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Meeting of the Subcommission of Laity for America

22/08/2012: Colombia

The first meeting of the American Subcommision of the Laity, held in Bogotá (15-19 July), was a beautiful echo of what is expressed in Gathered around the same table: “Together we can think of how we want the Marist future to be, a large and shining home” (99).  The subcommission, created by the Inter-American Conference of Provincials, met for three days to reflect on the processes of communion between brothers and laity in the three regions of America. Two or three members from each region make up the subcommission: Raúl Amaya and Patricia Garbarino from Cono Sur; Layza Maria Gomes and Fabiano Incerti from Brasil; Paty Ríos, Moisés Beltrán and Louise Fortier from Arco Norte. Br Balbino Juárez from América Central completed the group. Brothers Libardo Garzón, provincial of Norandina, and Javier Espinosa, director of the Secretariat, took part in the meeting.

The provincial house, with its many manifestations of hospitality, fraternity, Marist familiarity, was a wonderful setting for our reflection. The brothers of the community showed us it is possible for lay people and brothers to share the same table. Their tradition of open community allowed us to understand that, in the plurality of cultures and forms of life,it is possible to have a communion of hearts to promote together the vitality of the charism.

Ten participants, ten nationalities, eight provinces, one charismatic inheritance, one Marist vocation, one faith, one Lord. Experience of communion. Laity and brothers, we feel equally invited by God to perpetuate the charism of Champagnat among our peoples. We believe that only from the complementarity of our specific vocations can we develop the charism in all its fruitfulness and fulness. With marist simplicity, we shared our sentiments, the spaces of our life, dreams, the situations of our provinces, our Marist journey… and it was easier for us to understand our future of communion. 

With this vision of the future, we could initiate ways of dialogue with the Inter-American Conference of Provincials, with the provincial commissions of lay animation or the new relationship, with the Secretariat of the Laity and with other continental Subcommissions.  

Our meeting expressed communion.  We are convinced that together we can undertake a new experience of the charism, and that in the measure we continue journeying together, new forms of relationship will emerge which will require new structures to promote vitality. Thus we remember   AST 134: “The moment has arrived to encourage new structures that will allow the deepening of that way of communion”. For this reason, this future of communion invites creativity.

We finished the meeting with the election of Moisés Beltrán as Co-ordinator of the Subcommission and Paty Ríos, as delegate.  A simple project was drawn up for the year and we expressed our commitment to accompany every expression of Marist life on our American continent.

________________
Br  Javier Espinosa - Secretariat of Laity.

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