International Mission Assembly
from Ms. Maryann Donohue-Lynch
When the theme for the third International Mission Assembly (AIMEL), held March 28-April 8, was announced as Identity-Vitality and Transformation – Together We Make it Possible it provided both the focus to consider who we are as Lasallians in our world today and the inspiration to dream about who the Holy Spirit is calling us to be. When the COVID pandemic struck, it was no surprise that those planning for III AIMEL created a response that was practical and innovative. Through the many months of virtual meetings, the work for the Assembly progressed and resulted in the nine Proposals that will be presented at the General Chapter.
“It was a joy to be with other delegates to the mission assembly for my region and from around the world,” said Brother James Martino, FSC, DENA delegate to the Assembly. “As a middle aged Brother Representative it was a unique opportunity to be with Lasallian women and men engaged in this educational movement, and to understand the international richness and flavors of this educational mission. Our collective experiences articulated a vision of how this mission especially for those on the margins goes forward into the future. Whether the small discussion groups working to understand the cultural differences, our workgroups creating and offering proposals for future direction, or our ending discussions on visioning the future it was a rich experience of learning from each other and embracing the challenge of our future as we envisioned how to best go forward in association.”
Experiencing the final gathering of Phase 1 in Rome was a privilege however what was striking was the care and concern that CIAMEL took for the delegates who could not attend in person by creating ways in which all delegates could interact in a meaningful way through both synchronous and asynchronous activities.
During this entire III AIMEL process, I was particularly grateful for the space created for prayerful reflection. Calling upon Jesus’ Parable of The Sower, we were reminded through ritual, song and silence, that the work of the Sower is to participate in God’s mission for all of creation. As a Lasallian family we tend the soil and the plants through our educational mission, perhaps never knowing the sweet fruit those plants will bear but trusting in the work of the Holy Spirit that our labors will be transformative in the lives of those entrusted to our care. I look forward with anticipation to the second phase of III AIMEL as we prayer together and by association for an inspired and successful General Chapter.