At 10:00 am on March 26, 2017, began the eleventh virtual meeting with the National Presidents of the Vincentian Family of Central America. In this meeting, which occurred via “Go To Meeting,” Fr. Tomaz Mavric, Superior General was present. Other participants were:
- Guatemala: Lottie Pivaral (FAVICA).
- Honduras: Mirna Guzmán (Pdte. FV Honduras), P. Edwin Nieto cm.
- El Salvador: Fr. Juan Mendoza (Radio Vicentina), Sr. Ana Rosa Morán DC, Rosa María Araujo (President of the Vincentian Family in El Salvador), Margarita María Tronos (MISEVI), Sara Aguilar (MISEVI), Kendri (Vincentian Seminarian).
- Nicaragua: Federico Medina (President of the Vincentian Family in Nicaragua).
- Panamá: Carlos K. Centeno (President of the Vincentian Family in Panamá), Sr. Carolina Solórzano DC (National Counselor of the VIncentian Family in Panamá).
- Costa Rica: Fr. William Benavides cm
- Fr. Flavio Pereira cm (VFO)
- José Hailton Coehlo (Brasil) President of FAVILA
The meeting began with the introductory words of Father Tomaz Mavric:
First, I express my great joy of being able to be with you, with so many groups, with so many countries, with the whole Vincentian Family. I thank you with all my heart.
Following the agenda, the prayer was lead by Mirna Guzmán.
Next, Fr. Flavio (VFO) briefly reviews the process during these nine months in Central America:
It started spontaneously, animated from the Office of the Vincentian Family and with an excellent response, very lively and strengthened by each of the presidents of the Vincentian Family in Central America countries. And what began spontaneously was gathering more and more strength, sense, enthusiasm and a desire to leave us engaging more and more in this great legacy that we have received from our Holy founder. Especially in this jubilee year on the occasion of the 400 years of the charism, our vision, our heart, our understanding, our gaze has been strengthened with all the guidelines and animations we have been able to carry out throughout our Vincentian Family.
We started with this desire to meet with international leaders at the end of last year. In fact, we had the first meeting with international leaders of the Vincentian Family during the month of January, taking advantage of the meeting of the Executive Committee in Philadelphia. We met the president and vice president of AIC (Alicia and Maru). Today we have the opportunity to be with the Superior General, Father Tomaz Mavric.
Then the Superior General addressed the Central American Council:
I want to reiterate what I shared at the beginning. First of all to express my joy to be in contact with all of you, with all the presidents of the Vincentian Family in Central America and through you with all the branches that are part of the Vincentian Family. I also want to greet any other members or collaborators.
When we speak of Vincentian Family we are refering to the members who are an part of a particular branch, but we also speak more broadly of so many exemplary people who live the Vincentian spirit, the charism, the Vincentian spirituality and are not official members of some branch, but they feel Vincentian, part of the family.
Thus, I wish to greet all of you with all my heart; as Father Flavio has said, we are celebrating the 400th anniversary, which is a gift of God for us and for the world. It will depend on our collaboration, of our participation in this year, the special way in which the deepening of the charism in spirituality, in ourselves, in each one of the members becomes reality and how to be able to show and spread the charism in the other regions of the world.
Later, I will share some of the initiatives that we are preparing at an international level, because I would like to invite as many Vincentians as possible to participate in these initiatives. Thank you so much.
- The Option for the work in favor of the Vincentian Family, which is also specified in the final documents of the International Assemblies of the branches of the Vincentian Family. This option has generated much hope and commitment in each of our countries and in the branches of the Vincentian Family.
- The accompaniment to the Vincentian Family by the International Bureau (VFO).
- The growing lay commitment in the Central American Vincentian Family. In Central America, all the National Presidents of FAMVIN are laymen and this has allowed to give a valuable perspective in the accompaniment undertaken, in this important process.
- Knowledge, relationship and working together as Vincentian Family. We are in the process of breaking our own barriers and daring to launch a joint work: committed actions, in favor of the most impoverished, as family we are.
