I International Mission Assembly – Mendes 2007

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Under the motto of “One Heart, One Mission.”

Stages of the Assembly

We have planned that the Assembly be held through a process of distinct phases. The actual calendar dates for the local and provincial stages are to be set by each Province, in accord with its own possibilities and needs.

Local Phase

The option that we favour is the formation of mixed groups (brothers and laypeople), open to the participation of people coming from different environments, but who identify themselves with Marist charism (school, informal education, fraternities, leadership in ministry, etc.): specific groups can be formed for this preparation or use groups that already exist in the Province.

The groups are formed by people who wish to be part of the process: freedom of participation.

We suggest that in all the places where groups can be formed to participate in the Assembly that they have a first meeting to present the process, open to everyone so that they can decide whether or not to participate (in the attached schema, this is meeting 0)

In all the cases, we will be offering prepared materials for the preparation and running of the meetings at the local level, that will be sent out beforehand.

The group is determined after meeting 1. Each group according to its experience and interests, chooses at least one of the themes in group 2 (that is, 2a, 2b or 2c) and at least one of the themes in group 3. Thegroup responds to theme 4 and theme 5; a minimum of 5 meetings is suggested.

Suggested process for the running of the meetings:

* Part 1: Input & presence. Use the stimulus material provided as preparation for our own response to the theme.
* Part 2: Inspiration & reflexion. The main part of the meeting asks you to respond to the theme using your own experiences, perceptions and observation.
* Part 3: Celebration & conclusion. A time of prayer and contemplation. How can your experiences and conclusion best be represented through action, symbol or prayer?

Let’s take advantage of the web page so that the groups can get to know each other, exchange experiences, discuss etc.

Provincial Phase

It’s the Province itself that decides how to realize the Provincial Phase. In some places, local geography will favour national or regional meetings. The phase, in itself, can consist of one single meeting over one or several days, or a process that extends over several months.

• Following each Province’s decision, it can be more useful if some group representatives from the Local Phase participate in the Provincial Phase, or to proceed to the Provincial Phase with all the participants of the Local Phase who wish to do so.

• The group contributions from the Local Phase are studied during this phase. They are regrouped according to three themes:
* A mission that is singular and plural (theme 2).
* To which we are called together (theme 3).
* In an attitude of constant renewal (themes 4 and 5).

• At the end of the Provincial Phase, you can send to the Assembly’s Preparatory Commission a synthesis that summarizes:
* the spirit in which the process was developed in the Province
* what the Province wants to communicate to the Assembly in the two following areas

– the common convictions that could form a kind of Province “credo” apropos the topics that have been treated,
– the recommendations or suggestions that you would like to study at the International Assembly.

• Each Province chooses the number of brothers and laypeople (according to its allocation) to take part in the International Assembly. It is necessary to think about a substitute in case difficulties prevent someone from participating (sickness, family, work, etc.).

• To be eligible to be chosen as a member of the International Assembly as a representative of the Province, a person must have taken part in the Local Phase and Provincial Phase in their place of origin and must assume the responsibility of Marist Mission and feel that they represent the reality of the Province, rather than only a local work. The profile turns out to be very open, as all those who desire may take part in the Local Phase.

• The Preparatory Commission earnestly suggests to the Brothers Provincial that the process of electing the Provincial representatives is open to the participation of the greatest number of people. We are suggesting two methods, without excluding the possibility of others:
* the election is done by the participants in the Provincial Phase, or
* the participants in the Provincial Phase choose two or three candidates, according to the number of representatives, so that the Provincial Council can choose the
Province representatives from among them.

• In all the cases, at the time of holding this election, it is important to assure a certain representation of the different sectors (schools, non-formal education, fraternities, animation, pastoral ministry…) in which laypeople are involved in Marist life and mission. It would also be important to ensure a sufficient number of women and men. This objective may be realized more easily if the Provinces and Districts work together as Regions or Continents.

International Phase – The Assembly

The Assembly will be held in Mendes, Brazil from the 3rd to the 12th September 2007.

InternationalIt is hoped that the Assembly will be an occasion where the participants can share with one another and celebrate God’s call to the Marist Mission together. The goal is not necessarily to produce a document, although we would not rule out that some type of message may be written or some conclusions presented to the next General Chapter.

We hope that the Assembly will be a positive occasion during which we can:

  • present significant experiences of Marist Mission (from the locality where the Assembly is held, or through the use of means of communication);
  • work in small, medium-sized and large groups, taking advantage of the richness of the range and variety of places, cultures and fields of education from which we have come;
  • share convictions, pray and experience a process of discernment in common.

The composition of the Assembly will be as follow:

  • 1 brother for each Administrative Unit = 31 brothers
  • 1 layperson for each Administrative Unit = 31 laypeople
  • 1 extra layperson in the 16 AUs with more apostolic works = 16 laypeople
  • The members of the General Council = 08 brothers
  • The members of the Preparatory Commission = 04 brothers 03 laypeople
  • Translators and other services, approx. = 15 people

SOME 108 personas

In December 2004, the distribution of the 78 eligible members from the Administrative Units is the following:
Africa 10
Arco Norte 12
Asia 09
Brasil 11
Pacific 10
Cono Sur 08
Europe 14
North America 04