Quito (Ecuador). From 16 to 19 March 2022, in the House of Spirituality of Mary Help of Christians in Cumbayá, Quito, the Assembly of the Sacred Heart Province (ECU) was held with the presence of 72 participants, including Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, lay people, and young people who, urged by the educational challenges emerging from reality and on the basis of the priority choices and the deliberations of the XXIV General Chapter, they met to elaborate the Provincial Plan which will mark the path of the next six years.
In her opening greeting, the Provincial, Sr. Cruz María Piña, invited the participants to work together and make concrete choices, aiming for common goals and objectives, living the ecclesial experience of synodality in the Salesian style, according to what Don Bosco said. “I have always needed everyone”.
Oscar Pérez Sayago, Secretary General of the Inter-American Confederation of Catholic Education (CIEC), in an online connection, presented the theme: “Taking on the processes of the Global Educational Pact in education”, underlining the importance of forming good people from the human and Christian points of view, who give their best and seek the best in others. In his intervention, he also highlighted two specific tasks of the Catholic educator: to change the mentality and to change the heart.
“Community of adults capable of generating processes and projects of transformation” is the title of the presentation by Sr. María del Carmen Canales, Superior of the Preprovince Mary Mother of the Church (RMC) in Rome, connected via Zoom. Starting from the Guidelines for the Educational Mission (LOME) and the Formation Project “Rooted in the Covenant”, Sr. María del Carmen highlighted the need to think and act in the perspective of processes that avoid episodic activities and initiatives separated from a vision of the whole. She invited us to assume discernment as a permanent attitude that requires a change of mentality, and to make choices in line with the provincial journey begun, in the light of GCXXIV.
Dr. Jessica Villacrés, Pastoral Management Technician of the Salesian Pastoral Educational Network (REPSA-Ecuador), presented to the assembly the tools for prospective planning and a basis for working on the three priority choices: formation, missionary synodality, and integral ecology. She illustrated the methodology of the process, which requires knowing the past, recognizing the present, and dreaming of the future, taking into account three criteria: efficiency, effectiveness, and sustainability.
Each day began with Lectio Divina, carried out in the working groups, on the basis of the contents proposed by Sr. Marta Liliana Riccioli, Visiting Councilor of the FMA Institute elected during the XXIV General Chapter, in which she emphasized the presence of Mary, Generator of new life, with the interpretative key of the biblical passage of the wedding at Cana (Jn 2: 1-12).
The Holy Masses were celebrated by Fr. Mario Ramos, a Salesian of Don Bosco of Sacred Heart of Jesus Province (ECU), creatively prepared by the Liturgical Commission according to the theme of the Chapter: “With Mary, be a presence that generates life” and animated of the altar servers’ group and the choir.
In the closing greeting, Sr. Cruz María Piña thanked the Lord for the days of encounter, dialogue, reflection, and discernment lived, in which the presence of the Holy Spirit and of Mary Help of Christians was felt alive and active.