Our best wishes for a year of peace !

This is undoubtedly a peculiar year, when it seems that the death of the Holy Innocents preceded Christmas…

Our Europe-Mediterranean region is at the heart of the turmoil: refugees are arriving in large numbers on the coasts of Greece, Italy, Malta and Spain, still mourning those who did not survive the journey; Syrian refugees are arriving in Turkey and Lebanon; the violence in Israel and Palestine is unleashed; the Ukrainian conflict continues to exile families, particularly to Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria and Poland… There’s no need to go on with the list: it’s enough to show that all Districts of RELEM are affected.

How can we be, in all these places, signs of hope, outstretched hands, tangible proof that violence does not have the last word? Michel Scouarnec’s song still rings out with the same acuity:

Will we leave in our churches a little space for the foreigner?

When he comes, will he find hearts of poor and hungry?

Don’t let the earth die, don’t let the fire die :

stretch out your hands towards the light, to welcome God’s gift.

Happy Christmas, welcome par excellence to the Prince of Peace.

May God grant us, throughout 2024, the grace to be workers of his Peace!

Br Joël, Jean, Tomeu and Br Enrico

The MEL Council works on our next assembly

On Tuesday 12 December 2023, the MEL Council met in Rome, at our Generalate, to finalise the details of the next MEL Assembly of the Region, which will be held in Rome from 26 February to 1 March 2024.

The Councillors approved the working proposal drawn up by the Preparatory Commission, and raised a number of questions that remain to be resolved. In fact, there are many specific issues relating to logistics, hospitality, communication, etc. which always require a great deal of work in the weeks leading up to the event. Committees have been set up to carry out these tasks, and the two months we have left before the event are going to be busy.

In any case, participants can look forward to an important time for the future of our Region, but also a time of conviviality and getting to know each other, a guarantee of future collaborations.

The next meeting will be a virtual one: all the participants will meet virtually on Monday 18 December to get into the spirit of the meeting and receive the information they need to prepare themselves as well as possible.

ASSEDIL training session 2023

Thirty-five directors actively participated in the 11th Directors’ Training Meeting organised jointly by ASSEDIL and RELEM; coming from Austria, Belgium, Egypt, France, Jordan, Greece, Malta, Palestine and Spain, they weaved together knowledge, relationships and possibilities for future collaboration.

Languages are never a barrier, even if at first they slow down the interaction a little, but they are in fact one more possibility to build the Mission that we as Lasallians live all over the world.

After a joyful activity of getting to know each other and the presentation of the Generalate, each District introduced itself so that the differences, the cultural specificities, and also the juridical and managerial ones could be known by all.

Lasallian identity was the theme which, like a shining prism, was presented and explored from many points of view: the characteristics of faith, fraternity and service, the Intentional Communities, leadership in the Lasallian community, the New Learning Context (n.c.a.) experienced by the ARLEP District, the Pastoral Ministry of Justice of the District of France and of the French-speaking countries and education in solidarity were some of the themes touched on.

The work around the linguistic tables or in mixed groups made it possible to compare and deepen the facets and richness of local realities within the horizon of the Mission and of Lasallian identity in order to generate greater commitment and to bridge the gap between the ideal and the real.

The Roman evening, the evenings and the aperitifs with the community of the General Council and of the Generalate helped the fraternity which characterises our charism and our Mission to grow.

Thanks always to all the Assedil Council who, for 11 years, with tenacity and creativity, have been carrying out this beautiful experience that contributes in building RELEM.

Young Lasallians attend the Synod opening event

Today the lasallian comunities in Rome took part at the Synod event “Together. Gathering of the People of God.” We did a wounderful pilgrimage starting from the Colosseum to St Peter reflecting upon the three pillars of the lasallian charisma: faith, service and fraternity! Once in St Peter, we prayed on the notes of Taize canons together with all the cristian faith and their most important delegates, from Sri Lanka to Armenia, from South Korea to Etiopia. Finally we hear truly inspiring words from Pope Francis who said “We need to rediscover silence, shut up the noises that surround us, and find again the gentle whisper of Elijah among” and finally “This Synod’d be the kairos (the right moment) of a true fraternity”

Vincenzo Rosati

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