We have a great day today, Tuesday, July 16, since the CMF congregation was constituted 170 years ago, a day of celebration and feast.
We celebrate a multilingual Eucharist acknowledging the various languages of the Movement. The US group accompanied by the representatives from Argentina-Uruguay animated our liturgy. Since we were celebrating the birthday of the CMF there were gifts waiting for us after breakfast, a nice gift on behalf of those animating the Eucharist.
The day began by mentioning the greetings from all parts of the Claretian Family. After the readings of the minutes of the previous days and their approvals we continued the report of JPIC-SOMI, the Communication Committee and Claretian Family during this four-year period. Juan Carlos Diaz, talked to us about the importance of the presence in the Justice, Peace and Integration of Creation team. We are called to raise awareness and bring closer the realities that are taking place all over the world, in spite of the fact that we the Lay Claretians are not present, for example in Nicaragua. María Jesús Pérez-Solano explains what has been done in the communications team coordinated by Luis A. Rodríguez Huertas, which have improved during these years. And also, the difficulties and challenges that remain to be done like learning a different language from Spanish. Constantino Rodríguez, Tino, delegate for the Claretian Family, told us about his experience in these 12 years as a representative of the Lay Claretians within the Claretian Family. It took him to get to know different Claretian organizations that have made him fall in love and become richer. He especially emphasizes the last meeting held in Mühlberg, Germany. This experience helped him to identify common traits and experiencing the need we have to maintain all branches of the Claretian Family.
The rest of the day was dedicated to the presentation of other Regions attending the Assembly.
Ninoska and Vania presented the Region of Bolivia that, although it is going through many difficulties, it seems that they are recovering their strength and they are facing the future with great hope and they have a lot of expectations for their next Regional Assembly.
Angelica, from Panama, presented with great enthusiasm the tremendous growth that the Central America-Panama area has had, driven in some way by the World Youth Day held in there last January. This growth supposes to have 6 admitted groups among Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Panama and other 6 groups in discernment, reason why in the Council it has been seen to establish them as a new Region for January of 2020.
Nancy Burgos explained the situation of the Caribbean Region, which has 15 communities distributed among the three islands that make it up: Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic. With a total of 89 Lay Claretians admitted and 58 in discernment. They also shared the difficulties they have had due to be in 3 different islands, which entails expenses and customs problems.
The morning ended with the presentation that Nené gives us of the situation in which Argentina-Uruguay is, how, despite the difficulties and the advanced age of its members, they continue to work with fervent love.
In the afternoon, Thiago, cmf, tells us the situation of the Region of Brazil, which due to the large size of the country have difficulties to be able to meet. However, there are 4 communities and 1 in discernment that continue to work. Finally he showed us a video with all the activities they do.
Chile presented its community of Andacollo with great joy and strength and they show us in a video the toast that they send us from the community for the Assembly.
Yolmar shared the situation of the Region of Venezuela, which despite all the difficulties we know that are happening in her country. They remain firm and there are 7 communities with more than 50 Lay Claretians admitted and 15 in discernment.
Miguel Gallego aka Mike, as delegate of the European group zone told us that there is a group in Poland, another in England, in Italy and a group in discernment in Zurich, Switzerland.
Mike continued his presentation on this occasion the Region that he belongs, the Northern Region of Spain. This region is made up of 11 communities, 2 of them newly incorporated in the last 2 years. The Region has 4 projects of the Lay Claretians and they are responsible for their own communities.
The last presentation of the day was Peru and Bruno presented the communities of Chaski, Arequipa, Gran Pajaten and Meraki.
In the afternoon the community of Morelia guided our prayer by sharing the apparitions of the Virgin of Guadalupe.
The day ended with a historical recount of the Lay Claretian Movement in the area of Chocó by Gonzalo de la Torre, cmf. He shared so many good anecdotes and memories of the whole process with great thoroughness.
You can see the pictures of today HERE
We started this Monday 15 with the Eucharist animated by the North Region of Spain and after strengthening the spirit; we nurtured also the body with delicious traditional empanadas, accompanied with a tintico to awaken the senses.
