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 Society of Jesus and Executive Council of World CLC Meeting

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Bài gửiTiêu đề: Society of Jesus and Executive Council of World CLC Meeting   Sat May 19, 2012 7:28 am


    Meeting between the General Council of the Society of Jesus
    and members of the Executive Council of World CLC.

    Tuesday, 27th March 2012, 11:00 – 12:30 hrs

      Present at this meeting were Fr. General, the Secretary of the Society and ten members of the General Council. There were five members representing CLC - Daniela Frank, Franklin Ibañez, Sofia Montanez and Luke Rodrigues (World ExCo), and Augusto Reggiani (Prima Primaria). English was used as the medium. Some questions raised were in Spanish. The written text (Annex 1, given below) had been sent earlier to all members in English and Spanish, and served as the basic framework for our presentation.

      This encounter was a wonderful opportunity for us to present a clearer idea about what CLC is and its present status across the world. For the sake of clarity and convenience, we had broken up the presentation into different sections, but it was stressed that there is an underlying unity to this way of life with a lot of overlap among sections.

      The overall tone of the meeting was positive and encouraging. The SJ Council members showed great interest in knowing more about CLC and were happy to hear about how CLC is moving forward in so many ways. There were several questions raised to clarify perceptions and encourage CLC to look at some areas of possible growth.

      Summary of Proceedings at the Meeting

      Part A. Daniela presented this part. Some interventions that followed are ….
      - How do CLC members manage to balance the tension between ‘daily life as the main mission’ and ‘the call to be an Apostolic Body’?
      - Pay attention to the fact that CLC worldwide is an ageing community. More efforts could be made to promote CLC among the youth and the poor.
      - It would be good for members to improve visibility by taking on more apostolic projects in common.
      Responses from CLC: The tension between daily life and other apostolic involvements will always remain, but we think the body as a whole is increasingly striking the right balance.

      At the Fatima Assembly we reflected on the absence of the poor in our communities. There are ongoing efforts to encourage CLC among the poor. Regarding age profile, there are some national communities with many youth or young adults. There has also been growth in overall numbers and the number of national communities. We also see an increasingly number of groups and national communities taking on common projects.

      Part B: Franklin gave a brief presentation on this, followed by comments/questions as given below.
      - Can CLC take on apostolates which have a political impact?
      - CLC should be more present in social institutions to bring about policy change.
      Responses from CLC: We further explained some of the projects mentioned in the paper to show how we are growing as an apostolic body. The impact of these works shows that we do have some influence on society. We are also increasing our advocacy efforts which aim at bringing about policy change.

      Part C: This part was presented by Luke. Some interventions that followed are …..
      - What sort of formation do we offer to Ecclesial Assistants?
      - CLC could also study and learn from formation programmes of other groups.
      - How is formation in CLC monitored?
      Responses from CLC: We have a manual for EAs and this offers useful guidelines. Many EAs learn the ropes while on the job itself. We promote/organize meetings for EAs to share and learn from each other. Formation in CLC is done according to four stages, with indicators pointing to the end of each stage. The process of monitoring is done by the group guide, the regional/national ExCo and the national formation team.

      Part D: Presented by Sofia and Augusto. Unfortunately there was not much time for this part. There was an enthusiastic response to this Jubilee celebration, paying special attention to the long tradition of SJ-lay collaboration. Many appreciated the fact that CLC has taken this initiative and is widening this celebration to the whole Ignatian family.

      The meeting left us deeply satisfied. We were able to communicate clearly who we are and what we do and received affirmation and support for this. We also received helpful suggestions for our journey ahead. Based on the questions and comments, we see possibilities for our own growth and for closer collaboration with the Society of Jesus.

      A. CLC as a Lay Apostolic Body
      CLC is a Lay Ignatian Community with 60 recognized national communities and 16 others moving towards incorporation. The total number of adult members is 25,000, about two thirds of whom are women. This number does not include adult pre-communities. In some countries there are a number of ‘CLC’ groups among high school/college students. These too are not included in the above figure because CLC is to be understood as a discerned personal vocation.

      Ever since its establishment in 1967 (with the renewal of the Marian Congregations), CLC has experienced many stages in its growth. While there are some national communities which are in decline, we can overall assert that World CLC has grown in its self-understanding and in its apostolic commitment. CLC sees itself today as a lay Ignatian community which has matured over the years and plays an important role in the building up of God’s Kingdom.

      Our two previous World Assemblies (Nairobi 2003, Fatima 2008) have spelled out some characteristics of CLC as a lay apostolic body

      • The many local communities and the one world community are essentially apostolic. Members gather together in small communities, and these form themselves into one larger community with the primary aim of better collaborating with the mission of Christ in the world today.
      • The unity of the body comes from the Ignatian charism. This is a unity which does not require every member to participate in the same activity or apostolic field.
      • The mission is common because the members share with the group how they live out their personal mission and receive from the group support to live out the same. Thus each one partakes in the mission of the others. This is done through the dynamic of Discerning, Sending, Supporting and Evaluating (DSSE).
      • Our lay state of life determines our primary mission. This field of mission lies in activities of daily life (family, work, relationships) into which God has placed us. We seek to encounter God and reveal God’s presence in and through these activities.
      • Having said that, it is important to be involved in other levels of mission whenever possible. As a body, we are also called to participate in apostolic activities and/or set up apostolic works at local/national levels
      Recommendation: We ask you to help us disseminate – within the Church, the Society and the Ignatian family – this clear positive image of CLC as an apostolic body which enables Ignatian lay people to live out their own specific vocation.

      B. CLC Mission and Collaboration with the Society
      The mission of CLC can be described at four levels. Each person must respond to her/his own calling at a particular moment in life.

