2021-04-13 GENERAL HOUSE

Leadership in uncertain times is theme of the American Conference of Provincials

On April 12, the American Conference of Provincials (CAP) was held on the Zoom platform. With the theme Leadership in times of uncertainty, the meeting was attended by the Superior General of the Marist Institute, Br. Ernesto S├ínchez; the Vicar General, Br. Luis Carlos Guti├ęrrez; four General Councillors, Brothers ├ôscar Mart├şn Vicario, Sylvain Ramandimbiarisoa, Ken McDonald and Jo├úo Carlos do Prado; the Executive Secretaries of the South America Region and the Arco Norte Region, Brothers Alberto Aparicio and Rodrigo Espinosa Larracoechea, respectively; and 21 leaders from the 11 Marist Provinces of the American continent.

Ernesto, Superior General, opened the meeting with these words to share and dialogue between the current Provincials of the two regions of the American continent, Region of South America and Arco Norte, “I am happy with the initiative of meeting together, especially with the theme of leadership in times of uncertainty”. “Today we are called to be witnesses of hope for better days. As Pope Francis said in his homily Pascal, return to Galilee, there we will meet again and we will begin again. This invitation is also for us, a request to take up our plans to start again”, he recalled. Inacio Etges, Provincial Coordinator of the Permanent Council of CAP and Provincial of Reference of the South America Region, commented on the importance of maintaining an open and fraternal dialogue between the Provinces: “As leaders today, we are prophets of hope”.

The meeting consisted of three parts. The first part was an expository approach to the present moment of leadership in these Marist spaces. After the opening, the Executive Secretary of the South America Region, Br. Alberto Aparicio, followed the conference, presenting the current status of the Networks led by the two Regions: Red Coraz├│n Solidario and Red de Espiritualidad. At the end of his presentation, Br. Alberto showed the rules of the CAP Council for the evaluation and approval of those present.

Leadership in times of uncertainty

In the second stage of the meeting, the Vicar General, Br. Luis Carlos Guti├ęrrez, led a presentation of reflection on the responsibilities and challenges that the current Provincials must have as a horizon in their daily action in each Marist space. “The present moment calls for visionary, audacious and responsible leadership,” he said.

“Our history as a Church is glorious because it is a history of struggle, of sacrifice, of work and of hope. That history is one that we live today as well.” He recalled the past year and set out two truths in the daily mission of today’s leadership: “we live in the midst of two spirals – of fear and doubt and of change and innovation”. Through this reflection, Br Luis Carlos reinforced the need to keep a sensitive eye, even in the midst of the current uncertainties, and to keep in mind the priorities of the moment: “we must courageously maintain the mission, be responsible in our obligations and be in solidarity”. Finally, he reinforced the role of management spaces in contemporary times: “let us be leaders who listen, understand and propose what is necessary in times of uncertainty”, he concluded.

Division into groups for reflection

The third and final stage of the meeting consisted of dividing into language groups for a brief dialogue on the reflections presented. The provincial animators shared with each other the main fears and the way forward for the future.
The next conference is already scheduled for the second half of 2021, on 8 September.

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