On Thursday, January 18th, the closing ceremony of the Assembly of Provincial Councils took place at the Marist school in Carcavelos, Portugal. A transcendent event organized by the MRE (Marist Region of Europe). During this meeting, fundamental concepts were addressed, ideas that according to the participants will be essential for the continuity of the Marist mission in Europe.
Reflections after the closure
The closing of the event featured significant speeches offered by the representatives of Marist Provinces (Compostela, Iberian, Mediterranean, and L’Hermitage) and the Marist District Central-West Europe. Among the interventions that marked the end of this important meeting were the words of Brother Aureliano, who conveyed a message of confidence in the future. In his speech, he emphasized the need to trust that the future will be good “thanks to the God who accompanies us” and then he expressed his gratitude to all the attendees.
Brothers Joao Carlos Do Prado and Luis Carlos Gutiérrez shared a realistic and generous vision of the region’s future. They stressed the importance of moving forward with canonical foundations and solid structures, with the enthusiasm to reorganise the Marist system in Europe towards a more sustainable and operational structure. Their message was clear: to continue working steadily and caring for the provinces.
Communication strategy was also defined as a crucial aspect, which implies the need to study how to effectively convey proposals, decisions and possible changes emerged of the Assembly. This shows the commitment to keep the Marist community informed and engaged.
During this meeting, sensitive and vital issues for the sustainability of the Marist mission in Europe were addressed. In this regard, attention was focused on the importance of revitalizing vocational animation. Also, on keeping international mission fields active, due to the opportunities for growth that they represent. Finally, youth pastoral care was highlighted, seen as an essential tool for the commitment and guidance of future generations.
Another challenge put to the table was the diversity of the region, which, however, was identified as an opportunity to practice and promote the Christian values that characterize the community of brothers from its beginnings. In this way, spirituality, mission, and life were placed at the centre of the European Marist community.
For the closing, Brother Gabriel Villa-Real expressed his thanks again. In his presentation, he acknowledged the contribution of the complementary services team and highlighted the work of the animators, facilitators, and coordinators of the Assembly for their crucial role in positioning the community in the reality of the marist region of Europe.
In summary, the Assembly of Provincial Councils in Carcavelos was a meeting point where spirituality, mission, and life guided the path towards a Marist future filled with confidence, generosity, and innovation. It was presided over by a fraternal atmosphere and a permanent commitment to continue answering Christ’s call and to keep building and evangelizing through the path set by our founder, Marcellin Champagnat, and in the charisma of Mary, our Good Mother.