Nº 9

FEBRUARY 2014

CONECTA

PROVINCIAL CONGREGATION 2014

FEATURED
 Celebrating Mary

From 28th January to 2nd February...
sented by Elena Cerdeiras, Juan Carlos Ballesteros
and Myriam Benito.
Next day, we had an open panel about the different m...
ción Mary Ward International. We will here more
after the Toronto meeting.
With all this information, we can know what’s g...
CELEBRATING MARY WARD WEEK
As every year, the Province celebrates Mary
Ward Week. There have been celebrations all
around ...
MARY WARD WEEK IN OUR SCHOOLS

In the schools we have also had lots of
activities to celebrate Mary Ward’s
Week.
In Bami, ...
PASTORAL ACTIVITIES 2014

The IBVM schools
organize, as every
year, their Pastoral
activities for children
and youth.
We w...
IRENE VILLA RELEASED HER BOOK IN CULLERA

On the 28th November, our school in Cullera
(Madrid) had the pleasure to receive...
“Creative school”
IBVM schools took part in the XXX Congress of Catholic
Schools in Spain, celebrated in Valladolid under ...
SYRIAN REFUGEES
Syrian crisis has last for nearly three years and by the end of 2014 there could be nearly 5 million refug...
camps to set up and maintain health and educational facilities. The rise of contagious illnesses,
especially tuberculosis ...
Syrian refugees, differences of ideologies, sects

affluent and established community. Caritas,

and politics are mingled ...
laborate in helping Syrian refugees is obvious.

ble. Our collaborators, Association Attadmoun

However, there is a real f...
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Conecta international 9

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You will find information about our Provincial Congregation, as well as our schools and other activities

