2020-11-22 GENERAL HOUSE

Meeting of the International Commission of Brothers Today

The International Commission of Brothers Today (ICBT) met online on November 10. It was the first time that the group came together again, virtually at that, since the scheduled meeting in March was canceled because of the pandemic.

The ICBT acts as a “think tank” for the Secretariat of Brothers Today and supports the directors of this Secretariat, in their work of animation. Furthermore, the ICBT is accompanied by two General Councilors who serve as links – Oscar Martin and Joao Carlos do Prado.

The present ICBT was appointed last year and had its first meeting in Rome in October 2019.  The members are Brothers:

  1. Marcio Henrique – Brasil Centro-Norte, representing America Sur
  2. Juan Carlos Bolaños – Central America, representing Arco Norte
  3. Sefo Une – District of the Pacific, representing Oceania
  4. Anselmo Kim – Marist District of Asia, representing Asia
  5. Aureliano Garcia – Mediterranea, representing Europe
  6. Ebel Muteveri – Southern Africa, representing Africa
  7. Tiamaro Alphonse – Madagascar, representing the Marist International Center (MIC)

Recently, Br. Simon Serero, the Rector of Marist Asia Pacific Center (MAPAC) in the Philippines, was also invited to be part of the ICBT.

After the welcoming and the prayer, the brothers took turns sharing about their respective communities and the work they are doing. They also spoke about the situation of the country where they are in this time of the pandemic, as well as of other realities in the regions they represent.

Brothers Oscar, Joao, Angel and Lindley then gave brief updates about the different things that have taken place in the general house these past months, in relation to the two communities and to the service of animation of the Institute.

For the next part, the Secretariat of Brothers Today made the following presentation:

  1. On-Going Formation. Because of the pandemic, the programs for 2020 were either cancelled or postponed. The secretariat has organized some programs for 2021 to begin in May, as well as those to be done in the regions towards the end of the year on the theme Spirituality of the Heart. There will also be online short courses that the secretariat is thinking of offering.
  2. Initial Formation and Vocation Ministry. The secretariat is working on a World Map of Initial Formation alongside a Directory of Formation Houses. The process of the revision of the Formation Guide, as mandated by the 22nd General Chapter and defined in the Strategic Plan of the General Administration, has begun with the first online meeting on October 6 of the international commission formed for this purpose.
  3. Year of Marist Vocations. This is envisioned to be launched on May 20, 2022 and will culminate on June 6, 2023. It is important to note that we are not only talking of the vocation of the Brothers, but of the Marist laity as well.
  4. Others. The secretariat is also working with the Tutti Fratelli group in Rome, and with Communications for the next FMS Message.

The meeting concluded with the Secretariat assigning some tasks for the commission members, namely, to:

  1. Validate the World Map of Initial Formation and update the Directory of Formation Houses;
  2. Discern the needs, identity the groups and propose possible short online courses that Brothers Today can organize and offer; and,
  3. Generate ideas on how to celebrate the Year of Marist Vocations.

The ICBT is looking forward to having a face-to-face meeting next year. However, the secretariat is set to convoke the commission virtually in two months´ time.  

The ICBT is thankful to Teofilo Minga for doing the simultaneous translation.


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