There’s a new member of the Vincentian Family! When the Company of the Daughters of Charity decided, in 2013, to reconfigure as one Province what were originally four provinces in five countries of South America — Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay — with the purpose of integrating and maximizing the services offered to the poorest, the Province of Our Lady of the Mission of South America came into being. With this came the challenge to design new projects for the educative centers that the Province has in the field of education, beginning today in Chile, and then in each of the five countries that make up our Province. This effort was centered upon the “unification of the objectives the Lord has called us to look out for,” said Sister María Isabel Ruiz, Visitatrix of the Province. The great changes that Chilean education has tried out in institutional theory, infrastructure, and teaching careers led to the creation, in 2014, of the network of educative centers called “Red educativa vicentina” [Vincentian Educational Network] (REVIC). This advance in materials of unification in pastoral and pedagogical criteria acts as a multidisciplinary team that coordinates and evaluates the nine Vincentian educative centers of Chile.
Sister Rosana Cortés, Delegate for Education of the Province, says that “the need to link together the colleges [high schools] of the Province rises from the enormous geographical spread of the five countries, their cultural differences, and the important work of providing a quality education to the poor of South America. To accomplish this the network has sought, through coordination in the areas of pedagogical organization, leadership, school cooperation, and the management of resources, to permeate the educational environment with the evangelizing and charismatic spirit that reflects the spirit of the founders.” “We are a technical-pastoral team that accompanies the spirit of communion among the Vincentian educative institutions to evangelize as we educate in the context of poverty, as a witness to the Vincentian charism and spirituality through our work of support and development, permanent formation for the gestation of our colleges, which the present day requires us to do. We want to be a model of quality education for those who live the preferential option for the poor, through the pedagogy of Jesus Christ, based in mercy, in optimism for the full development of the human person in his social commitment, according to Vincentian spirituality,” explains the Director of REVIC, Winston H. Elfrick.
REVIC has based its consolidation in projects which, since 2014, have been centered upon the collaborative elaboration of a new educative project for all the educative centers of Chile, evaluation of the processes, and their gestation, and systemic change. Following that, in March 2015, it [REVIC] created a program awarding a diploma Vincentian Spirituality for educators of the Company [of the Daughters of Charity]. Little by little, REVIC is becoming a service for the other works that the Daughters of Charity have in Chile, whether in the field of social work, health, and in the care of Senior citizens, little boys and little girls who live in areas of social vulnerability.
Original Spanish text: Winston H. Elfrick
Translation: Robert Stone, C.M.