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Conecta international 9

  1. 1. Nº 9 FEBRUARY 2014 CONECTA PROVINCIAL CONGREGATION 2014 FEATURED  Celebrating Mary From 28th January to 2nd February, we celebrated our Provincial Congregation in Castilleja, Sevilla. We were 32 religious women, coming from Spain, Ecuador and Morocco. It was a big joy to see each other and to share this time together. Josune Arregui, ccv sister, was our Facilitator, and she helped us in our process. We began with a solemn ritual, using the symbols of Land, Water, Air and Fire. After that, we started our PC. First of all, Isabel Gortázar presented the Report about the last 8 years of life and ministries in the Province, followed by table conversations and questions. We followed the same process concerning the Finance Report, pre- Ward Week  Pastoral Activities  News from our schools  Intercultural experience in Peru  Syrian Refugees in Morocco
  2. 2. sented by Elena Cerdeiras, Juan Carlos Ballesteros and Myriam Benito. Next day, we had an open panel about the different ministries in the Province. Asilah: Mary Burkart and Macarena Fdez. de Bobadilla talked about their projects, state of the mission, capacity building for teachers, literacy projects… Ecuador: Isabel Peche y Louise Latín talked about the culture and History of the country, about the work of the schools Fe y Alegría, the teaching… Schools: Josefina de Miguel talked about the six schools in the Spanish Province, their Pastoral work, the new technologies, bilingualism… Other ministries: Beatriz Martín explained the voluntary work others sisters do: prayer groups, vocation ministries, parish work, Caritas, social work with migrants, visit to the prisons, working with homeless… Mary Ward International: Elena Cerdeiras provided a good an updated information about Funda2 Opening prayer in Castilleja.
  3. 3. ción Mary Ward International. We will here more after the Toronto meeting. With all this information, we can know what’s going on in the Province and how everything is evolving. On the 30th January, we celebrated Mary Ward’s day: we worked hard in the morning, and in the afternoon we had a meeting with teachers in Loreto School. We had a great time because it was a moment for sharing and enjoying all together. Later, we went to Bami School, where we first gatherd around the new MARY WARD STREET. A lay collaborator talked about Mary Ward and connected her words to the Tree. We celebrated Eucharist and we had something together. The atmosphere was really amazing. At night time, we had a great time thanks to Beatriz Martin, who prepared this social time. Ecuador Image by Blanca Bergareche Delegates election We voted the delegates and the Spanish delegation will be: Macarena Fernández de Bobadilla, Elena Cerdeiras, and Isabel Gortázar. Victoria Lassaletta Celebrating Mary Ward Week with lay people in Loreto school (Seville). 3
  4. 4. CELEBRATING MARY WARD WEEK As every year, the Province celebrates Mary Ward Week. There have been celebrations all around the country carried out by different members and lay collaborators of the Institute. We started on the 23th January with an Eucharist in Leioa (Bilbao) organized by Past Pupils of the School. IN Seville, Mary Ward Mission kept open our Mary Ward Centre, and there were meetings and prayers. Finally, on the 30th January, IBVM sisters, who Prayer time in Mary Ward Centre in Seville were attending to the Provincial Congregation in Castilleja de la Cuesta, had a time to share and enjoy with teachers, pupils and friends in Seville, visiting the schools and the recently inaugurated Mary Ward Street. 4
  5. 5. MARY WARD WEEK IN OUR SCHOOLS In the schools we have also had lots of activities to celebrate Mary Ward’s Week. In Bami, they decorated the walls with collages and icons dedicated to Mary Ward, they organized a Music Festival and they even prepared a Mary Ward’s Trivial. In Cullera (Madrid), they have created a multidisciplinary Project: videos, texts, web info… where they combined Mary Ward’s History and new technologies. You can see the videos at http:// maryward.colegioirlandesascullera.org/ In Loreto School, they created an original photocall, so all pupils could take a picture with Mary Ward. In Castilleja, we could see a beautiful tree representing the whole Mary Ward Family (photo in the previous page) and in El Soto they organized different activities reflecting about the Institute Tree. 5
  6. 6. PASTORAL ACTIVITIES 2014 The IBVM schools organize, as every year, their Pastoral activities for children and youth. We will have our summer camps in Chipiona, as well as the traditional Camino de Santiago. In 2014, for the first time, we will have a new experience: Urban Camp in our Cullera School (in Madrid), for those who want to dedicate some of their time to the others. Of course, we will have our traditional Easter preparation for young students, and University students. We will also participate in the work camp in our mission in Asilah (Morocco) with young adults. 6
  7. 7. IRENE VILLA RELEASED HER BOOK IN CULLERA On the 28th November, our school in Cullera (Madrid) had the pleasure to receive the visit of Irene Villa, past pupil, journalist and an exceptional woman, for the release of her second book “Nunca es tarde, princesa”. (It’s never late, Princess). This book is a master lesson about life and selfimprovement. Because Irene Villa was a victim of a terrorist attack by ETA in 1991, in which she lost her two legs. In those days, she was a pupil of our school, and she has never forgotten her friends, teachers and sisters who accompanied her during these hard days. She has now become very popular in Spain, but she always comes back to our school, and has time to celebrate with us. MEETING OUR TEACHERS Carmen Torijano is the Latin teacher in our school El Soto, and she has published the book “Gramática Latina elemental”, a very successful volume that has been very well accepted by the public. We are very proud of her! 7
  8. 8. “Creative school” IBVM schools took part in the XXX Congress of Catholic Schools in Spain, celebrated in Valladolid under the topic: “Creative school”. Time to share and learn about new experiences about innovation and new technologies. Our Crib awarded for inclusive and original The Crib made by students, families and teachers in our school in Cullera was awarded by the City Council of Madrid last December. The judges pointed to the originality of the Crib –it was done with recycled materials– and the fact of being an inclusive representation of Jesus’ birth: with black and white figures, in reference to the reality of the centre, where there are pupils from 27 nationalities. The Crib title was: “We are all the same, we are all different, but, we are all next to You”. More information at: www.ibvm.es Intercultural experience in Peru For second time, this summer Fundación Mary Ward organizes a Work Camp in Peru. An opportunity to live an intercultural experience focused on solidarity in which the participants will see the projects that are being carried out in the country. 8
