martin (Compostela), Robert Thunus (Central western Europe), Ambrosio Alonso (Iberia), Gabriel Villa-Real (Hermitage), Juan Ignacio Poyatos (Mediterranean), Emili Turú and Juan Miguel Anaya were present. Brother Francisco Castillans acted as translator.

They decided to summon the “European Marist Forum on evangelisation and care for the marginalised” on 2-5 July 2009 at Valladolid. Expected attendance is of approximately 70 people, who are in charge of the Marist social works, regardless or whether they are actively involved or not; 10 or 12 per Province, brothers and laypeople.

The team called to prepare the event will gather on 28th April 2008 in Barcelona.
The forum’s goal is to bring to focus the main points of reflection approved by the Assemblies of Guardamar and Mendes, to study the Marist realities that already exist and indicate both what is done already and what can be done in the future, in terms of evangelisation and care for the marginalised.

Brothers Emili Turu and Juan Miguel Anaya took the opportunity to inform the delegates of the European Provinces concerning several issues:

First of all, the chance to collaborate with the American Provinces for the social works meeting that will take place at the same time as the World Social Forum, in January 2009 in Belem (Brazil). The event will study the creation and network operations of these Marist works, further supporting the special role of the recently founded “FMS International”, which has changed name into BIS now that it is present at the UN in Geneva.

They also spoke of the “Network of Marist Universities”, announcing the forthcoming Third Meeting of Marist Universities, in November in Salamanca, and explained the project of creating a title for experts in “Marist mission, vision and educational principles”, to be approved by the main Marist universities around the world.

Finally, they illustrated the possibility of taking part in the reflection on the themes raised by the meeting of Campinas (Brazil) on management models for the works of a Province. The American Provinces wish to continue to collaborate with the European Provinces, and maintain at the same time a special relationship with the Pacific sector with regard to these issues. The next meeting will be devoted to studying contemporary management models, the difficulties and accomplishments of the model of each Province and presenting the structures that have already been adopted. Furthermore, the meeting will also provide a space for the development of draft management models for the centres, which will be presented to the General Chapter, since the rules of the Marist brothers only just touch the issue of management related to works.

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