Inicio del Noviciado en Madrid

El día 24 de septiembre se celebró en el Centro Universitario de Aravaca la iniciación del noviciado de la RELEM, aunque en realidad este año no podemos hablar de “Noviciado de la RELEM”, puesto que, como ya hemos comunicado en otras ocasiones, hay dos novicios que vinieron allende los mares: desde Argentina. Estos dos novicios son Mario Rubén y Miguel Eduardo. Junto a ellos, estaban los novicios españoles Miguel Marcos, Alvaro López y Antonio Domínguez, y el novicio bielorruso, del Distrito de Polonia, Iván Pitkevich.

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Fue un acto entrañable, muy fraternal, que contó con la asistencia de un nutrido grupo de Hermanos y lasalianos, pues había casi un centenar de Directores de comunidades, que estaban asistiendo a un encuentro de animación comunitaria en el mismo centro de Aravaca. Y junto a ellos, un buen grupo de invitados por los propios novicios.
El lema que habían elegido los novicios para esta celebración, y que mantendrán durante todo el año, hasta sus primeros votos, es el lema “Tú eres mi alegría”, una de las posibles traducciones del salmo 16,2.

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Además de los Visitadores de la ARLEP, nos acompañaron los Consejeros Aidan Kilty y Rafael Matas, y el H. Janusz Robionek vino desde Polonia en representación de su Visitador.

Comienzo del Noviciado

La andadura del nuevo Noviciado ya ha superado las dos semanas desde que se inició. Es verdad que el edifico de Arévalo Lara sigue siendo el mismo, pero sus inquilinos son considerablemente distintos a los del año pasado. En esta ocasión, no podemos decir, como otras veces, Noviciado de la RELEM, porque ahora provenimos también de zonas que no son de la RELEM, concretamente de más allá del Atlántico, del Distrito de Argentina-Paraguay. Somos nueve integrantes: Mario Oronales y Miguel Eduardo Justiniano, de Argentina; Ivan Pilkievich, de Bielorrusia, y Antonio Domínguez, Alvaro López y Miguel Marcos, del Distrito ARLEP. Y con ellos, tres formadores: Santiago Rodríguez, de Argentina, y Santos Maza y Esteban de Vega, de la ARLEP.

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En estas dos semanas hemos ido conociéndonos y poniendo las bases para vivir un año de noviciado intenso, profundo y fraterno. Y nos ha ayudado mucho el hecho de haberlo iniciado en la casa de Collado Mediano, donde el calor es más tolerable que en Madrid y donde el ambiente favorece la comunicación y la integración, junto con el hecho de tener que cocinar y atender todas las tareas de la casa, lo cual ha favorecido que nos pongamos  con alegría al servicio de los Hermanos. Allí hemos recibido la visita del H. Juanjo Tamburini, que nos acompañó durante tres días para colaborar con nuestro discernimiento a partir del eneagrama.

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Y también, en este inicio, hemos participado en los días del sector de dos sectores cercanos a nuestra comunidad: el 15 de agosto, en Bujedo, con el Sector de Valladolid, y el 27 de agosto, en Griñón, con el Sector de Madrid. Pudimos compartir la alegría de los Hermanos, asociados y compañeros en la misión, de la fiesta de los Hermanos jubilares, de la motivación en torno al lema del nuevo curso, de la información de los acontecimientos del verano, de la renovación de los votos de los Hermanos con votos temporales y algunas cosas más. El día 15 también, aunque de forma muy rápida, pudimos visitar la comunidad de San Asensio y saludar a los Hermanos, especialmente al H. Lino, que pasó gran parte de su vida en Argentina.

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Seguimos con ilusión nuestra marcha, que en breve nos conducirá a Lliria, en el Sector de Valencia-Palma, donde continuaremos profundizando en nuestra formación y en la construcción de nuestra comunidad, recién inaugurada.

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Por último, os informamos de que este año ya hemos decidido que el medio de información oficial del noviciado será la página de Facebook: Noviciado Relem. Para acceder a ella no es necesario disponer de un usuario de Facebook; podéis estar informados en facebook.com/novirelem.

Hno. Esteban de Vega

South Sudan: Fr. Boccuccia (International Solidarity), “Between Hunger and Fear That Future Possible”

South Sudan: Fr. Boccuccia (International Solidarity), “Between Hunger and Fear That Future Possible”

“There is apparent calm in all major centers of the country, in reality this is a bomb about to explode.” writes from Juba Fr. Bill Firman, Lasallian, including the leaders of the Solidarity Project with South Sudan since 2007 operating in the country, supported by more than 220 male and female religious congregations, with 5 specific training projects with a great future.

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“People are scared and hungry. Many have no shelter, no food. The cousin of a deacon was executed by soldiers at a check point on the sole ground that he was from the Nuer tribe. The border with Uganda remains closed. Many seek escape in vain. The airport, packed yesterday, is open, but only fly charter. Red Cross,Doctors Without Borders and many others have evacuated their staff. Yesterday twenty national security guards raided a hotel where they were several Australian and European and girls have been raped there. An American who tried to help them was shot in the foot. The decline of public order and the growing anarchy are huge problems. There is nervousness in other cities.”

Fr. Bill has still hears the blows of rifles in recent days: “around our house, the rockets in the sky, the compound of the Combonian Missionaries in the middle of a shootout; so around the cathedral in Kator and elsewhere. A story announced writes.

