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Mission Ad Gentes Advisory Council

Cmi

16/07/2007: General House

An Advisory Council for Mission Ad Gentes was formed over a year ago. Most recently, they had their third meeting. The reason for the Advisory Council is to be able to discuss issues around the Mission Ad Gentes project so as to be able to give a clear direction and advice to the MAG team in Rome (Brothers Luis Garcia Sobrado, Barry Burns, and Michael Flanigan) so that they may make recommendations to the Council.

In addition to the MAG team, the other members of the council are Bro. Peter Rodney, Link Councilor with Asia, Bro. Tom Chin, representative of the Asia Provincials and District Superior, Rev. Joseph Nguyen Cong Doan, SJ and Sr. Helen Mendonça, FMM, both working for their respective General Administrations here in Rome.

There are many issues that are discussed and for which we need people with experience. Bro. Peter Rodney, being the Councilor who is the “link” to the Asia provinces and district, brings much experience of his knowledge of “Marist Asia”. Bro. Tom Chin is from Malaysia and is a former provincial of the China province in Kuala Lumpur. Fr. Joe Doan is the Councilor for South East Asia on the Jesuits’ General Council and former provincial in Vietnam, and Sr. Helen, from India, also works for her General Administration and is a former provincial of one of the Indian provinces of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary. These latter three bring a wealth of knowledge to the Council and can speak from personal experience as Asians.

The Council looks at matters affecting the future of Marist Asia, like which countries to look into and how easy or difficult it can be to enter some countries. Visa requirements differ in each country, and sometimes it is nearly impossible to enter.

In addition, there was much discussion around the style of life of the new missionaries. It is very important, to gain the trust and confidence of the people, that these missionaries live like the people, not above them.

And then there are other practical questions like Insurance, Budget, etc. These are real concerns because the Church in Asia is very poor and we would be expected to contribute towards the building up of the local Church, not only with our manpower but with money as well. In all, our focus is to work with the local Church in “telling the story of Jesus in Asia” and in bringing young people to come “to know and love Jesus.”

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