  9. 9. SYRIAN REFUGEES Syrian crisis has last for nearly three years and by the end of 2014 there could be nearly 5 million refugees living out of the country. One of these places is Morocco, where two IBVM sisters are dealing with the situation of three Syrian families. Mary Burkhart, specialist in Middle East, explains the situation of these refugees and the traumas they are facing. Our faith calls us to recognize that where the dig- over 2.3 million registered Syrian refugees and nity of the human person is violated, then all expect the number to be around 5 million by the members of Christ’s Body suffer and that we are end of the year. The majority of registered Syrian all called to see, act and correct this “evil”. Our refugees are in Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, Iraq and globalized structures and processes are both sup- Egypt. These countries have designated refugee ports and obstacles to Christian responses to refu- camps with supports from the host country, UN- gee crises. HCR, local and international NGOs. We are limited in what we can do directly, but not There are few figures available on refugees that in our struggle to embody the original justice of have not been registered with UNHCR. Some our creation. Our desire is to be part of the free- countries, such as Lebanon and Sweden, register dom, integrity, justice and joy with which God Syrians as “refugees” or “asylum seekers”. Esti- blesses all people. This calls us to challenge all mates for North Africa, excluding Egypt, are that processes and systems that are not working to- there are about 17,000 Syrian displaced persons. wards preserving the dignity of all persons in the The number of Syrian Refugees in Morocco is un- integrity of God’s creation. known. Syrian Displaced Persons Outside Syria Of the UNHCR registered refugees over 1m are In January 2014 the UNHCR indicated there were children, 740,000 of whom are under 11 years of age. NGOs are working with the UNHCR in the Citizens being evacuated in Homs, Syrian capital. Photo: © United Nations 9
  10. 10. camps to set up and maintain health and educational facilities. The rise of contagious illnesses, especially tuberculosis and polio, in Syrian refu- Destabilizing influence in host country Refugees are often seen as an actual or potential source of destabilization within a host country. Be- gee camps is a concern, not only in the camps, cause refugees can bring with them different political prompting WHO to launch of a polio eradication outlooks their presence, in large numbers, can influ- campaign aimed at 23 million children globally. ence internal politics in the host country. UN Funding For example, in the mid 1950s Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Funding for Syrian refugees through the UN has strong international support. $4.4 billion was pledged by member states in 2013 and the UNHCR is seeking pledges totaling $6.5 billion for the first half of 2014. Libya expelled striking Palestinian refugees. 1970s the Palestinian refugees where expelled from Jordan and Kuwait as the PLO became stronger. Many refugees went to Lebanon destabilizing the fragile Lebanese government. The Rwandan genocide in 1994 drove more refugees Microcosms of the situation in Syria into Tanzania and by December 1996, the number of The UNHCR and NGOs work with the host coun- Rwandan refugees in Tanzania had tripled to over try to provide structured supports through the initial emergency and the longer term maintenance period of displacement with the objective of returning refugees to their countries. As with 883,300. The refugees were blamed, among other things, for increased crime, environmental degradation and disruption to the local economy. The Mary Ward team had been missioned to the camps in 1995 and where there when the camps were shut down and the all populations who flee from war, civil war, gen- majority of the refugees herded back to Rwanda. One ocide, or political, sectarian or other forms of vio- of the team, Luwanga Katala, IBVM, accompanied the lence, refugees bring with them the legacies of refugees on part of their journey, accepting the chal- the situations from which they have fled. Among lenge of solidarity through presence. / M.B. Most of the Syrian refugees are finding a place in neighbouring countries: Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt, but they have also travelled to other Mediterranean countries like Morocco and Spain.
  11. 11. Syrian refugees, differences of ideologies, sects affluent and established community. Caritas, and politics are mingled with the simple need to Tanger is collaborating with the Syrian Mosque get out of Syria and stay alive. The refugee popu- Association but there is a certain resistance by lation is a microcosm of the situation of Syria it- the refugees to engaging in formalized relief pro- self. cesses. Status of Displaced Persons Dr. Wahiss, MD, the mosque’s Syrian manager, An important issue for displaced persons is their sees part of the problem as that of fear and distrust. In the Tangier region Dr Wahiss, Cartitas, Citizens being evacuated in Homs, Syrian capital. Photo: © United Nations status in the host country. For instance all Syrian Tangiers and ourselves in Asilah, have found that refugees are welcomed into Morocco. Some Syri- the refugees are focused on getting money and ans have applied for residency, asylum or refu- are not, generally, interested in being registered gee status. Few, if any, have been given papers for formal aid. This reluctance seems to be tied indicating their legal status in Morocco. Without to their concerns over personal security and the papers non-nationals are not eligible to work or security of relatives still in Syria. The refugees are avail of the Moroccan national health or educa- afraid, insecure and unsure of the implications of tion systems. Since government policy and status registering with NGOs, Government Departments of Syrian refugees in Morocco is ambiguous, Syri- or their Embassy. Political issues, real or per- an refugees become ghosts, joining the hundreds ceived, on the part of the refugees, as well as of Sub Saharan migrants, begging on the streets NGOs and governments make it difficult to effec- of Moroccan cities. tively intervene in the crisis that has driven so Tangier Region The Syrian Community in Tangiers, is a large, many Syrians, here in Morocco, to begging. The need for NGOs and local associations to col11
  12. 12. laborate in helping Syrian refugees is obvious. ble. Our collaborators, Association Attadmoun However, there is a real fear that information d’Asilah are looking for support from local health gathered for humanitarian purposes could be authorities to allow Syrian Refugees access to used for political purposes and this mitigates public health and educational facilities. We will against a structured response to the crisis. also, as necessary, support accommodation rent- Asilah al, and providing food and prescription medi- As far as we know, there are three Syrian families in Asilah. Most refugees and migrants head to big cines, as well as clothing, depending on individual, verified, circumstances. cities such as Tangiers. As the numbers of Syrian Within our limitations and those of our repre- Refugees and Sub Saharan migrants grow the sentative international bodies and governments, generosity of Moroccans on the street is being we struggle “to make a commitment to securing stretched to breaking point. The current situation authentic integral human development”. is untenable. Sub Saharan migrants and Syrian We rely on our relationships with God: refugees who live in Tangiers are going out to To help us with our desire to allow the power of surrounding small towns, like Asilah, to beg. love transform our lives and, through that love, Limited Response that we may become “agents of mercy, channels Our IBVM response is limited. For refugees not through which God waters the earth…” To guide living in Asilah we refer them to Caritas in us in our desire to be “vehicles of change” in the Tangiers or the Syrian Mosque. We are com- international and national structures that directly mitted to providing emergency help to Syrian affect the dignity of persons. To enable us to be families living in Asilah. Maria Llinas of FMW has agents “changing hatred into love, vengeance indicated that some emergency funding is availa- into forgiveness, war into peace”. May Your loving care and peace hold all those affected by the violence, loss and insecurity of displacement. All quotes are from: Pastoral Guidelines – Welcoming Christ in Refugees and Forcibly Displaced Persons, Cor Unum, Vatican City, 2013 Tánger Mosque.

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