      1. Daily Life: The primary mission of the laity is to encounter and reveal God in and through the daily activities of family and work. All CLC members are called to this mission. A challenge here is a particular mentality within the Church which still considers this type of ‘invisible’ mission to be something of inferior value.
      The Society of Jesus plays an important role in assisting CLC members live out this vocation. Many Jesuits offer services as Ecclesial Assistants or group guides or guides of the Exercises thereby accompanying members along their journey.

      2. Apostolic services: At this level of mission, members are involved in diverse services in the social, pastoral, educational and ecological spheres. We estimate that one third of CLC members offer their time and talents at this level of mission.
      Many institutional works of the Society (schools, parishes, retreat houses, social institutes etc) are the locus in which this mission is lived out.
      3. Institutional works: In recent years, a growing number of national communities are taking on the administration or establishment of apostolic institutions (schools, retreat houses, centre for migrants, home for orphans etc).
      Collaboration with the Society of Jesus is seen in many of these works. In some cases, the Society owns the building while CLC administers the work. Sometimes, both CLC and the Society create a new work/institution. Elsewhere, Jesuits work as chaplains/guides in a work that is fully owned and run by CLC.

      4. International cooperation: Advocacy at the regional and global levels has been reinforced lately. Through its working group in New York, CLC has participated in United Nations deliberations as an NGO. Now we have regional advocacy networks set up in Europe (for migration) and in South America (for ecology and migration). We also participate in other networks such as World Social Forum and the Forum of Catholic NGOs.

      CLC wishes to actively collaborate with the Society through participation in the Global Ignatian Advocacy Network. We have participated in advocacy forums organized by the Society (Escorial 2008, Quito 2010). A positive experience of collaboration was a recent international campaign to support ‘The Right to Education’ in the Dominican Republic. This campaign was initiated by a local Jesuit Institute and primarily carried out by CLC at the international level.

      - To continue assisting us in appreciating and living out our mission at all levels.
      - To increasingly consider CLC as a partner in collaboration in new or existing apostolic ventures.

      C. Formation
      An adequate formation is necessary to ensure growth as an Apostolic Body. This has been recognized as a strength of CLC and currently we have several well formed persons in the service of the Church. There are four stages of growth in the CLC way of life (Period of Reception, Laying the Foundations for Vocation, Discernment of Vocation and Apostolic Discernment) each with its own content and processes of formation. Aspects covered under formation include Christian doctrine, Ignatian Spirituality, an experience of the Exercises, Personal growth and Social Problems/Analysis. A plan for formation is presented in Progressio, Supplement 64 “The Process of Growth in CLC: guidelines for formation”. This document can be downloaded at www.cvx-clc.net/l-en/documents.html

      CLC is deeply grateful to the Society of Jesus for its vital role in the development and carrying out of formation programmes. Jesuits across the world have dedicated their time and talents towards imparting formation and accompanying groups on a regular basis, thereby contributing greatly to the growth of CLC.

      CLC too can contribute to the formation of Jesuits. Experience shows that many Jesuits involved with CLC have found their own vocation deepened and strengthened. More involvement of CLC in the formation of scholastics could be explored.

      CLC also offers the Ignatian family a model of what it means to be a Lay Ignatian body in the world today. The Society of Jesus seeks to actively collaborate with diverse groups, particularly those which draw inspiration from the Ignatian Charism. The content, methodology and experiences of CLC formation can be profitably applied to the formation of these groups. CLC stands as an example of how Ignatian spirituality can be assimilated and expressed in diverse spheres of professional and daily life.

      - To involve CLC members in the process of Jesuit formation.
      - To make the annual retreat together with CLC members
      - To involve CLC in the formation of other groups in the Ignatian family

      D. 450 years Jubilee
      The year 2013 will mark 450 years of Ignatian Lay Communities. In 1563, Jean Leunis SJ started the Prima Primaria in the Roman College . This became the primary community to which were affiliated the many Marian Congregations (or Sodalities of Our Lady) that soon sprung up all over the world. These lay communities were instrumental in preserving and transmitting the Ignatian charism in all areas of life, a role which became all the more invaluable during the Suppression of the Society. The Congregations had a powerful impact on social and moral life down all through these years. In 1967, the Prima Primaria transformed itself into CLC and thus continues its uninterrupted transmission of the Ignatian charism amongst the laity.

      This Jubilee of 450 years is an occasion of importance for the whole Ignatian family. Hence CLC, as heir to this tradition will organize some events to celebrate this landmark and invites other Ignatian groups to join in. More importantly, we see this as a call to reflect on the role of lay Ignatian communities in the Church and in the world.

      Recommendation: To promote awareness about this Jubilee among Jesuit provinces.

      Finally, we wish to share with you that the 16th General Assembly of World CLC will take place in Beirut, Lebanon from 29 July to 8 August 2012. The theme of this Assembly is “From our Roots to the Frontiers”. We invite you to join us in prayer for the success of this Assembly.

      Many thanks for the important role which the Society of Jesus and individual Jesuits play in the growth of CLC. We are grateful to the Lord that He has called us to this way of life but recognize that we still have a long way to go to be true to this calling. We count of your continued assistance and companionship along this journey.

      Daniela Frank Franklin Ibañez
      President Executive Secretary


      Agenda for the Meeting

      Each section A, B, C and D will be presented briefly. A discussion will follow at the end of each section, based on the questions below.
      A. What are the strengths and limitations of CLC as perceived by you today? How can CLC continue growing as a Lay Apostolic Body?
      B. What are the specific possibilities you see for more apostolic collaboration between CLC and the Society?
      C. In which ways can CLC contribute to the formation of Jesuits? How can CLC better collaborate with the Society for the spread of the Ignatian charism?
      D. Please share your ideas about different ways of celebrating the 450 years of Lay Ignatian communities.


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