Our day began with the Report of the General Council during these four years since the last Assembly in Granada in 2015. The Council and its members have done a magnificent work and they show and thank in the Report. They were acknowledged and appreciated by the entire assembly, and their report was unanimously approved it.
Part of that work carried out by the Council has been the realization of a General Plan of Formation that Miguelo, Secretary of Formation. He presented us in a very didactic and entertaining way, because although he says that he rolls up himself like the blinds, nobody fell asleep. We really have appreciated the great task accomplished and how useful this plan is. The materials of this General Plan of Formation are already accessible in the website.
After lunch and a well-deserved rest, we continued in the afternoon with the presentation of some of the Regions. Marta Salazar, delegate of the North American area, presented the 2 communities that are in Canada, the community of Montreal and the one of Sherbrooke that is in discernment. In Mexico there are also 2 other communities that, their representatives in the assembly introduced themselves along with Morelia and the newly incorporated community of Guadalupe. Marta concluded the presentation of the North American zone with the U.S. Community in Chicago done by Conchita.
Luis Martínez introduced us to the Bética Region, which has great members. They are almost 300 between the admitted and those in discernment. They are organized in 19 admitted communities and 3 in discernment.
The presentations of the regions concluded with the hosting Region of Colombia, which is also a large region with 12 communities distributed in 4 zones.
After the afternoon break, Adriana Arboleda, who is a lawyer and activist, gave us an interesting talk about the current situation in Colombia. Her emphasis was towards the peace treaty and the difficulties with the implementation of the different stages of the process.
The afternoon ended with a very emotional prayer prepared by Venezuela, reminding us of the message of the Good News of the Beatitudes, of which we are co-responsible to make it true and alive among us.
The traditional music group from Choco “Song Chiribanda Chirimía” entertained the evening. They were teaching us how to dance and it helped us to lost some of the calories that we gained with the wonderful and abundant food that we are enjoying.
You can see more pictures of this day by clicking on the Official Logo of the X General Assembly or by clicking HERE
Although the X Assembly of the Lay Claretian Movement began yesterday with the welcoming gathering, officially it started today July 14th, 2019.
After a traditional breakfast of the area with arepa and tintico (coffee) we celebrate together the Eucharist presided by the Claretian Provincial of the Colombia-Venezuela Province, Fr. Luis Armando Valencia, cmf and animated by the Lay Claretian region of Colombia. It was an amazing opening celebration; we were all surprised by the colorful and harmonious liturgical dance during the presentation of the gifts in a very ceremonial way.
Once renewed and strengthened by the Spirit, the "formal" and official starting point with the welcoming speech by the provincial and our general secretary, Bernardeta, and the presentation and publicity of its origin by each of its participants. Then, the rules of the assembly were presented and approved, and the various committees were appointed.
We had lunch with the local time, at 12:30 and we were able to rest for a while. In the afternoon we started with the talk-retreat by Javier Pulgarín de Támesis (Antioquia) from Colombia that motivated us and introduced the theme of the assembly "Together around Him, so that the world may believe".
It was an interactive talk because it made us participate from the beginning. He gave us a skein of wool and we passed it on to each other, in this way a net was woven. With this he reminded us how the first Christian communities were created, and their first developments:
- Driven by the Holy Spirit
- Made up of poor and simple people
- Community of families
- Communities centered on Christ
- Communities that pray and break bread
- Fraternal and solidarity communities
- Communities that have and accept the authority
- Communities in which the communion of goods is practiced
- Communities with permanent ministerial structure
- Missionary communities at the service of evangelization
The reflection continued with the Gospel of John 15, 1-11 about the “True Vine” and the need that we have as branches to be united. He showed us by reading chapter 12 of the letter to the Romans the foundational norms of Christian communities are called to live. Before finishing he told us how radical Jesus showed himself towards wealth and how important it is to live peace and forgiveness based on Love.
The day concludes with an evening of regional songs from around the world.
You can see more pictures of this day in the tab X GENERAL ASSEMBLY / XAG PHOTOS