Programming meeting in Las Rozas (Madrid) for the following four years: Toward unity and communion
This meeting was held in the St. Augustine house of formation of Las Rozas (Madrid, Spain) from the 3rd to the 6th of September.
During this series of meetings, much was able to be shared with this community dedicated to the last years of the initial formation stage of our future religious and priests which have already finished their novitiate experience and now awaiting to make their last solemn profession and ordination for those who are called to serving the people of God through the priesthood.
Provincial Counsel, Vicars and Delegates
On the first day, Fr. Provincial Sergio Sanchez, together with the provincial counsel members (Rafael Mediavilla, Juan Luis Gonzalez, Eliseo Gonzalez and José Alberto Moreno), met with Francisco Javier Acero who is vicar of Mexico-Costa Rica, and Marlon Beof, vicar of the United States; Geral Wilson who is the delegate of England, Juan Cruz Vicario, delegate of Brazil; and Victor Gonzalez, delegate of Costa Rica. The first priority coming from the las provincial chapter was mentioned from the start: Promote unity and be creators of communion within the province.
To achieve this, we wish to establish ties of communion and agreed upon common initiatives by the different recollect leaders in America and Europe.
Two documents will guide us in this mission: The 2018-2022 Life and Mission Project and the St. Nicholas of Tolentine Provincial Directory. As a starting point, all religious are encouraged to read, know and assimilate these documents.
Then the chapter decisions concerning the provincial, vicars and delegates’ responsibilities were considered especially at the hour of planning concrete actions to promote communion and respond to the demands of our Augustinian-Recollect identity. This includes meetings within each community, superiors’ visits to the communities, the constant encouragement offered by local and major superiors, and a better communication of what we are all doing in our different communities.
Communion must also be promoted amongst the lay people in our ministries (parishes, schools, houses of formation, missions), especially with members of the secular third order, and those who closely work with our friars in the different ministries we are now offering our service.
Secretariats, Commissions and Teams
The following two days opened the doors to those presiding the different administrative, service, advisory and collaborative organisms. Those present were: Carlos Gonzalez, president of the secretariat of Spirituality and Formation; German Antonio Anton, from the secretariat of Youth and Vocations; and Marciano Santervas, from the Communication and Publications Committee.
Already present were members of the provincial counsel: Eliseo Gonzalez, president of the Pastoral Secretariat; Jose Alberto Moreno, representing the Social Pastoral Commission; and Juan Luis Gonzalez, of the Pastoral of Education commission which is part of the Pastoral Secretariat.
The abundant changes in these work teams that came from the General’s Secretariats and Commissions in Rome, and the new inputs approved by the latest provincial chapter and exposed in the Life and Mission Directory, have forced these legislative bodies to present new statutes, renew its teams and consider the common objectives to all and apply them to each particular commission.
Members from all the different areas of ministry have been brought together to form these teams with the objective of creating communion; the challenge is in coordinating and communicating considering the geographic distances between the members of the teams. Modern technology will help plenty in this task. The General’s secretariats will also make use of the internet to communicate with our province committees and putting us in communication and communion with the other provinces.
Much reflection was done and many things were proposed in this meeting, especially in topics concerning initial and permanent formation, spiritual accompaniment with the Secular Order members, missions and social projects, parish and educational pastoral services, youth ministry and vocations, and our presence in social media.
Economic and Assets Counsel Meeting
The last day, all those who attended the previous meetings, received the brothers belonging to the administration team presided by Benjamin Miguelez. Members of this team are Javier Tonatiuh Espinosa, provincial administrator; Sergio Camarena, administrator of the Mexico-Costa Rica vicariate and provincial vice-administrator; and Frederic Abiera, administrator for the U.S. Vicariate.
It was decided that common ground in processes and organization should be pursued for a more united economical administration of the province, care for the patrimony and assets, real estates, plan and work on preparing the best care for our ill and/or elders, and ensure what is needed for the province’s true needs.
These days finished with sincere gratefulness for all the work that each member does for the good of all the province. Many were able to express how this meeting will truly help them in their work and have a clearer idea in their expectations for the work ahead these four years until the next provincial chapter.
Sergrio Sanchez encouraged all to commit themselves to what was to do after this encounter, working as a team and in communion; always confiding in God´s help for the success in their duties, all for the good of Christ’s Church and his people.