(East Asia). From 23 to 26 January 2021, the Pre-Chapter Assembly of the Interprovincial Conference of East Asia – CIAO was held online. The Provincials and Provincial Delegates of the Provinces of the Conference participated: CIN, CMY, FIL, GIA, KOR, THA, TIN, VTN, and a representative of the parents from the Philippines, an alumni teacher from Cambodia, and a young woman from Japan.
In the heart of contemporaneity, the Provincial Communities were urged to study the Working Document of GCXXIV in light of the changes and challenges of the current reality marked by the Covid-19 Pandemic, in view of GCXXIV.
There were four afternoons of listening, sharing, and discernment in preparation for GC XXIV. The meetings took place online with the involvement also of the Generalate of Rome: Mother General, Sr. Yvonne Reungoat, the Vicar General Sr. Chiara Cazzuola, and the two Visiting Councilors Sr. Assunta Inoue Sumiko, Conference Coordinator, and Sr. Paola Battagliola.
Each day began with listening to the words of the General Councilors. On the first day, Sr. Assunta Sumiko Inoue urged the participants to be seekers of God. On the second day, Sr. Chiara Cazzuola deepened the synodal experience of the FMA Institute. On the third day, Sister Paola Battagliola shared the reflection on the theme “I entrust them to you.”
On the final day, we listened to the word of Mother. With optimism and hope, Mother Yvonne invited us to be a light for Asia and for the world, to be creative in this time of precariousness and suffering for all, broadening our gaze and opening up to new horizons with and for young people.
The meeting was enriching and challenging; a climate of involvement and synergy, of joy and hope was created. The common processes of the provinces were highlighted, the various initiatives that were put in place to address the crisis due to the pandemic, and the opportunities and perspectives for a proactive presence among young people and families, and witnessing in nations with different religions and cultures.
We live the joyful expectation of the Chapter event that will give new impetus to the FMA presence in Southeast Asia to be “missionaries of joy and hope generating life”.