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Meeting of the Enlarged Bureau of the Laity

20/10/2019: Philippines

The Enlarged Bureau of the Laity held its session this year, October 3-8 in Marikina, Philippines, at MAPAC. Our work and dialogue were guided by the objectives of our planning: Lay Vocation Itineraries, Lay Commitments (bonding and association) and Joint Formation (experiences of communion, brothers and laypeople). We reviewed the process of each of the initiatives, analyzed the needs of the laity at the global level and in each region and reflected on the strategies we are using to advance our mission, including the structures of animation of the vocation of the laity at the global and regional level and the adjustments we must make.

Participants included Raúl Amaya (director), Agnes Reyes (co-director, Asia), Pep Buetas (co-director, Europe), Ana Saborío (Arco Norte), Carole Wark (Oceania), Joao Luis Fedel (South America) and Brother Elias Odinaka Iwu (Africa). Also present was Manu Gómez (Europe) who will become co-director from February 2020. In addition, we had the active presence of the two liaison Councillors, Sylvain Ramandimbiarisoa and João Carlos do Prado; and with the valuable help of Brother Teófilo Minga, who supported us with the translation.

At our gathering, we highlighted the meeting we had held, on October 3, with members of the Champagnat Movement of the Marist Family of the Philippines: we felt the development of lay life and communion that is practised in the Philippines, the joy of sharing the same charism and the dreams of the future for the Province of East Asia.

Another very relevant experience was the meeting with the formators and scholastics of MAPAC, on October 8. It was a wonderful time in which we were able to present the Bureau of the Laity, its objectives and members. We first developed a conversation in small groups and finally a plenary session on the meaning of the lay vocation and communion shared by brothers and laity.

Another aspect highlighted was the incorporation of ecological reflection, trying to respond to the calls of Pope Francis and the XXII General Chapter, which encourage us to live a life with greater commitment to the care of our common home.

We are very grateful to the brothers and laypeople of Marikina, who were excellent hosts. It was a true experience of the Church with a Marian character, an experience at the table where bread is shared in fraternity. A special thanks to Agnes Reyes, who organized the logistics and served us wonderfully.

________________

Raúl Amaya-Rivera - Director of the Bureau of the Laity

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