The Province of México Occidental held its XX Provincial Chapter from 17 to 19 July at the “Spacio La Valla” in Guadalajara. During the celebration, Br. Luis Enrique assumed his mandate as provincial. The new provincial council was also elected for the next three years, made up of Brothers Luis Roberto González, Sergio Cáceres, Raúl Fernando Lara Castro, Fernando Luis Alberto López Hernández, Melesio Tiscareño De Alba and Javier López Godina.
Brothers Ernesto Sánchez (Superior General), Brother João Carlos Do Prado (General Councillor) and Brothers Luis Felipe González and José Sánchez from the Province of México Central were present in person. The sessions were accompanied virtually by four Brothers capitulants who joined us from Haiti, several lay Marists, Mexican Brothers and Brothers from the Haitian sector.
During the days prior to the Chapter work, the Brothers spoke about the objective of achieving a more dialogue-oriented Province, capable of building simple and horizontal structures in function of the mission, starting from the idea of being a light for the people, building welcoming communities and achieving inclusion and complementarity between laypeople and Brothers.
On 18 July, during the first day of Chapter work, two important moments took place: the report of Brother Miguel Ángel Santos, outgoing Provincial, and the Eucharist of Brother Luis Enrique Rodríguez, who shared his dreams for the Province, making use of the signs of fire, earth, air and water, a symbolism which accompanied the theme of the retreat.
Br. Miguel, Provincial for two three years, highlighted some of the elements of his term of office, and also mentioned the nuclei of the Provincial itinerary: “Care and development of the community”, “Charismatic formation”, “Education”, “Provincial Services” and “Social transformation”.
During the day of 19 July, the election of the Provincial Council which will accompany Brother Luis Enrique and the Province for the next three years took place. Throughout the day, suggestions were made to the next Provincial Council, and the following themes were addressed: “Sense of Province”, “Marist Brothers and Communities”, “Marist Laity”, “Marist Mission and Works”, “Haiti Sector”, “Provincial Government” and “Arco Norte Region and Marist Mexico”.
Br. Luis Enrique thanked Br. Miguel and all those present and invited the brothers to take care of the vocation, to spread the joy of being a brother, to encourage accompaniment and the promotion of the lay vocation. On the other hand, he pointed to the new projects taken on by the Province. “We are a Province, we are brothers, we are a community”, he said at the end of his message.
Before concluding the session, Br. Ernesto Sanchez thanked Br. Miguel and his Provincial Council and congratulated the new Provincial Council. He also recalled that Canada will soon be configured as a district and will be supported extensively in the USA and in Marist Mexico. “We need to team up, we need to do it together. And my invitation is that, in these new times, we should be able to take risks, to leave our comfort zone, to accept the innovation, to welcome it without fear and to respond,” said the Superior General, in a message after the Provincial Chapter.
For his part, Brother João identified the challenge of continuing to prioritise the Vocations Ministry of Brothers and lay people, with an emphasis on the vocation to the consecrated life, as a challenge. He pointed out that a new challenge will be to work on the “Constitutions” and the “Rule of Life”, as well as the process of renewing the “Brothers’ Formation Plan”.
During his intervention, Brother José Sánchez, outgoing Provincial of México Central, expressed his gratitude for the invitation and acknowledged the affection for Marist life and mission in the Province. For his part, Brother Luis Felipe González Ruíz, Provincial elect of México Central, expressed his gratitude for the time shared in the interprovincial work places, and for the opportunity to work with Brother Luis Enrique. He invited them to recognise that both Marist Provinces of Mexico walk together and are recognised as Marist Mexico. The Provincial Chapter proposed a Second Session of the Provincial Chapter to be held possibly in December 2021.