Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Fondacio Asia – 1st Regional Project Meeting (1)

METTA Development Training Centre, Bago, Myanmar
4 – 8 November, 2013

Fondacio Asia – “7 years in existence, serving 30 dioceses in 10 countries in Asia” for a renewed church and society, is now gearing for the next challenge. Delegates from China, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Myanmar and the United Kingdom are in Myanmar for their 5-day Regional Project Meeting in Bago amidst the quiet and reflective eco-friendly Training Centre.

29 Delegates had every reason to remain connected to their Mission call and the ground reality, not to mention the frogs, spiders and snakes that shared the territory on this Planet Place called METTA Development Training Centre that is about two hours drive from the Yangon Airport.

DEVOLVEMENT – The commitment from 4 – 8 November is to embark into a ‘Rethinking’ of our missions through projects in the region and to see how best we can DEVOLVE to a higher gear.

STAY CONNECTED –To help you stay in tune with the many great Moments of Truth unfolding here in Bago, we capture here the significance of each day, providing you a daily diet of our PROGRESS as we journey through our hearts and minds anchored in Christ the Lord.

Day 1 – Monday, 4 November, 2013

Rev. Fr. Poh Kwa, Director, National Catholic Youth Commission of Myanmar, leads the group in procession to begin the Launching Service.

Delegates started their first day journey with Mass offered by Fr. Poh Kwa. A significant Moment of Truth for all of us was the Cleansing of Hands during Offertory as we renewed our inner calls to mission.

This Session began with an Opening Address by our Council Reference for Asia Charles Bertille.

This Meeting is the outcome of the last ACT Meeting in March 2013 when, despite recognizing our weaknesses, we asked what would be our step of faith in each country.

We Share with you the Message from Charles Bertille:

In his Opening Address, Charles took the opportunity to put on record the works of Fondacio in each of the countries in Asia. The leaders in all of the networks were acknowledged. Greetings from our Fondacio President Francois Proteau (France), Vice President Antoine Dzamah (Togo, Africa) and all Council Members were conveyed to all present.

Highlighting that this Project Meeting in Bago is to push us into examining and rethinking of new ways of working, Charles emphasised the commitment for all of us to be at the service of the poor and the marginalized through our projects while remaining anchored in spirituality.

As Fondacio shifts to work on projects, there has to be a felt necessity to understand the symbiotic link between our spirituality and the projects. It is critical to live the principle of MCT (mission, community, path of transformation) in all the work, to attract people to become a community of disciples. We realised communities shrink when they lose focus on mission and just look at their needs only.

“Let us see the differences that enriches us; we recognize that we need to embrace the diversity. We need to go beyond ourselves to work in partnership with others as we grow in relationship with Jesus.”

Focusing on Pope Francis' call for change and a Christian response to the changes taking place in the world, he felt that the signpost for the future for Fondacio is to live as a movement. This requires collaboration with others – IFFAsia graduates, other organizations, the Church and the business world. It is also looking at what is good for the larger society.

“... all Christians,” says the Holy Father, “be joyful witnesses and proclaim your faith.”

One of the developments that’s being worked on today is devolving the basic formation program in IFFA to make it available to more young people in the 10 countries in Asia:
  • to prepare them so that they can learn more effectively when they come to IFFA
  • to offer systematic courses to the local church through the graduates
  • to offer a platform for Xavier University to serve more the Churches of Asia through collaboration with IFFA in offering the basic formation program in (to) the countries where the IFFA graduates are present

One of the realisations during the project presentations of the countries this afternoon was not to do formation for formation's sake. We need to consider the relevance of the formation; what is the next step, what follows it. We need to provide opportunities to put our formation into practice in serving the marginalized.

“We need to change, mutate and think and work as a network and movement, going beyond ourselves to reach out and work with the young, the poor, and other groups in society while being rooted in a Christian community and in our relationship with Christ.”

Reflections of Day 1

Key words of what God is saying to us here at Bago:
  • In reflecting on the significance of the day, the delegates felt that the key message for them was “not to give up, trust God, your work is your prayer, be open, and take a path of transformation”.
  • Likewise the delegates felt that the key message for Fondacio in Asia, is “the call to conversion and to go out into the world to serve the poor”.

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