This is confirmed by, Br. Amilcare Boccuccia, 2007-2011 the project manager, “a Sudanese priest had told me years ago: “no doubt, we will vote the referendum, but it will  be followed by 100 years of civil war till we become a people. Sins of colonialism — which used ethnicities, already traditionally divided, in order to remove them further and control them; and then, the oil curse in a country that appears hardly explored, with proceeds used to placate the leaders of different factions and the people are hungry  of everything”, insisted Br. Bill: “The peace process has broken down. Reprisals will resume in other parts of the country where the rebels are the strongest. The government of South Sudan is bankrupt. It does not pay the soldiers and many other public employees, who end up stealing out of desperation. And we? We want to stay, to continue giving answers of life and a possible hope.”

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The invitation to visit South Sudan addressed to the Union of Superiors General comes from a bishop, and it was in 2006, after the signing of the Naivasha peace treaty that ended the second Sudanese civil war. An inter-congregations team explores it carefully. “Then  emerged the clear priority,” explains Br. Amilcare: “training.” Two areas were selected: “Education — served over 100,000 teachers — and health.” Today there are 264 qualified teachers. 175 currently engaged in training in the fourth year, 114 in that of the two-year period. Those involved in training a total of 3,443 that has seen teachers move to more distant communities to offer courses of study. Among the paramedics graduated 70 nurses and 19 midwives. In formation, another 100. Five training venues of the project in cities like: Malakal for education, to the north, now occupied by the Dinka, Wau, for health care, where the Comboni Sisters manage the Training Hospital; on the border with Congo, Rimenze for the advancement of women and thriving center of agricultural teaching and Yambio, for the training of teachers, an aspect which Lasallians are responsible. A team also for the pastoral care runs across the country to alleviate the trauma of conflict and offer new paths, with a further center, opening soon, at 16 km from Juba.

Over 5 million euro were collected to support the project in the first phase alone, between 2007 and 2011. Among the donors, the CEI, Italian parishes, but also many individuals and organizations in Spain, Ireland, Germany. “There is no  tradition in the past that gave these people the consciousness of being a people. We cannot run away. Only then we will have an equal relationship with them. We are called to invest, risking our life to sow the future.” (Laura Galimberti).

Recent Solidarity Group photo

Solidarity with Sudan South (SSS)  is a response to an invitation from the SCBC, the Episcopal Conference of Sudan. Advanced earlier by Bishop Joseph Gasi from the diocese of Tambura-Yambio and then by all the Bishops of the South of Sudan. After the visit of the delegation sent by UISG (International Union of Superiors General) and USG (Union of Superiors General) in March 2006 was established a new initiative called Solidarity with South Sudan. The initiative currently has more than 260 religious institutes supporters of the project, and 31 members in the field. 

Laura Galimberti
www.lasalleitalia.net

Lasallians in Turkey

Our thoughts and prayers are with all our Lasallians and their fellow citizens at this time in Turkey as the country comes to the terms with the recent failed coup attempt.

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There are three Lasallian colleges in Turkey, two in Istanbul, St Joseph’s and St Michel’s, and one in Izmir, St Joseph’s. In accordance with an agreement between the Turkish and French Governments, these three colleges function as French lycées with the Directors of the colleges appointed from France.

M. Michel Bertet, the MEL Co-ordinator for the Sector of Turkey, has been in touch with our Lasallian colleagues in Turkey and with Brother Fadi, Visitor of Proche Orient, and he assures us that the situation with regard to our Lasallian colleges is quiet as of now although the future clearly remains uncertain. There are two elderly French Brothers, one in Istanbul and the other in Izmir, who presently support the Lasallian mission in the country.

We join the Turkish people in praying for a peaceful resolution to the present crisis.

Br. Aidan Kilty
General Councillor for RELEM

Bethlehem University – Graduation Ceremony of the First Tourism Vocational Training Program

Wednesday, 1 June 2016, Bethlehem University held the Graduation Ceremony of the First Tourism Vocational Training. A large number of representatives from the tourism sector, supporting institutions, and from the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities were present, as well as the families and friends of the 90 graduating students.

The ceremony was held at the Bethlehem University Auditorium under the sponsorship of the Palestinian Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Her Excellency, Rula Ma’ayaah. Dr. Michael Sansur, Executive Vice President, then gave the welcome speech in which he congratulated the graduates and their families. In addition, he thanked the World Bank, PADICO HOLDING, USAID/Compete and the Palestinian Market Development Program (PMDP) for their support of the program; which came into existence as a response to the needs of the Palestinian based on research by the Bethlehem University Institute of Tourism Training (BUITT), The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, and the Palestinian Tourism Sector.

BUITT Graduation 2016

Prior to distributing the certificates, a short film was screened in which students from the Tourism Vocational Training Program shared their experiences and reflected on the knowledge and skills they came to learn from their time in the program. 

Mr. Ahmad Awedet then presented the results of the Research Findings Dissemination: HTS mapping and Job Analysis Study, which tackled the necessary steps to take to fill in the gaps within the tourism industry and further decrease unemployment.

The courses offered within the program are only possible due to the collaboration among the various institutes at Bethlehem University, specifically, the Institute for Hotel Management and Tourism (IHMT), the Institute of Tourism Training (BUITT), and the Institute for Community Partnership (ICP).

A reception, which was organized by students from the Institute of Hotel Management and Tourism, was then held in honor of the graduates.

http://bethlehem.edu

Equipo MEL de RELEM en Madrid

En la reunión ordinaria del equipo de MEL de la RELEM se han tratado diversos temas para dinamizar la formación y los aspectos de misión en la Región.

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Una parte importante de la jornada ha estado dedicada a la elaboración de propuestas para la organización de la primera Asamblea de la MEL regional.

En este encuentro el Hno. Aidan en una intervención grabada agradeció la colaboración y participación activa del Hno. Jean-François en el equipo regional durante estos dos últimos años animando y participando en diferentes equipos y comisiones así como su habilidad y delicadeza en las traducciones.

El Hno. Jean-François el próximo curso tomará otras responsabilidades en su Distrito de Francia.

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