2020-02-04 GENERAL HOUSE

First Meeting of the International Marist Mission Commission


The International Marist Mission Commission met in the General House, from 13 to 17 January 2020.

As a structure, the Commission brought together representatives of the General Council, the various Secretariats and Departments of the General Administration, the Econome General, and representatives from the Regions of the Institute and from the various Networks involved in our Marist mission.  

The aim of this first meeting was to explore in-depth the different mission strategies, initiatives, and projects of the General Administration’s Strategic Plan for Animation, Leadership, and Government, benefitting from the knowledge and work of the General Administration, the Regions, and the Networks already occurring and to raise other suggestions or proposals which could assist in accomplishing the goals of the initiatives and projects.

Throughout the week, four key questions were used as guide as the Commission reflected on the various themes and initiatives of the Strategic Plan: within the Institute, the Regions, and the Networks, what needs to be Created? Accompanied? Strengthened?  Interconnected?

Reflection on the Mission Strategies, Initiatives, and Projects

Networks: Bridge Building into the Future!

Promote the connection between the different networks and create new networks at the service of Marist life and mission.

The Commission reaffirmed the important role of the networks for the building of our “Global Body” and suggested strengthening their creation and development throughout the Institute. The Commission also recommended clarifying some terms and expression about the conceptual framework for the Networks and the operational definition and scope of some topics (such as Solidarity, Child Rights, etc.).

Agents of Change & Innovation

Promote innovation in Marist Education and evangelization

The Commission was reminded that the XXII General Chapter called us to open our hearts and minds to the light of creativity and innovation that the Lord is offering us. In this context, we must ask ourselves: What is the future of the Marist Charism and how can we nourish it? One project outline in the Strategic Plan called for the review and updating of the Institute’s educational document: In the Footsteps of Marcellin Champagnat. The Commission endorses this effort and will continue to look for ways in which this review and revision will be undertaken in the next couple of years. The Commission supported the Secretariat for Education & Evangelization in its efforts to review, organize, and present the various suggestions of the Commission concerning this project for endorsement by the General Council.

Marist Youth Ministry: How do we strengthen a “culture of encounter”?

Promote Marist Youth Ministry programs as a Global Family

Preeminent in understanding what children and young people are calling us to is providing them a space to talk about their lives and their dreams for a better future. The Commission reflected on what would be the necessary “spaces” or “platforms” that would need to be created or strengthened within the General Administration and the Regions.

One proposal called for the creation of Marist Youth Ministry programs within those regions where these programs don’t exist and to strengthen and accompany those MYM programs that are already up and running in the Regions.

While International Marist Youth Gatherings, such as the recent Weaving Life, were endorsed by the Commission, some members of the commission also believe local regional gatherings might also be a good way to engage many our Marist youth.

There was also strong support for the creation of a Marist Youth Ministry Network with the assistance of the regional and provincial representatives and for the creation of an “ad hoc” committee to move these initiatives forward.

The Commission also wholeheartedly supported the proposal for holding MIMA III in the near future.

“To Be” and “to Act” as a Global Body

Continue exploring ways of management, leadership and governance that allow us “to be” and “to feel” as a global body

The Commission reflected on the General Administration’s efforts towards the on-going process of Regionalization which was called for by the most recent General Chapter and offered the following suggestions to the General Council for its reflection:

  • To identify and to clarify existing structures and authority in all regions
  • To identify and promote an international understanding of the difficulties in some parts of the Institute.
  • To ensure that all Regions have a Mission Commission and a strategic plan for the Commission.
  • To ensure that progress be made in the development of the Statutes of the Regions.
  • To ensure that financial solutions be sought to facilitate regional processes that will be undertaken.

In Solidarity

Explore and facilitate our presence in places on the margins with children and young people in emerging realities and strengthen networking between the AU’s and other ecclesial and civil entities in the defense and promotion of the rights of children and in the care for our common home.

The Commission endorsed the continuing exploration of creating or strengthening alliances with other ecclesial and civil organizations in support of our efforts of solidarity, child rights, and ecological awareness.

Getting the Message of Our Marist Mission Out to the World

Develop better internal and external communication to cultivate a sense of belonging, to overcome geographical and existential borders, and to publicize the Marist Mission in the wider world.

The Commission supported the on-going efforts of the Institute’s communication office to reflect our vision of being a global family and to develop and accompany new ways to raise awareness of our Marist mission at all levels, in particular within the regions.

Servant Leadership that closely accompanies Marist Mission—Forming Leaders for the Charism

Promote open and qualified servant leadership to address the emerging realities in our Institute and in our world.

Prophetic Servant Leadership is at the center of the style of government and animation recommended by the XXII General Chapter. This style of leadership invites us to consciously live our service, in any situation, with passion, vision, and purpose that our commitment to our Marist mission claims or demands within the reality of today’s world. In light of this belief, the Commission reflected on possible plans and programs of training and formation which are needed for forming “leaders of the charism” and to accompany and strengthen the best there is within each of us and to put those gifts at the service of the common good.

Commission’s commitment

In looking at our time together the members of the commission committed themselves to the calls of the Chapter and recognized that “…for the vitality and viability of the Marist life and mission, we are called to be a genuine global family. Interdependence, rather than isolation and independence, must become the new normal for us as Marists. We are called to be witnesses of unity and hope.

We know that plans and strategies are not sufficient. We are called to conversion, both personal and collective. As Marists, we must be true disciples, and our communities and our apostolic endeavors must be beacons of light and the Marian face of the Church in the midst of the world.”


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