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International Encounter of Marist Youth - Preparatory Assembly

13/11/2009: Spain

International Encounter of Marist Youth
Preparatory Assembly

On the 15 of October 2009 the team preparing for the “International Meeting of Marist Youth” to be celebrated in Buitrago (Spain) from August 10-14, 2011, met in Madrid. The reason for this meeting was to also prepare for World Youth Day which will also take place in Madrid in 2011.

The members of the Team are: Br. Antonio Alegre (Coordinator of Marist works in Spain), Mr. Eladio Diaz Sancho (Compostela); Br. Federico Andres Carpintero (Compostela); Mr. Gerardo Franco (Iberica); Br. Carlos Martin (Iberica); Mr. Jordi Vicente Fernandez (L’Hermitage); Br. Ramon Rubies (L’Hermitage); Mr. Jose Ortola (Mediterranea); Br. Benito Hinojal (Mediterranea); and Br. Juan Miguel Anaya (General Administration).

The purpose of the meeting was to start the process of preparation for the planned International Encounter of Marist Youth in 2011 which will take place in the days prior to the JMJ 2011 Madrid. This was a follow-up to the information shared by the International Team which met in Rome in July of this year.

With the support of the Provinces which have works and communities in Spain, the following is offered to all:

A) A meeting in Buitrago (44 miles from Madrid) for Marist youth representing the different Provinces of the Institute:

* August 10-14, 2011 (arriving on the 10th of August during the afternoon; leaving for Madrid on the 15th of August after breakfast), with translation in the four official languages of the Institute available.

* Preparations for a group of between 125-200 youths between 18 to 25 years of age representing all the administrative units of the Institute (some 5 for each province or district).

* All administrative units will be offered the possibility of integration with other groups through a process of various steps: personal reflection; sharing of local groups; provincial and/or national meetings. Each administrative unit will choose what is most convenient according to their situation and better adapted to their needs, but, whatever the case may be, the participants of this meeting must have previously followed some type of preparatory process in their own province or administrative unit.

* It is hoped that the encounter culminates this orientation process and that it offers to all Marist youths of the world some form of personal conversion based on:
- an opportunity which allows for a deeper understanding of their personal identities as well as their Christian beliefs and convictions;
- a time for youthful expression, in which dreams, worries and realities are shared;
- a moment when youth are free to challenge themselves and even each other;
- an occasion to celebrate the richness of the internationality of the Marist Institute;
- a time to renew the spirit of service of our Marist youth and
- a step in the journey for our Institute that allows us to see the richness of its “roots”, with the view of celebrating the 200th Year of its Founding in 2017,

B) Welcome, Provinces with a presence in Spain, welcome to all the youths who come in groups organized by their respective Provinces.

The encounter in Buitrago will take place in the days prior to the JMJ, from the 10 to the 14 of August.

We foresee a similar program being offered in other places.

Since a number of youths may come from the different Provinces of the world with their desires to participate in these days of welcome, special places and Marist houses will be to offered to them.

C) Marist Meeting on August 15th.

It is expected that all the Marist Groups will be in Madrid on August 15 for dinner.

For the afternoon-evening of this day, August 15, a Marist festival is planned which will provide for a summary of the meetings which have taken place during the week and launch the youth toward the activities set for the JMJ 2011 Madrid. Thus, reference must be made to the lived reality of various places, in the words of the youths themselves, which give a true picture of Marist worldwide unity. Multimedia presentations will be of great importance at this moment of celebration in order to facilitate participation and communication. For the most important moments of this ceremony, the most Marist, we are thinking of a way to facilitate a type of world-wide connection among all countries desirous it. We would like to offer internet programs that are both inexpensive and easily accessible for such communication.

D) Participation in the activities of JMJ 2011

All Marist youths will be accommodated in Marist houses or institutions during JMJ 2011.

As Marists we are able to offer some contributions to the activities to the Jornada Mundial de la Juventud (World Youth Day). Here are some examples:

* Solidarity Workshops organized by ourselves and our Non-Governmental Organizations (SED, FMSI, Our Geneva Office/the Rights of Children;
* Prayer and Bible Workshops;
* Places for personal and spiritual awareness;
* Time to share one’s life experiences;
* Concerts or Theatrical presentation;
* Some celebratory evening activities (music, magic….)
* Infrastructures so that Provinces which so desire may be able to present personal or institutional experiences which will integrate well the dynamic of JMJ (examples: defense of the rights of children; work with prisoners; social works, participation in public policies in defense of children…).

The Team will meet on December 4, 2009 to review how things are going so far. We will most likely be able to send out more detailed and specific information to Provinces and Districts after this date.

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