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                                                                                      August 5, 2013 
CLC XVI WORLD ASSEMBLY- BEIRUT, LEBANON... 
July 30 to August 8, 2013
WA Logo
Theme: From our Roots to the Frontiers
"This is my son, The Beloved. Listen to what He says"(Mk 9,7)

With this theme, we intend to bridge the time from our inception as a 

lay Ignatian community till the present time - and our 450th anniversary 

which we will celebrate in 2013. We will reflect on the journey we have traveled together, especially since Itaici 1998, during which we confirmed our identity as a lay apostolic body. In addition, we affirm and explore our desire to respond to the signs of the time, ready to 

cross borders and touch new frontiers. 

 

 World 
CLC General 
Assembly here

 

DAY 7
CLC Canada's Delegates
MARY BALFE, PRESIDENT    LEANNE SALEL, YA
MaryLeanne Salel

 

Day 7~

This morning our process guide addressed the Egyptian and Syrian CVX reflections that were shared with us last night. "When you feel sympathy for people in dire situations and desire to help take a careful look at the darkness suffering and sin and see Christ on the cross. One can feel hopeless and lost. Continue to look at the darkness to see any pocket of light, anyone who is helping the resurrected Christ."

 

In all with Everyone: Xaverian Turn Towards Family's Borders:

 

The second priority identified for the World Assembly are concerns of the modern family world wide.

 

Fernando Vidal of Spain CVX director of Institute of Family Studies, Pontifical Comillas University, Madrid addressed the assembly as follows.

 

Fernando began by simply using the gospel story of Mary at the wedding in Cana and pointing out to Jesus that the hosts had no more wine. He was about to share with us about so many families that have 'no wine.'

 

Topics included: global demographic trends about family, info- modern families (i-Mod families- a plethora of family models), global priorities of the United Nations regarding families, Light on the family mission, Recommendations of our Popes about family: Gratitude, Hospitality and Discernment, and finally conclusions.

 

Sabi of South Africa shared her story of exclusion as a child born out of wedlock, shunned by the church and growing up believing her maternal mother was her sister....this was to hide the scandal. This woman entered CLC after making the Spiritual Exercises and recognizing herself as a loved sinner.  By this time she had 2 children out of wedlock.  She had her degree, was teaching and after regaining her sense of self recognized that her 2nd relationship was abusive on many levels and concluded to commit as a single parent family.

 

Upon meeting in our small groups a 2nd round sentence emerging in one of the groups was: "CLC supports counter-cultural family living where diverse family systems are accepted and embraced, where all grow in dignity of the human person and all creation. "  This speaks of the Ecoignatian family.

 

Time to say goodnight.....we had a long evening with UN working group reports and a follow up on the 4% for Education campaign.  We did have an afternoon out today in the HEAT AND HUMIDITY!

 

Peace+ to you,

Mary and Leanne

 


NEA FR. CHARLES POTTIE, SJ

 

Greetings all,

      It's not too hard to wake up to a beautiful sunny day overlooking the Mediterranean Sea! Again today! We began our day with a contemplative prayer led by French Belgium delegates, orienting us in our 3rd stage of the Assembly: looking to the future and the frontiers.

 

    After our usual announcements - that it would only be a half-day of work! - we settled in to listen to another very stimulating and inspiring presentation onthe Family.  This is the 2nd theme of the frontiers that was to be taken up. The world ExCo members really picked the cream of the crop in the presenters so far. The first presenter  was a prof of Family Studies in Madrid, Spain. His name is Fernando Vidal. He has been a CLC member for a number of years. He gave a clear outline of the different kinds of family models in the modern and post-modern world. Using a powerpoint presentation we could see how much family life has changed in the past 60 years. Yet each form of family life has to be recognized and respected and supported. He concluded this list of family models with thehopeful  kind of family that has foundations yet is open to change and adaptation.....

   Before he went into his 2nd part,  another CLC member, the delegate from South Africa -Sabe- described very personally her family life experience. (Her mother had just been killed a month or two ago). This was very moving to see how she had been adopted and had struggled in her life to find meaningful relationships. Her involvement with CLC in South Africa enabled her to find a wider family that sustained her in her own difficult situation. She spoke with simplicity and sincerity and one couldn't help be moved by her witness.

 

   In the 2nd part of Fernando's talk, he spoke of how Ignatian spirituality can help in family building. I was impressed with the ease with which he used Ignatian concepts and tools and how they helped him, and could help others, to build stronger family relationships. He continued his presentation with mentioning a number of key themes around family that both Benedict XVI and the present Pope Francis have mentioned at various occasions. They complimented what he had said about the Ignatian vision and its key concepts around building deeper family ties.

