The Lay Claretians continue to weave Claret´s dream, to create a new Lay Region in Central America and Panama.
From the 12th to the 14th April, members of the Lay Claretian Movement from Panama, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala hold a meeting at the Claret Retreat House of the Claretian Congregation in Guatemala. Together with other topics, the meeting dealt with the common interest of establishing a Lay Region in Central America and Panama.
Another goal was to come to know each other, to exchange our experiences of the missionary work and deal with the challenges we all face in developing it from the Claretian charisma. We knew the historic-religious Guatemala, who, through the way the population shows its faith, invites us to look at the face of a close and suffering God.
The meeting was led by Bernardeta Arbaiza, as General Secretary of the Lay Claretian Movement, who was accompanied by Miguel Ángel Sosa, from the General Council, and by Father Jeremías Lemus, of the Provincial Government. In her initial words to the adjourned to this meeting, Bernardeta Arbaiza, General Secretary of the Lay Claretian movement, shared her joy for the great participation of the Lay Claretians, who put aside their family, work and other commitments to came to the meeting, showing therefore their contribution to developing the project of the Kingdom and to strengthening the Movement.
In his turn, Miguel Angel Sosa, from the General Government, showed his enthusiasm and said that, despite the tiredness from the long flight, he was supported by the happiness of the participants´ faces, some of whom he know from previous meetings and others from virtual meetings, and now he could meet them personally, so on behalf of the General Government, he encouraged them to continue making the dream come true.
Father Jeremís Lemus, on behalf of the Provincial Government, also shared his joy for the response of so many faces, old and new; the latter were the majority, though. He also said that the Province is determined to impulse and strengthen the movement in the regional.
After the initial words of the authorities, each Lay Claretian introduced him or herself, where they came from and some insights of their walk and how they said Yes to the Movement. Definitely, a moment of great richness for all, which enhanced the brotherhood of the Group. We realized that we are a region with different particularities and that we are moved by Father Claret´s sentence “FALL IN LOVE WITH JESUS CHRIST AND YOU WILL UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING AND WILL DO MUCH MORE THAN ME”. And Pope Francis says: “ARE YOU SEARCHING FOR PASSION? FALL IN LOVE THEN! BECAUSE NOTHING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN FINDING GOD”. This has led us to live this hope of moving from being a group of countries without a region, to dreaming with a Lay Region in Central America and Panama.
It then follow the coordinators meeting with a single point in the agenda, the setting up of the Region in Central America and Panama. We had a long debate, in which we put on the table a number of concerns about, among other aspects, the economy and coordination, which were then answered by the authorities. After this moment of fire and burning in charity, the coordinators of the participating groups agreed to set the foundations to create the Lay region of Central America and Panama.
To consolidate this desire, a Working Commission was established, to which it was appointed DORIS MEJIA, from GUATEMALA; JUAN CARLOS DÍAZ, from HONDURAS; ADOLFO UMAÑA, from EL SALVADOR; and ANGELICA LOMBARDO, from PANAMA, who will have a preliminary report within the next three months. The first General Assembly has been scheduled for the 18th to the 20th January 2020, at the Claret Retreat House in the city of Guatemala, in which we hope that the great majority of members of the Movement from this Region will be able to participate.
El Consejo General va a presentar oficialmente en la Asamblea el Plan General de Formación que ha elaborado para el Movimiento, y que ya puedes descargar desde el siguiente enlace:
Este es un documento que se ha estado trabajando por la Secretaría de Formación desde el año 2016 para estructurar y ordenar el trabajo que se está realizando en el Movimiento en materia formativa, tanto el de la propia Secretaría como el de los grupos y regiones. El Plan se ha estado perfilando y trabajando durante los últimos años, gracias a la colaboración de muchos seglares, y de todo este proceso han estado informados los vocales de formación regionales.
El documento, que se desarrolla en capítulos breves para facilitar su lectura, se estructura en dos partes principales y un anexo:
Conscientes de que en Medellín no habrá oportunidad de poder leerlo con calma, el Consejo General ha querido hacerlo público con anterioridad para dar oportunidad a todos los seglares y grupos interesados a que lo puedan leer previamente con calma y así puedan plantear en la Asamblea sus dudas y valoraciones.
Por otro lado, ya se está difundiendo a través de los Consejos Regionales y Delegados de Zona el documento de reflexión en torno al lema de la Asamblea para ir centrándonos en el trabajo que como Movimiento vamos a realizar en Medellín. En breve, se subirá también a la web.
From Medellín (Colombia), where the General Council is currently taking place, we send you warm and loving greetings.
The Council Members arrived a few days ago to prepare the next General Assembly. We have been warmly welcomed by Luz Mery and Magda, from the Regional Council of Colombia, and by Fr. Walter as the Curia´s host, where we are staying. Justy, Gloria and Carmen, Lay Claretians from Chocó, who happened to be in Medellín, came by to say hello and we all celebrated Holy Thursday at the Jesus Nazareno parish.
One of the preparatory tasks has been visiting the place where the Assembly will take place. It is a beautiful house, with a lovely garden and great views over the city, and we will have been given all things that we may eventually need. Surely, we will be very comfortable, so the Assembly will be a success!
In addition, we have taken the opportunity to learn about two projects with an important Claretian in Colombia- the Biblical Exhibition (Muestra Bíblica), created by Fr. Gonzalo de la Torre, and the Claret Households (Hogares Claret). Both projects have deeply impressed us for different reasons.
And, in between meetings, we saved some time to remember the anniversary of the official approval of the Movement and to thank God for the wealth that the Lay Claretian vocation means for all of us.
From here, we want to remember all of us who are part of the Movement and we ask God to keep encouraging and strengthening us in our identity and mission and we ask the Virgin Mary to guard and protect us all in Her Mother´s Heart.
Edison, Miguelo, Manolo cmf y Bernardeta (General Council)