Sam Phran (Thailand). On 11 and 12 October 2023, the 11 members of the East Asia Interprovincial Conference (CIAO) met in Sam Phran at the Ban Than Phraphon Gathering Center. The purpose of the meeting was the election of the President, the Vice-President, and the appointment of the Secretary of the Conference. The role of the Vice-President was also clarified regarding the CIAO School/Professional Formation Commission and it was shared on the Formation Commission and the 2024 Generative Animation Seminar.

The meeting, chaired by Sister Alma Castagna, outgoing President, began with the invocation of the Holy Spirit. We then proceeded with the elections. Sister Gertrudes Ditching, Provincial of Mary Our Help Province (CMY) was elected as President, and Sister Cecilia Eun Kyeong Kim, Provincial of Morning Star Province (KOR), as Vice-President.

Subsequently, the CIAO Provincials gathered with the Provincials of the PCI Conference, already in Thailand for the Spiritual Exercises. They shared some experiences regarding ecology, to make a common decision as Asia, carrying out an activity that can unify PCI and CIAO in the response to the Resolution of CG XXIV. Three common practices were chosen to give visibility to the commitment: attention to separate waste collection, creating “green” areas, not only in the FMA houses, but also in the neighborhoods where one lives, with attention to energy consumption, and offering every quarter a Lectio Divina for all the Provinces.

On 12 October, the Provincials and Provincial Vicars of CIAO had the joy of the presence of the Mother General of the FMA Institute, Sister Chiara Cazzuola. Sister Gertrudes Ditching, the new President, introduced the theme Mother spoke about. A Marian song favored a listening atmosphere, which was followed by a short video in which the activities of the six-year period of the CIAO Conference were presented.

Mother Chiara proposed small group work to choose a metaphor that could represent the task and figure of the Vicar. After having collected the ideas presented, she underlined the important attitude of humility. The Vicar is a person who must not appear, but must support, act as a mediator between the Council, the Community, and the Province. She then commented on the articles of the Constitutions nos. 108, 112, 153, and 169.

The meeting ended with thanks to Sister Alma Castagna and Sister Jessica Salvaña for the work done in these two years and with the presentation by Mother of a statue of the Our Lady of the Snow. The two days of meeting were a strong time of communion and fraternity, looking to the future with hope and enthusiasm, creating synergy and collaboration among the different CIAO Provinces.



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