The International Association of Charities (AIC) Board recently held its first in-person meeting since the rise of the COVID pandemic. Twelve women from around the globe gathered at Maison Notre-Dame du Chant d’Oiseau in Brussels, Belgium from May 2 – May 5, 2022. Many of these women were elected via special election on the internet, since the Assembly scheduled for March 2020 in Bogota, Colombia had been cancelled due to the pandemic.
Assisted by volunteer translators, the women reported on activities that committees had pursued over the past two years. The committees include Continental Coordinators, Formation, Communication, Representation, Projects, FamVin Contacts, and Twinning. Despite the pandemic, all committees had met some of the goals that had been set in 2020 and outlined plans for the upcoming year.
Much of Wednesday, May 4th was spent discussing the International Assembly to be held in March, 2023 in Rome. A temporary working theme was discussed, along with speakers and topics which would be most valuable for the attendees, and a temporary agenda for the four days of the gathering.
On Thursday, we were introduced to our new AIC Spiritual Advisor, Sr. Hanna Cybula, DC. Sister is originally from Poland and is currently missioned at the Daughters of Charity Motherhouse in Paris, France. Thursday was also spent discussing such business matters as the current make-up of the board, qualifications necessary for new members of the board, and term limits. As 2023 will be the year for the election of the new board, a call for candidacy will be sent out in June 2022 with a deadline of September 2022. AIC members will receive the slate of candidates in December 2022.
Evenings were spent in fellowship – a chance to get to know each other better. One evening we answered trivia questions about AIC, St. Vincent de Paul, and St. Louis de Marillac, while the next evening we played Vincentian Saints Bingo – much harder than one might think, as we had to identify the saints by picture only. Thursday evening, we were able to explore the Grand Place in Brussels, buy chocolates to take home to our families and sample famous Belgian Waffles!
This was a valuable time spent together planning and bonding with the members of the AIC Executive Board.
by Suzanne Johnson, AlC Executive Board