PROVINCIAL CONGREGATION 2014
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
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-
News from our
Intercultural experience in Peru
Syrian Refugees in
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
Mary Ward International: Elena Cerdeiras provided a good an updated information about Funda2
Opening prayer in Castilleja.
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.
We voted the delegates and the Spanish delegation will be: Macarena Fernández de Bobadilla,
Elena Cerdeiras, and Isabel Gortázar.
Celebrating Mary Ward Week with lay people in Loreto school (Seville).
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
IN Seville, Mary Ward Mission kept open our
Mary Ward Centre, and there were meetings and
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.
MARY WARD WEEK IN OUR SCHOOLS
In the schools we have also had lots of
activities to celebrate Mary Ward’s
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
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://
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
PASTORAL ACTIVITIES 2014
The IBVM schools
organize, as every
year, their Pastoral
activities for children
We will have our
summer camps in
Chipiona, as well as
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
We will also participate in the work camp in
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!
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:
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.
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.
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
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.
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-
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,
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
All quotes are from: Pastoral
Christ in Refugees and Forcibly Displaced Persons, Cor
Unum, Vatican City, 2013