2020-09-29 GENERAL HOUSE

Meeting of the ad hoc Commission for setting up the Global Network of Marist Schools

The Ad Hoc Commission for setting up the Global Network of Marist Schools met on September 17 via Zoom. Its main objective was to determine the next steps in implementing the network, adjusting plans to the current global situation.

The creation of this network is a project included in the Strategic Plan of the General Administration (2017-2025), in line with the call of the XXII General Chapter to build mission networks at all levels to foster innovation and the renewal of Marist education and evangelisation.

Brothers Luis Carlos Gutiérrez, Vicar General, and Ben Consigli, General Councillor worked with the team, which was meeting for the third time. The Secretariat of Education and Evangelisation is responsible for coordinating the work.

Its first meeting was in May 2019. During the second meeting, held in December 2019, the responses obtained in a global survey were analysed. More than sixteen thousand people participated and showed great interest in setting up this network of Marist schools.

Charting new horizons

There were 4 sections in the meeting. In the first one, the participants gathered in virtual breakout rooms, to speak about the progress being made, and especially the “particular moment” that mission is going through at this time of pandemic which is affecting all areas of Marist life.

In the second section, Br Luis Carlos invited the group to work to fulfil the desire of the General Government of the Institute, that of “accompanying the life” of those who have been entrusted to the Marists. “When there is a crisis, such as the present one, we need to act in concrete ways to get through this moment with hope”, the Vicar General underlined. And he spoke of the key idea behind the project of the Network of Schools at this historical moment of the Institute, forging a link between all areas of Marist ministry.

Then, in the third section, Br Carlos Alberto Rojas, Director of the Secretariat of Education and Evangelisation, presented a proposal for work in coming months. The commission will be divided into four groups which will focus on specific aspects, under the coordination of the Secretariat:

  • Digital platform of the Global Network of Marist Schools: Br Ador Santiago, Provincial of East Asia; Br Natalino de Souza, Executive Director of UMBRASIL; Br Andreu Sánchez, Spanish Marist Conference.
  • Marist Global Citizenship Project: Llorenç Claramunt, director of the Champagnat Foundation of the Province of L’Hermitage; Frank Malloy, national director of the Marist Schools of Australia; Br. Nicéforo Garrán, provincial coordinator of education of the Province of Central America; Ana Von Frankenberg Berger, specialist in Creativity and Innovation and member of Crialab, the laboratory of Creativity of TECNOPUC, of the Province of Brazil Sul-Amazônia.
  • The description of the World Network of Schools: Montserrat Giménez, administrative director of the University School Cardenal Cisneros de Alcalá de Henares, of the Iberian Province; Br. Henry Uzor, member of the Commission of Marist Schools of the Province of Nigeria; Br. Chano Guzmán, coordinator of the Council of Marist Educational Works (COEM) of the Province of Mediterránea; Luiz Da Rosa, director of the Department of Communications of the General Administration.
  • Launch of the Network: other mission networks of the Institute.

The four groups mentioned will work in direct contact with the Secretariat of Education and Evangelization, which will co-ordinate between them. Brothers Luis Carlos Gutiérrez and Ben Consigli will keep in touch with the different activities of the working groups.

Br Carlos Alberto Rojas stressed the need to keep the project moving ahead, in spite of the current situation caused by the COVID-19. He reminded everyone of the commitment to make concrete progress on this project through holding an online event, in the first half of next year, to be followed by a live event during the first half of 2022.

The meeting concluded – the fourth section – with time for answering questions and clarifying ideas among the participants. The group ended the meeting convinced of the importance of this project and eager to contribute to its realization.

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