On April 12, the American Conference of Provincials (CAP) was held with the topic Leadership in times of uncertainty. This time, it was attended by the General Superior, Br. Ernesto Sánchez, the General Vicar, Br. Luis Carlos Gutierrez, four General Councelors, Bro. Oscar Martin Vicario, Sylvain Ramandimbiarisoa, Ken McDonald, the Executive Secretaries of the South America and Arco Norte Regions, Bros. Alberto Aparicio and Rodrigo Espinosa Larracoechea, respectively, and the outgoing and incoming Provincials of the 10 Marist Provinces of the American continent.

“I welcome the initiative to be meet here together and, above all, with the topic of leadership in times of uncertainty, ” said Br. Ernesto to open the meeting where current Provincials of the two regions, América Sur and Arco Norte talked about their experiences in the context of the pandemic. “Today we are called to be testimonies of hope for better days. As Pope Francis said in his pascal homily: return to Galilee, there we will meet again and we will start over. That invitation is also for us, a request for us to resume our plans to start over”, he recalled.

Br. Inacio Etges, coordinator of the Permanent Council of the CAP and the América Sur Region, talked about the importance of the support of an open and fraternal dialogue among the provinces: “As leaders today, we are prophets of hope ”.

The meeting had three moments. The first part was an expository approach to the current moment of leadership in these Marist spaces. After the opening, the Executive Secretary of the América Sur Region, Br. Alberto Aparicio, followed the conference, presenting the current status of the networks led by the two Regions: Red Corazón Solidario (Solidarity Heart Network) and Red de Espiritualidad (Spirituality Network).

Leadership in times of uncertainty
In the second stage of the meeting, the Vicar General, Br. Luis Carlos Gutiérrez, gave a reflection on the responsibilities and challenges that the current Provincials must have as a horizon in their daily activities in each Marist space. “The current situation calls for leadership in key of hope, confident, bold and fraternal, together and not isolated, to assume the future with confidence and firm small steps ” he said. “Let’s be a leadership who listens, understands and proposes what is needed in times of uncertainty, ” he concluded.

Division into groups for reflections
The third and last stage of the meeting consisted of dividing groups by language for a brief dialogue on the reflections presented. The provincial animators shared among themselves the main fears and how to face them for the future, where the reality coincided that the American continent has many similarities and riches that can be used together to follow the path of the Marist mission. The next conference will be held on September 8.

We thank Júlia Córdova, América Sur Region, for the information for the preparation of this note.