Front, Isabella R. Moyer, Susan Vogt, Ernest Kasongo
Back, Brother Domingo Fuentes, SM, Isabel Duarte Quapper, Félix Arqueros Pérez
The International Team of Marianist Lay Communities are preparing for our annual meetings in Rome next week. As usual, our time will be divided between team meetings and the meeting of the World Council of the Marianist Family. It is always a joy to gather as a Marianist Family with our sisters and brothers of the Daughters of Mary Immaculate, the Society of Mary and the Alliance Mariale. We are excited to welcome the new members to the World Council: Sister Franca Zonta, FMI (new Superior General), Sister Ana Lúcia Góes, FMI (Assistant for Religious Life), Sister Gretchen Trautman, FMI (Assistant for Temporalities) and Brother Maximin Magnan, SM, (Assistant for Education).
The focus of our team meeting is two-fold. The first is the sharing of regional and national reports, which is always a source of energy for us. We are inspired by the good works that are being done by our Marianist Lay Communities, and heartened by growth around the world. It is good to hear all of your voices! We are also challenged to offer support and assistance as needed. These reports are very important, for they always decide the agenda for the coming year.
The second focus this year is the ongoing preparation for our 6th International Meeting of MLC in Lima, Péru in 2014. We have a lot of work ahead of us. Thanks to Isabel Duarte Quapper and our organizing team in Péru, the ground-work is being done on schedule. We now need to finalize agendas, delegate processes, funding, and ensure that all necessary communications are scheduled.
We have sad news. Our Regional Responsible for Africa, Ernest, is unable to attend our meetings this year. Due to a recent change in the visa process, we were unable to attain the necessary documentation in time for his travel. Travel restrictions for some countries are an ongoing challenge. We are a team that represents our international reality as an ecclesial movement in the church. When one of our regions is not present at the table, we are not whole. We hope to have regular contact with Ernest via telephone and Skype during the week. And, we pray that next year he will be present with us again.
We ask for your prayers, and assure you of our prayers in return. May our loving God continue to look kindly on our Marianist Lay Communities and our Marianist Family. And, may Mary be our constant guide and model as we continue to unite our efforts in her mission of bringing Jesus into the world.