Félix (2nd from left) and Marica Testa (2nd from right)
The Fraternità Marianista, our CLM in Italy, held its 26th National Assembly at Casa Adèle in Rome from February 6th to 7th. News and photos of the Assembly can be found in the latest issue of Fraternità Marianista. Félix Arqueros Pérez, Regional Responsible for Europe accepted the invitation to attend the Assembly. Visitations and attendance at national and regional gatherings allow us to experience the reality of our lay Marianist life at the grass-roots. They require a great financial and personal commitment, but they are an important investment into our present and future reality as a global Marianist family. Thank you, Félix, for your participation. And thank you to all our sisters and brothers in Italy for your generosity, your hospitality, and continued commitment to our Marianist life.
Equipo Animación CLM Europa
Each of our four MLC Regional Responsibles have the challenge of balancing the tasks of their region, the tasks of the International Team as a whole, and tasks of the World Council of the Marianist Family. And, all these tasks must be accomplished in volunteered time. Work, careers, and family responsibilities also require their energy and commitment.
Marianist leadership is meant to be a collaborative leadership. This is why Father Chaminade proposed the structure of the Three Offices, each working together for the greater whole. Collaborative leadership recognizes the need to share the responsibility of leadership. It recognizes the need to share the tasks, because the tasks are too many for one person. It recognizes the need for discernment based on the collaborative wisdom and prayer of community.
We, as lay Marianists, know this in our hearts. But, we are still learning how to do this in concrete actions. Our leaders are chosen and empowered by our communities. The same communities are also called to share in the responsibilities and tasks of leadership. When we do this, the blessings are great. We benefit from a diversity of gifts and talents, ensuring that many minds and hearts will help bring visions and mission statements to life. The burden of work is divided so that challenges are successfully fulfilled. And, we help form and empower each other into present and future leadership.
We have a wonderful international team. But, a team cannot function efficiently if all the work is done by its leadership. Our Marianist Lay Communities in Europe have given us a model of Marianist leadership. Our Regional Responsible for Europe, Félix Arqueros Pérez, has formed an Animation Team to work with him for the CLM in Europe. This team met in January and completed a Report describing the responsibilities and tasks of each member. This is a good example of collaborative leadership. We need many hands and hearts at all levels of our organizational structure -from international, to regional, to national, to local, and finally to each community.
I commend Félix and the Region of Europe for this initiative. I know that it will bear much fruit for both Europe and our International Organization. And I challenge each of us (myself included!), to see how we can better collaborate in our work for the Marianist family.
In past years, the Marianist family in Spain developed a Lenten program called “Forty Days with the Forty Least”. It was an opportunity to journey in prayer, in spirit, and in letter writing with our sisters and brothers in the 40 least developed countries in the world. This year, the Fundación SM has developed the program “FORTY DAYS TO CHANGE THE WORLD” it will “focus our attention on the experiences, people and organizations that are contributing positively to development….It does not try to hide the problems of underdevelopment, but rather present these along with the solutions being implemented to solve them.”
The campaign is available in English, Français, and Español.
This is a wonderful opportunity to join our minds and hearts across the miles. I pray that our Lenten journey will nurture and strengthen our personal relationship with our God, and with each other. May the union of our humble efforts truly change the world!
(When you go to the web-site in English, click on the “Cuaresma 2010″ link near the bottom of the page for the day’s readings.)
Here is an update to an earlier Blog from Agnès Dumas Bonkoungou, calling us to unite in prayer for Haiti on the 12th of each month for the next 12 months. A prayer service is available on the Taizé web-site.
Haiti – Prayer for February 12
Haiti – Oración para el 12 de febrero
Haiti – Prière pour le 12 février
Other languages are also available. May the power of prayer circling our globe help bring relief to the suffering, generous hearts to donors, and wisdom to leaders that Haiti may be built anew.
There are many national and regional MLC and Marianist Family newsletters published around the world, filled with information and photos. They are a wonderful way to ‘meet’ our international Marianist Lay Communities, and to learn about their lives and works. We are now posting the newsletters on our web-site at www.clm-mlc.org on the home page for each language. This is the “News” page, and will be updated regularly. Please visit the site to read newsletters from Italy, Madrid, Zaragoza, North America – Asia, Eastern France, and Nairobi, Kenya.
Please send all newsletters to your Regional Responsible. Copies can also be sent directly to firstname.lastname@example.org for uploading on the web-site. Thank you!
Hello to all,
We are gathering in our places of prayer next February 12 at home or wherever we might be, even somewhere in silence, to pray together for Haiti and for all those who have no one who is thinking of them in the situations of such great distress. Haiti, more than ever, must give thanks to God for all the solidarity shown throughout the world and in the heart of each Haitian or others. May God open for us a new way of living as a people of the present world! I agree truly with this proposal of the Brothers of Taizé for the 12th of each much for this whole year… A time of prayer, a significant moment for Haiti.
United in prayer!
Agnès Dumas Bonkoungou
Taizé invites you to pray for Haiti on the 12th of each month.
Taking up a suggestion made by a former volunteer from Haiti, the community of Taizé invites everyone to pray for the people of Haiti on the 12th of each month, for twelve months, following the earthquake which occurred on 12 January.
The young man, who had been a volunteer at Taizé during the summer of 2006, writes: “Life, death, I do not see any difference, since Tuesday 12 January when the country was plunged into a terrible helplessness. But God is great and since he is love his loving plan is already established for us. The songs of Taizé give me a strength and a confidence I never imagined. Ask all the people of the world to pray on the 12th of each month for the next 12 months for the Haitian people. Do not hesitate! This is very important.”
Before 12 February, the internet site of Taizé will have a proposal for prayer, which can be used on that day.
26/01/2010 From Josée Dion (Quebec, Canada)
My little sister in Haiti, how happy I am to learn that you are healthy and safe. Your news is going around the Marianist world. We are deeply sorry for all that has happened in Haiti and we pray fervently, for at the present time we feel very powerless to help in any better way. Many efforts are being made to collect money but we do not know how this will get to you. There are decisions to be made by the different governments in order to assure a reconstruction of the country in its political structures as well as its social structures. The Marianist religious of Haiti also have many decisions to make.
May the Holy Spirit accompany everyone and may Our Lady of Perpetual Help watch over all of you.
I embrace you,
30/01/2010 From Marie Roseline Rogené (Haiti)
Good evening Josée and my Marianist brothers and sisters, I have a little bit of energy in bits and pieces.
Other news: the provinces except for Léogane and the areas around Port-au-Prince have not really been touched; thus our members are perhaps touched at a distance by their relatives and those close to them but not directly. A colleague told me that Urbens Dieuveuil had called him, then logically he is alive, but I have not been able to get in touch with him and with many others. I have one piece of bad news: Brother Belemont lost his wife and only daughter. Unfortunately I have not been able to talk with him in this difficult time because of the difficulties of communication but I am going to keep on trying to find him with all my energy. I ask you to pray very much for Brother Belmont.
Brother Thomas Losier is proposing a gathering for all Marianists as soon as possible after things calm down, a proposal which I support and I propose that the members who are in communication keep on looking for as much information about all the members of the Family in Haiti in a way to get an idea of the whole situation of the members and especially to support them, affective support is very important at this time.
This afternoon there was a mild aftershock felt at Léogane, it is still important to be prudent.
Thank you Josée and united in prayer,
Marie Roseline Rogené
(In gratitude to Brother Tim Phillips, SM for the translation from the original French)