Cochabamba (Bolivia). From 14 to 19 March 2024, in Cochabamba, Bolivia, at the headquarters of Our Lady of Peace Province (BOL), the Seminar “For a Generative Animation” was held for the Inter-Provincial Conference of the Bolivarian Nations – CINAB.

After animating the Inter-Provincial Conferences of CIAM, CIME , CIB e CICSAL – the Mother General of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Sister Chiara Cazzuola; the Vicar General, Sister María del Rosario García Ribas; Sister Ena Bolaños, Councilor for Administration; Sister Ruth de Pilar Mora, Councilor for the Missions; Sister Nilza Fatíma de Moraes, Councilor for Formation; Sister Leslie Sándigo, Councilor for the Salesian Family; Sister Ausilia De Siena, Councilor for Communication; and the Visiting Councilor, Referent for CINAB, Sister Marta Liliana Riccioli, animated the 5th one for CINAB.

The participants: Provincials, Councilors, Treasurers, Provincial Secretaries, and Sector Referents from the 8 Provinces of the Conference, totaled 87. Upon arrival in Cochabamba, they were greeted with songs, welcoming words, poems, dances, and garlands by students of Mary Help of Christians School and members of the Salesian Family.

Sister Lucila Guerra, Provincial of the Bolivian Province, did the honors, expressing her gratitude to Mother, the General Council, and the Sisters of the different Countries of CINAB for their presence. She then explained the objectives of the meeting.

On 14 March, before the effective beginning of the Seminar, the FMA of CINAB took the opportunity to meet to share reflections and perspectives on integral ecology and its implications for the life of the Conference, in order to build and implement together a policy on the subject, based on the guidelines of the Church and the Institute. Each of the Provinces shared a significant experience of integral ecology as a response to the Chapter Deliberation.

In addition, the Province Communications Coordinators met with the aim of developing a significant experience and formation about the positive use of technology, reflecting on the tools related to Artificial Intelligence and storytelling. In the afternoon, Sister Ausilia de Siena came to greet and to encourage the CS Coordinators in their work.

Also in the afternoon, in an atmosphere of joy, celebration, and prayer the Seminar was officially inaugurated with the Eucharistic Celebration presided over by Msgr. Fernando Bascopé, SDB, and concelebrated by other Salesians of Don Bosco. The day ended with an evening prepared by the Educating Community.

During the days of the meeting, Sister Maria Ko accompanied the group through video with lectio on excerpts from the Acts of the Apostles, according to the theme of the day. It was an enriching space for interiorization and encounter with the Word, confirming that the FMA Communities are alive in the Church; they participate in its mission, and are committed to the care, accompaniment, and integral formation of the new generations.

Mother guided the participants with her daily conference, motivating them to keep the fire of consecration burning and to revive the service of authority through care, synodality, and generative animation. She affirmed that authority is service; it is mission. It is helping to grow; it is communion. It is returning to the origins, to the foundations of the generative authority of the Founders, to live presence, care.

Through video-conference, Fr. Pascual Chávez, Rector Major Emeritus of the Salesian Congregation, spoke on the theme: “The service of authority today, opportunities and challenges”. Valued was the presence of Sister Daniela Cannavina, of the Capuchin Sisters of Maria Rubatto, Secretary General of the Conference of Religious of Latin America and the Caribbean (CLAR). Having participated in the Synod for the Amazon as auditor and in the Synod of Synodality as an expert facilitator, she invited everyone to remain on the path, in synodality within the Church, the Institute, and the communities.

Bernardo Toro, educator and director of the AVINAL Foundation, spoke of care as a paradigm of the new civilization. In his presentation, he stressed that the new model that will ensure the survival of humanity on earth is care, which is not an option but a duty, precisely to take care of the common good of humanity and the planet.

Stimulated by the speakers’ interventions, the participants lived concrete workshops that touched life. Every day there was also a time of reflection and personal prayer to welcome what was heard and shared, in the reality of the local communities, the Provinces, and as a Conference. There was also a meeting in each area, in which the Representatives of each Province had a time with the respective General Councilor, to share experiences and challenges to be faced. In the meeting as a Province, there was instead the opportunity to outline together the most suitable generative paths and share the richness of each. They concluded by looking at the ways open as CINAB to continue on the path of synodality.

The well-prepared liturgy, the evenings in fraternity, the moments of pause and informal encounters contributed to increasing the sense of belonging, the family spirit, and the passion for education. The participants expressed their gratitude to Mother Chiara and the General Councilors for having made available these spaces that increase generativity and willingness to be a significant presence among the FMA and the recipients of the mission. Gratitude also goes to Sister Lucila Guerra and the Provincial Community for their welcome and for the delicate details that made the family spirit felt.

Photos: Flickr FMA


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