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Regional meetings of Provincial Secretaries in South America and Europe

15/05/2007: General House - Photo gallery

The General Council wanted some animation and formation of Provincial Secretaries to be organised before the General Chapter of 2009 and this task was left to the Secretary General, Brother Jean Ronzon. To study the implementation of this orientation, a small group of five Secretaries met in December 2004 and gave two work axes:
* to create a practical Manual for the use of Provincial Secretaries,
* to organise meetings of Secretaries in the different regions of the Marist world.
The General Conference of 2005 gave the Secretary General a good opportunity to present this project to the Provincials. Then in September 2006, a new meeting of a few Provincial Secretaries was held in Rome and during this meeting most of the pages of the Manual for Provincial Secretaries were outlined. This work was continued by mail during the following months. Finally, at the start of March, the thirty-eight sheets of this Manual were ready and translated into the four languages of the Institute.

Then the second part of this animation could be set in motion: the organisation of regional meetings of Provincial Secretaries. The first was held from the 26th to the 28th March at Guardamar, Spain with the Secretaries from the Provinces of Europe. The second took place from the 16th to the 19th April at Curitiba (Province of Brasil Centro-Sul) for the Provinces of Brazil, Cruz del Sur and Santa María de los Andes. In the first meeting, only the Secretaries were present; in the second a dozen people participated: the Secretaries and collaborators working directly in the Provincial or District Secretariats. The collection of sheets of the Manual for Provincial Secretaries was the focus of the study at this meeting. In this way the participants experienced the complete scope of the tasks of a Provincial Secretary.

The next meeting will take place at Guadalajara in November for the other Provinces of America and a meeting is also going to be organised in October for Africa and at the start of 2008 in Australia. What level of appreciation is there in the Institute for this kind of meeting that has taken place for the first time? These few lines, an extract from the testimony left by a brother invited to Guardamar to be a translator during the meeting, give an excellent vision of the formation project in progress.

My presence at this meeting has allowed me to not only render a service as a translator, but has also enriched me by the contents of the meeting and the ambiance of serious work and fraternal spirit that I found there.

I discovered and highly appreciated the figure of the Provincial Secretary in his multiple, complex and important functions in the Province and his liaison with the General Secretariat. Until today, this figure was for me of a purely bureaucratic type and in the background; I am now aware of his importance and necessity, indispensable in the Province.

Furthermore, the great effort of systematisation and of unification at the level of the whole Institute of the functions of the Provincial Secretary is a work that I consider indispensable and that justifies all the efforts that are being made in this area. And I confess that this will produce some very positive results for which we will be enormously grateful in the near future. I believe that the method of accomplishing this work in the different regions of the Institute is very adequate and efficient, involving the Provincial Secretaries themselves and, in dialogue with them, in the production of sheets that in a short while will serve as a guide in their duties.

I will finish now. Truly, I left edified by this meeting. Once again I thank you for the possibility that was given to me to come. Fraternal greetings.

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