   He concluded his presentation in proposing a plan for the next 5 years of how CLC could contribute to the efforts being done on national and international levels in supporting family life. A wonderful and hope-filled analysis and suggestions for this important dimension of human society.  Most of the CLC members here are committed family people. So this theme resonated with them. It did with me as well as I reflect on the influence of my own family in the choices I've made in my life.

 

   After the presentation we had time for 45 mins of quiet reflection and prayer and then we met for an hour in a language group and shared what had struck and helped us from the presentation and how as CLC members they could bring some of this to the local and regional groups.  Then each group had to present two short points from our discussion to the whole group.  Very good exercise.

 

    Then this afternoon we had time off!  Three possibilities were given to us, one of which was to go to the beach for 4 hrs or so. This is the one I chose. Leanne did as well. Mary went to one of the ancient villages.  It was a beautiful beach. The Mediterranean water is warm - I'd say too warm for my liking. I like water that is refreshing. But it was great to stay in for 

Fr Charles

a while. There was also a large pool near the entrance to this beach. So a few of us swam in both the sea and the pool.  It was a very relaxing afternoon. We got back at 7:30 pm....

 

    This evening there is a presentation by CLC's  delegate to the UN. CLC is one of the non-government organization (NGO) that participates at the UN.  I will head down there now and report on this tomorrow.

 

    We have 3 full days ahead of us yet.....but it was good to have this short jaunt to the sea.

 

   Peace... Salam...Shalom...

 

DAY 6

Hello Everyone,

 

     Greetings again...Well after a late night of celebrating with a lovely mean on the terrace and dancing, we were all up ready to go this morning at 8:45am. Today began the 3rd stage of our Assembly, namely, to get in touch with the frontiers of our society and how we as CLC are being called to respond.  We began the day in prayer led by the Paraguayan delegation, praying for the grace to recognize the poor and marginal in our midst and the grace to respond generously to where God calls us. They then showed us a video as an example of this "reaching to the frontiers". It was a video about how a musician in Paraguay wanted to reach out to the poor to have them communicate their deep concerns through music ("the smile of the soul" as he put it) in order to transform society by recognizing beauty and desiring to deepen their knowledge of their world. Well, that was wonderful in itself - young musicians (in late teens) playing music. But the surprise in the video was that there weren't enough instruments for the youth that wanted to learn to play. One father of a family - who had to collect the scraps from the garbage - said we could build musical instruments with the throwaway garbage - cans, pieces of wood, whatever. Well, they did that and lo and behold they built enough instruments from those garbage scraps for the students wanting to learn. And they sounded wonderful! It was very touching for me to see how much beautiful music came from those young people who themselves began to learn how to make their own musical instruments. The man who thought of this was just an ordinary family man who had the generosity and the creativity to do something more with the scraps we throw away.  In the 16thcentury the Jesuits went to Paraguay and used music to evangelize. They used their voices and the native instruments there. Those "reduciones" (Christian communities) were destroyed by the Spanish conquistadores who did not treat the native people in a human or Christian way (and they were supposed to be Christian!). They were jealous of what the Jesuits were trying to do with the native people. Political factors entered into all this and these communities were dismantled and destroyed. This video, for me, was a beautiful sign of new life coming out of the ashes.

 

    So we began with this sign of hope!  Then Fr. Adolfo Nicolas, Superior General of the Jesuits, who is also the World Ecclesial Assistant for Christian Life Community gave us an address. He is such a man of integrity and simplicity. He speaks in a transparent way with amusing stories of his relationships with bishops and cardinals in Rome, but in a respectful way.  Last time at Fatima he talked about the "prophetic" role of lay communities. This year he stressed the importance of "wisdom" - going to the depths of our human searching for meaning, truth and love.  He connected this with our multicultural and multireligious culture we live in. His experience of being in Japan and the Far East has given him a rich experience of the search for God. And 'wisdom'  is both a biblical way and a way of the East. He said we - east and west - are walking in this 'way' together. We need to cut through the globalisation of superficiality and get to the depths of reality. He said that the Ignatian spirituality is a search for the depths of both knowledge and spirituality, not just with the head but with the heart.Both Jesuits and CLC are called to accompany (and he used this word many times) people in search of the truth of their lives, not to give easy answers and claiming to have all the truth.

   He gave us a phrase (I think) from Benedict XVI: Better to be an agnostic in search of the truth than a Christian who thinks they have all the answers!  He continued in this line of thinking, encouraging us to immerse ourselves in reality and seek both our human truth and God's truth in the midst of the real lives of people.  He referred to Pope Francis, our Jesuit brother a number of times and the way he is giving a new opening to living the Gospel and being the church today.

