2023-03-22 BOLIVIA

South America Region Assembly – Second Day

Photos | First day

The second day of the VI Assembly of the América Sur Region, being held in Bolivia from March 20 to 23, was marked by the work of the thematic tables and the connection with the Global Networks of the Marist Institute, in the key of the Global Family.

The day began with a prayer led by the Province of Cruz del Sur, about the biblical story of Jesus’ healing of a paralytic.

Year of Marist Vocations

Then, following the dynamics of the first day, the thematic tables continued. Brother Óscar Martín, General Councilor, invited the participants to know the reality of Vocation Promotion in the Institute, to care for life and generate new life. “To generate life in the Mission, we need to look beyond, to build an educational and evangelizing vision that highlights the spiritual dimension of education,” Brother Óscar emphasized.

The following questions were then put for discussion at the tables: “Do I live my Marist life in happiness and show it? How do we help in the animation of vocations and in the care for Marist life, especially for the young brothers?

Network of Laity of the Region

Continuing the day, the third thematic table dealt with the Lay Marists of the Region. Pepe Jaime Rocabado presented the historical context of the Lay Network of the Region. The network is composed of Fraternities and Lay Communities, which group about 1800 people, including parents, former parents, former students, couples, employees, etc. 

The Laity Network is defined as an instance that generates synergies around the formation and accompaniment itineraries of the lay Marist vocation, reinforcing the vitality of the Charism. They have 4 main projects: working with young lay people, generating a repository, along with proposals for formation and virtual accompaniment.  Jaime presented a video of the Laity Network, and then went on to a reflection by boards on the state of the laity in the Provinces and in the region.

Marist Solidarity

The fourth thematic table focused on Solidarity in the Region, Analía Ruggeri, began her talk by presenting the structure of the Institute’s network and where the region is located. She pointed out that Solidarity is “taking care of life, which is imposed every day.” In this context, the Marist Heart in Solidarity network was highlighted, which has been working in solidarity throughout America for 18 years, seeking to respond to emerging realities from a human rights approach through different projects, such as Service Learning, Integral Ecology, and spaces for dialogue for children and young people.  The roundtables were invited to discuss what they know about the network and what they need to know.


In the afternoon, the fourth round table discussed Spirituality, Gustavo Balbinot presented the development of spirituality throughout the history of the region, and also asked Brother Gonzalo Santa Coloma, from the Cruz del Sur Province, to comment on what dignifies the encounter with God, to which the brother pointed out that “the greatest encounter with God occurs after forgiveness, the basis of Christian spirituality and the true feeling of the Father’s love.  The question was then put to the tables: “What projects can be implemented together to achieve transformations in Marist life?

American Conference of Provincials

Leaving the group work, the Assembly made a video call to Brother Hipólito Pérez Gómez, who made a presentation about the American Conference of Provincials (CAP), reviewing its origins, trajectory and conformation, which has allowed to give stability to the Latin American search processes in their historical contexts. Today it is a space of collaboration that facilitates the follow-up of initiatives in terms of solidarity, spirituality and renewal of perpetual vows, generating a link between the regions of Arco Norte and South America. Among the future projects under consideration by CAP, the proposal of a Common American Novitiate stands out.

Secretariat of Education and Evangelization

Afterwards, Brother Pepe Sanchez gave an introduction to the Global Networks of the Institute, mainly Pastoral and Schools. The Global Network of Schools is called Champagnat Global, which has been built up over the past few years, having its first face-to-face meeting this year in Mexico City. Champagnat Global is a meeting place for school communities to have the opportunity to achieve global influence and to promote exchange and innovation by connecting our schools. The initiative has a space on its website called “Agora” where different schools can share educational material and continue to generate connections through thematic groups.

On Youth Ministry, Brother Pepe spoke about the Marist Youth Ministry Network, an initiative of the General Government, which seeks to foster synergy and interaction among youth ministry actors in the Institute by providing coordinators with a common project to act as a Global Family and create a forum for sharing materials and experiences. The projects have been detailed to encourage the connection and involvement of young people in the initiative.

Arco Norte Region

The final presentation of the day was made by Brother Rodrigo Espinoza, Executive Secretary of the Marist Arco Norte Region, who gave a presentation on his region, which has 6 Administrative Units present in 14 countries. Arco Norte took its first steps in 2016 and has consolidated its strategic plan for 2020. Each of the teams and initiatives working in the region was presented, in a structure very similar to that of South America.

The second day ended with a prayer prepared by the Cruz del Sur Province.

Photos | First day


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