- The process of accompaniment, systematic and continued training to the Vincentian Family in each of our countries.
Following the proposed agenda, a space was opened so that the participants can give a few words of gratitude and enlightenment. Words through which we can offer our own experiences and strengthen each other in the sense of belonging.
El Salvador: A special thanks for the closeness of meeting through the media, exchanging all our activities; also for of the closeness of the International Office. This makes us stronger, with the opportunity of sharing our hopes, commitments and knowledge. May God continue to fill you with many graces and spirituality. Fraternal Greetings.
Panamá: We have made good progress in the Vincentian Family of Panama. We have a good team, all under the common goal of serving our poorest brethren. We have a well-strengthened National Council and 4 regional councils. This has helped us a lot to progress in our activities. Thank you very much for your support and also for Fr. Flavio for the support of the VFO to Central America.
Honduras: Thank you Fr. Tomaz for the openness you have had. We have in Honduras 8 branches of the Vincentian Family. Of these Vincentian branches, 2 were founded in Honduras. And we are constituted in 5 regions that cover the whole country.
Guatemala: We ask your blessing so that we can continue working in the Vincentian Family with the charism of Saint Vincent. Pray much for us as we are doing for you, Father, so that we can carry out all the tasks that lie ahead, to make the Vincentian charism more alive in Central America.
Nicaragua: We look forward to the visit of Father Tomaz. We have one national council and five regional councils. In this way, we have managed to keep alive the flame of Vincentian spirituality in our country.
FAVILA: We are working on the organization of the Meeting of the Latin American Vincentian Family. It will be the VIII meeting and will be held in Cochabamba, Bolivia, in March, 2018. We are working to motivate the participation of all Latin American countries and promote the Vincentian charism. Greetings from Brazil.
The participants expressed their hope that, in a near future, Father General will be able to visit the countries of Central America.
Fr. Tomaz: Thank you very much to everyone. With regard to visits, with much love I will gladly do my best to visit the different countries where the family is present. But I have to plan it in time. Now, to not leave everything to the future: social networks, all these tools that are available to us can use them for good or evil. I am very excited that we can be doing so much good; and so we can be in regular contact.
Costa Rica: They say that in their country several activities have been organized around the 400 anniversary. We have a National Council that works to find the tools that will keep us more united. There is a lot of enthusiasm. There are also weaknesses but we are aiming to overcome them and strengthen ourselves more.
Fr. Flavio reminds everyone that within the activities, in addition to those related to the celebration of this 400 anniversary, there is also the Meeting of FAVILA in March, 2018, in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and later the Meeting of FAVICA (June 2018, possibly in El Salvador). They are two great moments in which the opportunity arises to renew both directives and to concretize in the region the great shoring that will be receiving at the Vicentian Symposium in this Jubilee year.
To conclude Fr Tomaz adds:
I am very pleased and grateful for what I have been able to live through the internet, social networks, with so many countries and branches of the Vincentian Family in Central America, their example, spirit and strength. To conclude I want to share 3 points:
First: Continue to strengthen this Family in every country, every continent and in the world. Be assured that my prayer accompanies you and that we, as a family, are united in the service; I hope you all feel my support.
Second: To invite, to work, to motivate new initiatives in the field of vocations. This is already being done, but continue to do what is possible on what I shared in the January 25 letter to the whole family: let each one of us intend to invite a candidate, male or female, to one of the congregations of the Vincentian Family, or a new candidate, male or female, to form part of any of the branches of the Vincentian Family. What a beautiful gift God will give us if we participate in this way this year!
Third: I want to emphasize a special initiative this year. We are preparing the Symposium from October, 13 to 15. I understand that for many, because of distance and expenses, it will not be possible for you to come; but those who can afford can come as a branch or as part of the Vincentian Family in general. It is an encounter with Pope Francis. It is an international meeting that I am convinced will give us many spiritual fruits.
At the end Sr. Carolina Solórzano addresses some words of appreciation to Superior General Father Tomaz Mavric.
The Meeting was concluded with the final blessing of Father Tomaz Mavric.