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Our Land! A time for decisions



Province of Mediterranea: Second Provincial Chapter

11/08/2006: Spain

On the afternoon of August 2, with the motto Our Land! A time for decisions, the second Provincial Chapter of the Mediterranean Province was launched in Guardamar (Alicante). Present were 39 capitulants and seven invited lay people. Two Brothers from Lebanon and one lay person from Syria were unable to attend. After a brief introduction by the Brother Provincial, in which he welcomed everyone and acknowledged the situation of the war in Lebanon, Brother Peter Rodney, General Councillor, offered some words of greeting
The installation of Brother Manuel Jorques as Provincial was carried out through the reading of the letter with which Brother Superior General communicated his appointment to the Province and the subsequent speech of Brother Manuel showed the situation of our Province up to the end of the first three years of its existence, pointing out high and low points, together with the challenges for the next three years.
The Chapter dedicated some hours to revising its Rule, starting from the proposal presented by the Preparatory Commission, and choosing its own positions which conformed with the Central Commission, and went on to study the general matters of the Province and to suggest to the Provincial Council the major areas of performance for the next three years, according to the particular vision of the situation of the Province, the calls of the local Church and the guidelines of the General Chapter.
A presentation of the reports of the three provincial commissions that had functioned in the last three years (Community Life, Mission and Economy) was given by Brothers Buenaventura Pérez, Juan Ignacio Poyatos and Julián Sanz, respectively.
Later on, time was allocated for personal study of the documentation presented and time was spent on sharing personal reflections and suggesting plans of action in five groups (Community Life, Education, Pastoral-vocational, Solidarity and Economy). The last stage was the presentation by the groups of different proposals in the chapter assembly and the corresponding votes on these to decide which would be adopted and in what order.

In that context Brother Manuel Jorques, Provincial, proposed two matters for the consideration of the capitulants: in the first place, the possible reopening of the school Rmeyleh (Lebanon), which some years ago had been given by the Brothers to the army of the country; and, on the other hand, the proposal of making May 20 in the Province a day consecrated the Good Mother. Both initiatives were supported by the assembly.

A document was also presented, by the outgoing Provincial Council containing a proposal for a new structure of animation and provincial government. The capitulants spent a great deal of time clarifying various points in the document, making suggestions and sharing their reactions to the provisions already made.

The laypeople invited to the Chapter, who had participated in the work of the chapter from the first day with voice, but without vote, left the room at this point.

The election of the New Council then took place and consists of the following Brothers: Antonio Giménez, Paolo Penna, Juan Ignacio Poyatos, Julián Sanz, Roberto Moraglia, Juan Carlos Fuertes, Mario Meuti, Ramón Rodríguez and David Aranda. Brother Paolo Penna will continue as vice provincial and delegate of the Provincial in Italy.
The last act of the Chapter consisted in the revision of the Norms of the Province which will be sent to the Brothers after approval by the Brother Superior General and his Council.
The memory of the Marist work in Lebanon was strong among the capitulants. At the beginning of the session on day 6 there was read “A message to all the Brothers and other members of the Marist Family of Lebanon and Syria. In it was made clear the concern of the assembly for the suffering and the pain that so many innocent people are undergoing in these times of unrest and anguish.
In the same way, we also wanted to remember the Brothers of the District of Western Africa, because they are part of the Mediterranean Province. As a member by right, Brother Sylvain Yao Kouassi participated in the chapter, elected as new Superior of the District. He was grateful for the affection and support that he had encountered in the Province.
On the morning of day 6 the closing of the Chapter took place. Brother Peter Rodney intervened to congratulate the capitulants for the work carried out and to pass on the support of the General Council for the development of the Mediterranean Province. This intervention was followed by some words by the Brother Provincial with encouragement to continue working in the house of Mary and to grow in external and interior silence. He finished by thanking all of the participants for their dedication to the work of the chapter and their contribution to defining the path of the future. He also acknowledged the work of the collaborators in the secretarial services, the decoration of the house and the translation service. He also gave all of those present some symbols and souvenirs of these days.

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