 

    Needless to say, it was an inspiring talk again. And I could say much more of how he developed this theme, but I don't want to write too long. We had lots of time to respond to his talk and ask questions.

 

   After this we took the 'official' pictures of the whole group and then the various regions - Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Europe - with Fr. Nicolas. I'll include one of him with the World Exco. ....

   

    This afternoon we had a very clear and challenging presentation on Globalisation: poverty and inequality by a Lebanese professor, Leonel Matar,  who teaches a lot on this topic.  He was excellent with a good power point to help follow.... I thought he showed clearly that globalisation has had both good effects for all countries - both developing and undeveloped countries - as well as negative effects - widening the gap of rich and the poor.  He placed the emphasis on the role of multinational companies who have become more powerful than governments. Giving the effects of unethical type of multinational business, he also said that there were signs of hope that pressure groups and new responses to this 'all for profit at the expense of human rights and dignity'.   He gave us some concrete examples of what is going on the world to redress the balance of the misuse of power of multinationals (and governments who side with them). Multinationals companies provide access to many goods and technologies (like our cell phones and computers) and we all benefit from it. But, he said, they need moral values that place the common good of human beings in its proper place even when we are doing business.

 

   Like Fr. Nicolas' talk there were many stimulating themes in his talk.  We had a time for quiet reflection after and then we met in language groups (from different countries)  to share what struck us and how CLC members could cooperate in the positive forces at work in the world. We garnered two main points from our sharing and put them up on the wall.  For me, a very help exposť of this huge topic and how we can respond to it creatively and positively in building a more just and loving world.

 

    At 7 pm we had our Sunday Eucharist led by the African region, a very well done liturgy with African music and a danced procession of the gifts to the altar. As we often do,  the 3 languages (French, English and Spanish) are used during the celebration.

 

    At 9:30 pm this evening we had  very moving testimonies of young and adult CLC members from Syria. When you hear first hand from people who have experience the tragedy that is happening there, it leaves you almost numb. And yet they are full of hope, faith and courage. There was mother of family, who still working  in Damascus but her husband and children are refugees in Lebanon. Another man lost everything and is a refugee in Lebanon.... Then there were young adult Egyptian CLC members who shared their experience of the 'revolution' that has been going on Egypt the last few years....It's not over yet but they too were filled with hope and courage for a new Egypt.  When you hear these real people talk of such experiences, it makes our struggles in North America seem so minimal. Yet there are similar struggles to work for justice for all members of a society in every country..... We can learn from each other.

 

    So, you can see it's been another stimulating day.....looking towards the future, and what can be.....to bring God's kingdom of peace, justice, love and joy more a reality in our world.

 

   Happy Feast of the Transfiguration tomorrow - it is the theme of our Assembly: This is my Beloved Son; Listen to Him.

 

   Peace... Salam...Shalom...

 


PHOTOS TAKEN BY FR CHARLES POTTIE-PATE
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OUR HEROES!WA 21

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World Assembly Process Guide
Elaine Nightingale
                
         Elaine Nightingale, Companions, Toronto

CLC Canada holds a special place in our hearts 
for Elaine as she answers her 'yes' for 
Christian Life Community World!
Assembly Objectives
  1. To gratefully remember our roots and how we have been guided over the centuries.
  2. To deepen our self-understanding as a Lay Apostolic Body.
  3. To touch the new frontiers that challenge and beckon us today.
  4. To enthusiastically renew our response to God's call.

 

 
Prayer for our Lebanon Assembly

 

Heavenly Father, you offer us Jesus, your Beloved Son, and ask us to listen to Him. 

 In response to this gift, we the members of the Christian Life Community commit ourselves to following Jesus more closely and working with Him 

to build your Kingdom.

O Lord, our World Assembly at Lebanon is part of a long and rich history

which you have bequeathed to us.  Today, your Spirit invites us to be present 

at the ever changing frontiers of faith and justice.  Relying on the intercession 

of the Virgin Mary Our Lady of Lebanon and St. Ignatius, we seek to deepen our 

identity and act effectively as a Lay Apostolic Body in the Church.  May your 

love and grace empower us along this journey.     

O God of Love, we ask your Blessings of Peace upon the whole world and especially upon the region of the Middle East.  Illuminate the hearts of your children; free us from all bitterness and strife; guide our steps along the paths of Peace. 

Almighty God, we entrust our CLC World Assembly to your loving providence.  

Eternal Father, confirm us. Eternal Son, confirm us, Eternal Spirit, confirm us.  

Most Holy Trinity, confirm us. Amen.  



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