U.S. Region Pre-Assembly 2012

February 28, 2012
We Statements
February 2012

Location: Bristol, RI
Date: February 10, 2012
Convener: John Hogan
Participants:

Frank Carroll
John Hogan
John Buckley
Charlie Degnan
Ed Dolan
Brian Gallagher
Frank Grady
Oliver Kennedy
Dan McGinn
John Marley
John Moran
Bob O’Rourke
Paul Richardson
Al Sueper
Bill Sullivan
Barney Toal
Vic Gaboury
Charlie Flaherty

Meeting took place Friday, February 10 at Bristol with 18 residents in attendance and Joe McSweeny from the Preparatory Committee. These are the two “we” statements.
Retirement
We feel that the region should make a study of the feasibility of 24/7 care in the house in Bristol – 14 approved.
Vocations
We think it necessary that clarification be made with regards the term “Vocations” to the Columban Society.   Does it include Columban lay vocations or just priestly vocations?
Location: El Paso/Juarez
Date: February 16, 2012
Convener: Manny Vargas
Participants:

Bill Morton
Kevin Mullins
Monika Lewatikana
Denny O’Mara
Ariel Presbitero
Emmanuel Rodriguez
Bob Mosher
Manny Vargas
Tim Mulroy

After a brief word of welcome we opened the meeting with the U.S. Region’s prayer for the Regional Assembly. We then reviewed the discussion we had on the seven topics during our previous gathering and added a few more comments to each of the themes. We discussed an additional issue, “Ecology”, that we felt is important as a priority for the Region and the Society.

Afterwards, we chose by voting the topics on which we would create the statements/action steps for the Region and the Society. The community in El Paso-Juarez came up with the following statements:

For the Region
Vocations
We will have by Easter a full-time Columban priest on vocation work supported by a team, based at the border, and will submit a concrete proposal at the May 21st Regional Council meeting.

Invitation to Mission

We will have events on both sides of the border throughout the year —San Felipe de Jesús’ festivity, Archbishop Oscar Romero’s remembrance, Mission Sunday, St Columban’s feast— and will invite friends to the Eucharist and to share a meal. We will also invite an advocacy intern to the border by September 2012 and will extend the invitation to the Juarez Church to come to Anapra to know the Columbans and learn about their work.


Ecology

We will establish an exploratory committee which will coordinate with CCAO to create a plan by the end of 2012 on how to implement policy and activities on environmental responsibility in the Region.

For the Society
Ecology

We will make ecological concerns the lens through which we will evaluate and prioritize all our missionary activities.


Culture

We are requesting the General Superior to make use of D310.2 to add the voices of the younger members from non-Western countries, and give them full voice and vote to ensure greater interculturality and greater credibility to the General Assembly.”


Vocations

We will create a Society-wide Vocations team to evaluate the state of lay and priestly vocations in the Society and the implementation of the vocational plans in the Regions.

Location: Los Angeles
Date: February 3, 2012
Convener: John Brannigan
Participants:

Peter Kenny
John Wanaurny
Gerard O’Shaughnessy
T .P. Reynolds
Tom Cusack
Brendan O’Sullivan
John Brannigan

Preamble

We are a community of faith and we continue to work despite all our difficulties now.

We do not feel that we can do anything with what we have been asked to discuss.

The time for concrete personal commitments and suggestions are when the General Assembly documents and conclusions have been published.

Mission

We feel that even as we get older we can still continue to make a contribution.

However, given our lower numbers and decreasing energy we feel SSC needs to have fewer foci because we cannot continue to operate as we have before. We suggest that a method be found to enable those who will engage in future mission to decide what it will be and how they will do it.

Vocations and Formation

We feel that vocations and formation should be redefined by those same people who will redefine what the future of mission is and how that will go about it.

Finance

We feel that all mission units, and the CLMP, should strive to be self-supporting and, in view of the need for transparency and accountability, we suggest that a fully itemized disclosure of all finances be made available annually to all members of the society.

Location: Omaha, NE
Date: February 2, 2012
Convener: Chuck Lintz and Joe McSweeny
Participants:

Pete Tulipana
Kate Kenny
Dan Eminger
Otto Imholte
Charlie O’Rourke
Bill Schmidt
Bill Brunner
Jeff Norton
Tony Mortell
Tom Glennon
Dick Steinhilber
Mike Dodd
Ed Quinn
Joe McSweeny
Colm Stanley
Paul White
Chuck Lintz

The group voted on topics for which to formulate “we statements” and decided on three topics: International Strategic Plan, Lay Involvement (Lay Mission and Lay Staff), and Mission/Spirituality. We then split into three small groups to come up with statements for each topic to present to the full group.

The following are the “we statements” on which the Omaha area group agreed.

International Strategic Plan

We will develop an international strategic plan, including evaluation of finances, resources and personnel, for the purpose of proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ to the Chinese people. The plan is to be in place within 6 months of the General Assembly, with tactics and a timeline for its successful implementation.

[Comments from the group included a question about whether the plan was too narrow in focus, as well as concern about criteria for closing down other missions.]

Lay Involvement

We as a Society recognize that the laity has the right to be involved in the mission of Jesus Christ. We see the future of mission embracing the full participation and involvement of the laity. Therefore:

– We will recruit, engage and retain qualified lay professional staff, lay missionaries and lay volunteers to take on roles and jobs to best utilize their gifts and talents.

– We will revitalize the US Region’s lay mission program to be both sending and receiving, beginning with the 2012-2013 financial year.

– We will facilitate a shared spirituality between ordained and lay collaborators.

Mission/Spirituality

The 2012 General Assembly will entrust to all ordained members under 60 years of age, long-term lay missionaries and key lay collaborators the task of formulating a strategic plan for the future of Columban mission as to place, finances, resources, personnel, structures and focus. The plan will reflect the input, wisdom and experience of the entire membership.

Location: Senior Managers/Conference Call
Date: February 1, 2012
Convener: Pete Tulipana
Participants:

Pete Tulipana
Kate Kenny
Dan Eminger
Jeff Norton
Amy Woolam Echeverria

Spirituality

We are a cross-cultural missionary organization that seeks the Kingdom of justice, peace, and love. In placing our structures at the service of mission, they become the new wineskins ready to hold the new wine that is our mission to and with those who are marginalized.  In choosing the new wine we open ourselves to a self and communal emptying necessary for new life to be born in and through us.

International Strategic Plan

We are an international Society with governance structures that are both centralized and provincial.  Based on the U.S. Region’s positive experience of having a Regional Strategic plan which was developed by and implemented across all ministries, an international strategic plan will provide clarity of vision, accountability of action, shared spirituality and good fiscal stewardship across RMUs.

Relationship with Laity

We are a diverse organization which includes increasing numbers of lay people (CLMs, professional staff, interns and volunteers) in carrying out Columban mission as affirmed at the GA 2006 and stated in Strong and Courageous, p.30-31.  Our structures, particularly those of leadership are more and more inclusive so that the vision and work of the Society reflects the collaborative role laity play.  The U.S. Region has as examples of these structures the Leadership Forum and the Senior Managers team which could be considered internationally.