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Extended General Council with Arco Norte (3)

07/03/2012: Guatemala - Photo gallery

Friday, 2 March, began by placing the intentions of each Province in the hands of Mary, the Virgin of  Guadalupe, patron of the Americas.

The prayer was guided by the Province of Mexico Central. Michael de Waas, Councillor General, recalled the objectives of the Extended General Council with Arco Norte: 1) to know and analyse the Marist situation of Arco Norte: a diversity of models, presences and missions.

Faced with the ageing of our Provinces, what strategic role is to be adopted to maintain significant presences, sustain the mission and encourage the Brothers to rediscover the fascination of their vocation in this context?

2) to adopt a common vision in face of the future: what future do we want as a Region? What can we do together in terms of interprovincial solidarity for the vitality of the Region (project ofinterprovincial provinces according to a strategic plan)?

3) to agree on the guidelines proper to the region. Br Michael also recalled what had been discussed and lived on the days preceding.

Then it was up to Br Ernesto Sánchez, Councillor General, to give direction to the work to be done so as to achieve consensus on 2 or 3 options for the future, based on the options presented the evening before during the Eucharist by each of the participants.

Once the group work was finished, a representative of each round table read the content of the future options which had obtained consensus. As they were read out, they were grouped by theme.

After the pause, Br Ernesto invited the participants to make a table tour to hear all the grouped proposals. When they were back in their places, he asked each one to comment freely on the options presented.

In the afternoon, after the Marial prayer around the Virgin of Guadalupe, Br Josep Maria Soteras, Councillor General, continued the programme by directing it towards fraternal dialogue: to take into account the totality of the person, by incorporating what is new and different, without exclusion. A

ll should feel « on the same ground ». Dialogue should lead us, he said, to be more « holistic » and « systemic ». The work now returned to each Provincial Council, which had to draw up a « credo » and the renunciations deriving from it, with regard to the Region’s vitality.

This « credo », Br Josep Maria recalled, can go from the most general to the most concrete. Briefly, it must be centred on what, in the opinion of each Council, would give the greatest vitality to the Region.

At the end of the afternoon, each Provincial Council presented to the assembly its « credo » and its decisions concerning what renunciations it was going to make. After a time for interiorisation, the participants had the opportunity to share with the group at the round tables.

The day ended with the Eucharist. The moment of the offertory was highlighted by the blessing of the Marist logo, embroidered on a cloth.

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First day - 29 February
Second day - 1 March

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