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Secretariat of the Laity

26/11/2014: South Korea

The Secretariat of the Laity held their meeting in Korea and Hong Kong from the 4th - 14th November 2015.  During this visit and meeting Brother Javier Espinosa (Director), Pep Buetas (Codirector), Tony Clarke (Codirector) and Brother Jose Luis Grande (Translator) had the opportunity to work on the agenda of the Secretariat and encourage the promotion and growth of lay Marist life through their encounters with Marists in each respective country.  

The key elements of the agenda of the Secretariat during these days included preparation for the Course for Lay Animators to be held in Rome in May 2015, the continued development of the Global Framework for Lay Vocational Processes and Forms of Belonging, and a review of the significant work and contributions of the new Marist lexicon.  The Secretariat studied the recent Marist documents ‘Just a Tent as the Heart of our Future’ by Brother Emili and the ‘Message from the Marist International Mission Assembly II’ to discern the necessary and critical implications for the Commission in the promotion and development of Marist life into the future.  Time was given to reflect on the proposed programmes for Brothers and Lay Marists to be held in conjunction with the Secretariat of Brothers Today, and on the effective and ongoing work of the Continental Lay Commissions.  The location of the meeting also allowed for the valuable opportunity to enhance the reflection on Communion and the Lay Marist Vocation in Korea and Hong Kong.

In Korea, Brother Domingo Lee hosted the Secretariat at the Marist Education Centre at Hapjung-Dong, Seoul.  The Secretariat met and shared with some of the Brothers, staff and students at the special Marist projects caring for young people, projects developed to respond to the needs of some of the most vulnerable children in Korea.  These ministries included the Marist Education Centre in Hapjung-Dong in Seoul and the Marist Home - Marist Sheltered Workshop at SanChuck, Chung Ju City, a workshop and boarding home for 48 boys with intellectual and emotional disabilities.  The Marists also run an Eco-Spirituality Centre at Bak un-Je Cheon City, offering a spiritual space and retreat experience for students and adults.  In Hong Kong, the Secretariat meetings were held at Saint Francis Xavier’s College, a Marist secondary school for boys located in Tai Kok Tsui, Kowloon. Brother John Chong welcomed the Secretariat who had the opportunity to meet with students and deepen their shared understanding and experience of Marist life, vocation and mission with College staff.  

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Tony Clarke

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