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Secretariat for Mission

 

Br. João do Prado, Director of the Secretariat
Br. Miguel Angel Espinosa Barrera, Assistant Director of the Secretariat

FMS Champagnat

The Mission Secretariat is a strategic instrument of the General Government for the animation, strengthening and interconnection of the Marist mission at all levels of the Institute. Its purpose is to contribute creatively, boldly and prophetically to the fidelity and development of the mission “to make Jesus known and loved by children and young people”. In response to the call of the 21st General Chapter, the Secretariat must take up the challenge of contributing to the construction of the Marist mission in a new world, with the aim of responding to the voices and calls to evangelize contemporary children and youth.

 

Aims of the Mission Secretariat

The Plan of the Mission Secretariat for the period 2011 to 2017 counts on the collaboration of many Brothers and lay people from all parts of the Marist world. It defines the fundamental concepts of the mission, the identity and purpose of the Secretariat, the principal initiatives and strategies of this period and of some structures, for the purpose of contributing to the development of its activities.

Among the principal aims of the Secretariat are the following:

  1. Animate and support the mission of the Administrative Units and the Regions of the Institute.
  2. Encourage the search for harmony, integration and interconnection in network of the mission among the Administrative Units and Regions.
  3. Build, in a participative way, the vision of the future of the mission.
  4. Propose directives and policies that foster the accomplishment of the mission.
  5. Co-ordinate processes, projects and events under the responsibility of the Secretariat, at regional and global levels of the Institute.
  6. Contribute to processes and activities with a view to the sustainability and viability of the mission in the areas and regions where this is necessary.
  7. Represent the Institute in matters of mission, within and outside the Marist sphere, in the name of the General Government.

 

Scope of the Mission Secretariat

The activity of the Secretariat involves formal and non formal education, social works and works of insertion, and evangelization projects. Marist mission can also be viewed in four intrinsic dimensions, as presented in the following diagram:

fms champagnat

It is possible to perceive that the four dimensions emanate from and are nourished by spirituality[i], at the same time as they nourish it. Marist education must be jointly a work of evangelization, solidarity and commitment to the defence of rights and to the carrying out of the obligation to children and youth. In the same way, one cannot think of evangelization, solidarity or the settlement of rights and obligations without considering the other three dimensions as constituitive elements.

Thus, all the works and fronts of Marist mission need to be viewed from these four dimensions. They are fundamental elements for the fruitfulness and vitality of the mission in a “new world”.

 

Principles of Marist Mission

Six principles guide the path of Marist mission and are promoted by the Mission   Secretariat. The first four were defined by the 21st Chapter. The fifth and sixth derive from the reflection and sensitivity of the persons who took part in the creation of the plan.

 

Principles

  1. We want to see the world through the eyes of poor children and young people and thus change our hearts and attitudes as Mary did.
  2. We feel impelled to act with urgency to find new creative ways to educate, evangelize, be advocates for, and be in solidarity with poor children and young people.
  3. We affirm that evangelization is the focus and priority of our ministries, proclaiming Jesus and his message (Mendes).
  4. As Marist Brothers and Lay Marists living in today’s globalized world, we are called to have hearts and minds that are international in outlook.
  5. God is inviting us, through the prophetic witness of our presence and action, to be bridges facilitating meeting, dialogue, solidarity, social justice, by reducing the unjust distances and differences between rich and poor, in the whole context of our mission.
  6. By our way of living and carrying out the mission, we reveal the Marian face of the Church and we are signs of the Reign of God in the world.

 

Strategic Perspectives

Marist mission is praxis, action and reflection; the more deliberate, the greater its point. Conscientious activity can lead us truly to the transformation of the hearts of children and youth and, consequently of the world. Being conscious of the action, it is necessary we understand that the fruit does not depend only on us, but on the Spirit above all. This awareness disposes us to fulfill our part in the project which is God’s. Activity without intention is empty and does not achieve its objective. For this reason, planning of the mission is indispensable.

In this sense, certain elements can help us to make our mission more vital and viable. It is of great importance that all levels of the institution take into account the following strategic perspectives in our mission:

  • Human potential
  • Economic-financial potential
  • Quality of services and fidelity to the charism
  • Processes
  • Organizational and operating structures
  • Institutional positioning and visibility.


[i] Spirituality in this context is understood as living and dynamic experience of God, which is oriented at once towards action and contemplation (S. SAMMOM, 2007, Presentation of Water from the Rock). As he says in this document (p. 10): “(spirituality) strengthens our identity and is a crucial element for the vitality of our life and mission.”

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