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Asia’s Marist International Mission Assembly to be held in Sri Lanka

17/05/2015: Sri Lanka

A large gathering for Marists in Asia has been confirmed as a follow up to a conference held in Nairobi last Sept. that encouraged the Institute to gather Marists throughout the different continents. 

“Plans are well in place for an Asian MIMA (Marist International Mission Assembly) to take place this coming December in Sri Lanka,” said a spokesperson of the Marist Asia Conference during its fourth annual meeting in Bangkok, Thailand.

“The annual meeting was happy to endorse and support the plans of the Asian Mission Commission which is overseeing the regional follow-up to MIMA II in Nairobi,” he told the General House press office in Rome on May 7.

The annual meeting of the Conference, held April 30 – May 1, also announced the closure of Asia’s FMSI desk after its opening two years ago in Bangkok noting that “through the linkage to FMSI in Rome, funding for a number of significant formation programmes for Marist across Asia is now secured.”  

“The Conference has decided to not continue the FMSI-Asia Desk at this time,” said the source. “Significant work has been done in the area of Child Protection (and) local foundations of the protection of children have now been well-laid.”

Members of the Conference also noted they have not given up on their desire to establish a regional programme to prepare Brothers for their perpetual profession. 

“This goal has proven elusive due mainly to the very different school years that are in place in the many countries of the region, (but) the Conference has not abandoned this hope for the region,” remarked the spokesperson. 

The Conference also stressed there has been a “significant gentle progress across the region” and praised the work of the Asian Laity Commission.

It labelled the regional ‘joint formation programme’ of Oct. 2014 as “outstanding” and announced that the Commission is now working on a ‘joint formation programme’ for the Marists of the South Asia Province, due to start in Sri Lanka in June.

The Marist Asia Conference noted that “as funding becomes available, the program will be offered in other sectors of the Province.” 

It added another member to the group - Madura Bulathsinghala, a lay Marist of South Asia - and appointed regional representatives for the upcoming ‘colloquium on initial formation.’

The Conference is the regional structure, which enables the leaders of the Asian administrative units to exchange information and co-ordinate planning of regional activities. 

Members spoke about construction plans of a spirituality centre in the Philippines, plans for reviewing the Constitutions in the region, the ‘New Models of Animation, Governance and Management Project Team’ and next year’s Marist International Youth Gathering in Lyon.

Vicar General Brother Joe Mc Kee replaced General Councillor Brother Michael de Waas, who usually takes part.

Participants included Bothers Juan Castro and Michael Potter (Asia District), Brothers Robert Teoh and Pat Corpus (East Asia Province); Brothers Shanthi Liyanage and Roshan Silva (South Asia); Agnes Reyes (East Asia) and Brother Peter Rodney (MAPAC). 

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