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14th meeting of the C.E.M.

30/05/2013: Spain

The 14th meeting of the C.E.M. (Marist European Conference) was held at "Maimón" in Cordoba from 24th - 25th April. Maimón was the novitiate house of the former Province of Betica, in the south of Spain, and was recently refurbished for use as a retreat and conference centre.

One other brother from each European Province joins the five Provincials to form the CEM. All five current Provincials were appointed around about the same time, and the CEM has become a stable group that is marked by good relations and ease in working together.

During the meeting the CEM received reports from various working groups. These groups deal with areas such as Mission, Vocations, our association with lay people, the Champagnat Movement of the Marist Family and the preparation of Safeguarding Protocols. There is also a "Brothers Today" group which was set up to develop the work of the last General Chapter regarding new ways of being brothers, and exploring ways of promoting the vitality of the life of the brothers in Europe.

On the morning of Thursday, 25th April the members of the CEM reflected on the topic of the canonical visitation of the Provincial to communities. Brothers Oscar Martín from Compostela and Brendan Geary from West-Central Europe made short presentations which led to open and stimulating discussions among the members of the CEM, who have come to appreciate these opportunities for input and reflection on areas of common interest. The members of the CEM all agreed on the importance of the individual interview with the brothers in the Province, and reflected on creative ways to have community meetings as part of the visitation to communities.

Before concluding the meeting the CEM took time to plan for the meeting of European Provincial Councils that will be held in Koblenz, Germany, in November of this year.

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