Meeting of the Satellite Teams, 12 to 14 March 2022
In these days the meeting of two of the four satellite teams that are working on the themes that were previously decided, and which are coordinated by Mariola and Elizeu Calsing, has taken place. Father Paulo Renato, who accompanies them in this mission, could not be present at the meeting, but he has followed all the work that has been carried out to date. The couples were accompanied by Fr. Ricardo Londoño, ERI’s counselor y, who brought forward his trip to share these days. The Pedagogy team and the Young Couples team took part in this meeting. The Pedagogy team is focussing on the revision of the piloting that are carried out in the different SR and RR and is preparing new material that can be used in those places that need a renewal of their piloting plans. It is made up of four couples who have been able to meet in person for the first time since its constitution in 2019. Coordinated by Silvia and Chico Pontes from Brazil, the team includes Rozenn and Frederic Tiberghien from France; Souad and Edouard Borgi from Lebanon; and Lucyna and Krzysztof Wysow from Poland. And the team that has dedicated itself to preparing material for Young Couples, coordinated by a Spanish couple, Ricardo and Carmen Rodríguez-Marín. They are developing a material designed for a broad spectrum of couples, both married and unmarried, with diverse backgrounds and concerns but with a common denominator: the desire to foster their couplehood by reflecting on the fundamental aspects that shape their common growth and life project. The meeting reviewed all the work that is already well advanced, suggestions and adjustments were made. The last version will be provided to ERI at the end of june for its examination.
ERI meeting, 15-19 March 2022
The feelings we have had have been somewhat ambivalent. It was a joy to be able to bring together all the members of the ERI in person; if we remember, Faye and Kevin Noonan, Eurasia zone coordinators, could not come to the last meeting in Mexico City in October, as they were not yet authorised to travel from Australia. But at the same time, we know that this meeting replaces the meeting that was to have been held on the same dates in Assisi, a large meeting that had already been postponed twice and which, because of the pandemic, finally had to be cancelled. Travel restrictions in Italy meant that half of the participants were unable to attend, which led to its cancellation.
The International Responsible Team met to review the situation of the teams in the different parts of the world; teams that, like so many instances in the Church, have also been affected by the restrictions. It has not been easy to manage and accompany the new teams, in spite of the technologies, although we have to recognise that thanks to these we have not remained disconnected. Nevertheless, the closeness and contact with the new teams is increasingly felt to be necessary. It has not been easy for our seniors either, many veterans have not been able to meet, and we have noticed that virtual means are much more difficult for them. Consolidating growth in countries where we were just starting out, revitalising teams in places with a long tradition, establishing links and support, training and meetings are all challenges that lie ahead of us, while we wait for everything to settle down and get back on track. We must also plan the International College in July, which brings together the responsibles of the Super-Regions, the regions directly linked to the ERI, the counsellors and the ERI itself. This meeting has been held virtually for the last two years, with a great effort of technological adaptation on the part of all. However, we are looking forward to the possibility of holding it in person, and the place chosen has once again been Assisi (Italy). We hope that this time it can be held and that it can be a moment of revitalisation, impetus, encounter… On the other hand, the usual work of preparing study themes, reviewing the participation of the Teams in the work of the Synod, administrative and secretarial matters, and so many other things that are necessary for the proper functioning of the teams in the world, will continue. Thinking about how to face the post-pandemic world is absolutely necessary and requires a great effort on the part of all.
The ERI always has some key moments of communion and closeness with the teams and with the church of the city that welcomes us. And on this occasion, we had the Wednesday afternoon for an interesting cultural visit to the cathedral of Seville, accompanied by part of the team of the SR Spain, with the presence of its leaders Pedro and Rocío and the counselor Fr. Josep Buades S.J. With them we visited the archbishop of the archdiocese of Seville, Monsignor José Ángel Saiz Meneses, whom we thank for his affection and closeness, and for his deep knowledge of the Teams of which he was once counsellor. We had the opportunity to celebrate the Eucharist in the Basilica of Jesús del Gran Poder and to meet with the members of the SR Spain service team, with whom we shared a magnificent dinner and a Sevillanas class that concluded the Wednesday evening.
Finally, on Saturday 19th in the afternoon we also had a meeting with team members, which allowed us to have a fruitful exchange and communication. We celebrated the Eucharist together in the church of Dos Hermanas, a town near Seville where the retreat house where we were staying was located. We were able to learn more about the SR of Spain, to answer the questions posed to the ERI and to explain the role of the ERI and the most important aspects of its mission. We also concluded with a great shared dinner.
We are grateful for the facilities, the help provided, the enthusiastic dedication of Pedro and Rocío, and Josep for making this meeting possible in Seville.