"Valencia" has been in the ERI’s mind and heart over the past months, because the Spanish town hosted this year’s College.
But even before this meeting, the ERI Team met, between July 11th and 13th, at La Salle, the place close to Valencia where the College was to be held, in order to finalise the details and also to exchange and resolve different issues that were on standby: the 2020 College, or the welcoming of two new couples to the ERI. Father Paulo Renato, a Brazilian priest and spiritual counsellor to the Satellite Team, was also present at La Salle.
During these preparatory days, and despite the intense work that inevitably marks these ERI meetings, the couples were able to visit Valencia, appreciate its culture and were received by the archbishop of Valencia, Don Antonio Caizares Llovera, who kindly opened the doors of the Episcopal Palace in order to meet the ERI and to say a few words to Teams of Our Lady. “Family” was the word that was highlighted with the bishop pointing out that humanity’s problem today is its lack of confidence in the family… A special privilege awaited the ERI as one of Team’s emblematic couples, Mercedes and Alvaro Gómez-Ferrer, invited them to dine at their house. Many stories were shared with great joy and much simplicity.
The College was held from July 14th to 20th at La Salle.
19 Responsible SR or RR Couples and 14 Spiritual Counsellors represented the international nature of the Movement and they commended its unity throughout these days of work, reflection, prayer and exchange. Important moments included various conferences on the document entitled “Vocation & Mission”; on the Church today in Spain; on the challenges for Teams in the light of Gaudete et Exultate; on communication as a tool for Teams, without forgetting the presentation of the Zones (that enabled us to welcome the new SR that make up the America Zone) and the presentation of the Movement’s accounts and statistics.
“Young people” was also a subject for reflection at this College and two young Spanish couples, who had followed a marriage preparation course over 3 years that was run by Teams, gave their testimonial. This was followed by a debate on the motivations of young people throughout the world relative to marriage.
The week included a Sit-Down, a Mixed Teams meeting and a night of Adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament, during which all the works and desires of Teams of Our Lady were entrusted to the Lord’s hands.
One of the funniest and most successful moments was the during the morning of the 3rd day, during the “Sharing Village” workshop, where everyone, couples and priests alike, had to show their skill and dexterity, before concluding that working as a team has its advantages!
Amongst the various different interesting and intense testimonials that were heard, we would like to highlight Mercedes & Alvaro Gómez-Ferrer’s, where they displayed their ever-present love for Teams and the substantial heritage they leave in transmission for young couples…
In the afternoon of the 4th day, July 17th, we also had the time to visit the centre of the town as tourists and our day ended with an enjoyable dinner at the Marina.
The Spain SR more than lived up to this College’s motto: “Serving joyfully!” We are extremely grateful to the outgoing SR Responsible Couple, Mercedes & Alberto, as well as to the two couples, who were tireless in their constant service: Sandra & Hildo, Carmen & Ricardo!
Finally, on Saturday, July 20th, the ERI met with responsible couples and priests from the different regions of the Spain SR in order to exchange ideas and points of view using the habitual roundtable whereby the ERI answered several couples’ questions. At the end of the day, mass was celebrated and the College closed with a joyful outdoor dinner.
Nous rendons grâce à Dieu pour ces jours à Valence !