From January 15th to 18th , Portugal becomes the epicentre of reflection and strategic planning for the Marists in Europe. Over 50 attendees from the four Provinces of Europe and the West Central District gather at the Marist College of Carcavelos for a full-day session to discuss crucial issues for the Marist community.
Inspiring ideas and ambitious goals
Brother Gabriel Villa-Real, coordinator of the Regional Council of Marists in Europe, inaugurated the meeting by encouraging participants to build a strong vision for the future and not be afraid to explore new ideas and approaches. He also emphasized the need to be creative in facing challenges. However, he also stressed the importance of including doses of realism and of cultivating the ability to listen in order to understand the needs and aspirations of the Marist community in Europe, ensuring respect for Marist values.
Brother Gabriel emphasized that while nothing is “new” in absolute terms, innovation and constant adaptation are the key to staying relevant and meaningful. The coordinator also expressed gratitude for the participation of all attendees, including the General Vicar Brother Luis Carlos Gutiérrez and the general counsellors, Brothers Ben Consigli and João Carlos Do Prado. This gesture acknowledges the importance of diversity of voices and perspectives in building a promising future for the European network.
On the second day of the Assembly, the general counsellors focused on the theme of reconfiguration. The process was analysed from internal, canonical, legal, and civil perspectives. Brothers Ben and João highlighted the importance of addressing these processes as a global family, inspired by the vision of what “God wants us to be and do.” They also urged participants to visualize the opportunities that a reconfiguration process could offer in terms of vitality, viability, and sustainability of Marist mission in Europe.
The Assembly aims three fundamental objectives: thoroughly understanding the reality of Europe to gain a vision that guides future actions and decisions, establishing a common language throughout the region from internal, canonical, and legal perspectives, and projecting the operation of the region for the next 10 years, setting a clear and sustainable path for the Marist community in Europe.