2024-04-15 SPAIN

MIMA, Sunday – Conclusion of the Assembly

Photos del día | Photos launch of the Document | Video | More about MIMA

The III Marist International Mission Assembly, which brought together 119 representatives from the 25 Administrative Units, the Marist Networks, the General Administration, the Marist Family and other invited guests, came to a close on Sunday 14th April at El Escorial.

At the start of the proceedings, Br José Sánchez, of the Preparatory Commission, invited Correen Paul, from the Council of the Lasallian Association and Educational Mission, to share a few words about his presence at MIMA. Brother recalled the affinity of the mission and charism of the two congregations and underlined the common journey of the two charismatic families. Correen, for his own part, expressed his thanks for being invited and highlighted the solidarity of the De La Salle world with the mission of helping those most in need through education: “This is indeed the mission of the Brothers and partners of La Salle, grounded in faith, service and community”.

Then, after practical information about the last day of the Assembly and home journeys, Marcelo, the facilitator, took the floor and indicated the morning’s work. This consisted in examining the draft prepared the day before by the Preparatory Commission for the Final Message to be sent to the whole Institute. It was pointed out that it is a document which, by its very nature, is limited in scope and does not reflect all the realities and vital expressions of Marist mission worldwide. It is a map, which does not always capture the territory in its totality; life is richer than a document. Although efforts were made to reach consensus through ‘conversations in the Spirit’, some situations might have wanted to be more clearly present in the text.  All participants were aware of this limitation.

The document is organized according to the priorities pointed out by the assembly, consisting of a title, a description, and associated themes. Guidelines and suggested strategies follow.

  1. Quality Marist Evangelizing Education that shapes the world and is transformative.
  2. Promotion and Protection of Children and Youth Rights
  3. Marist Spirituality as a source of meaning and care for life
  4. Participation and engagement of children, adolescents, and youth through spaces of active and sensitive listening
  5. Care of Family Relationships to nurture children and youth
  6. Care of our Common Home
  7. Promotion of mental health, well-being, and comprehensive care of people

After approving the final document, the Assembly also decided to send a message from the participants to the whole Institute. The message was read at the assembly and is addressed “To you, Marists of Champagnat”.  It begins like this:

We are a global family, we are brothers and sisters,
we are your eyes and ears, your arms and your heart.
in the mission of Marcellin Champagnat.
The final document and message will be published in the coming days.

Once this phase was completed, participants were divided into regions with the task of identifying what strategies and resources could be devised to communicate the fruits of MIMA to each region and Administrative Unit of the Institute.

The afternoon began with a stocktaking of the meeting. This was followed by the launch of the document, a significant moment led by Brother Niño Mayor of the Secretariat for Education and Evangelisation, and Erin Kelly, from the United States, during which participants received a copy of the document “In the Footsteps of Marcellin Champagnat: Marist Educational Mission“. It included interventions by Brothers Ernesto Sanchez, Superior General, Luis Carlos Gutierrez, Vicar General, and General Councillors Ken McDonald and Ben Consigli, as well as the conclusion by Br José Sanchez, Director of the Secretariat for Education and Evangelisation. The document will now be made available to the whole Institute.

The Assembly was then brought to a close, coinciding with the Mass of Sending. There were the traditional thanks to all the participants, to the support teams and, in particular, to the preparatory commission. Each participant received a symbol consisting of a miniature house and a candle. Br Ernesto asked the participants to be the first to put the priorities defined during these days into practice, in their own area of ministry, underlining that “each one of us has to give a little of ourselves for the sake of our global family”. He concluded by exhorting them to “continue to listen to the Spirit, being open to the General Chapter to come”.

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