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