From April 24th to 26th, 2019, with the theme: Formed in order to serve better, the National Presidents of Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama and the Dominican Republic, accompanied by their respective Delegates for Training and by the Coordination Team, met in the Vincentian Seminary of Xochimanca located in Mexico City where they held the Second Regional Meeting of the American Region #2. The following members of the International Council participated in this meeting: Sebastián Gramajo (the 2nd International General Vice-President) and Maria del Carmen Guzman Soto (the International Vice-President for the American Region #2).
In the opening ceremony, the various members welcomed all the participants and the minutes from the previous meeting were read. The participants sang the hymn of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, and members of the Society in Mexico presented some regional dances. This part of the meeting was concluded with the celebration of the Eucharist that was presided by Father Luis Lusarreta Indurain, CM (the National Advisor of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul in Mexico).
The following presentations were given: Leadership and Team Work (Luz María Ramírez Gonzalez [the National President of the Society in Mexico and Delegate for Training]), The Vincentian Vocation in Daily Life (Fr. Jesús Plascencia, CM [Father Superior of the Congregation of the Mission in Mexico]), The Home Visit in the Vincentian Tradition (Sister Carolina Flores, DC), Workshop on Special Projects (Juan Cristobal García Catavi [the Delegate for Regional Projects]), Legal Aspects of Projects Sponsored by the National Councils (Sebastián Gramajo [member of the International Council]), Activities of the Youth Representatives (Edgardo José Fuentes Flores).
The program also included: a video from the International President, Renato Lima; as well as the formation plan (organized in three modules) presented by the International Vice-Presidency; the distribution of the Guía Breve de la Conferencias (Handbook for Conferences). A representative of each country was given a flash drive that contained an electronic library (books, audios, videos, a manual about the use of the logo, circular letters, as well as themes and publications from the General Council to support the spiritual, Christian and Vincentian formation of the members).
During the 3-day meeting, the members had the opportunity to deepen their relationship with God through prayer and the celebration of the Eucharist that was presided by our advisors and supported by the Conference ‘María Reina’, enabling the participants to experience the presence of God who accompanies us in our mission of service on behalf of those in need. Naturally, we had to visit and celebrate the Eucharist at the Basilica of Guadalupe (a very emotional and significant event for all the participants) … There we entrusted our service and ministry to Our Lady of Guadalupe.
The participants also enjoyed spending sometime at Lake Xochimilco, starting with a visit to Lake Xochimilco, with a boat ride in the traditional trajineras; the performance of a Folkloric ballet, and a cultural night during which the participants shared some of their traditions through videos and parades of typical costumes and regional dances.
Some of the commitments made during our time together include the following:
- Training: to make others aware of the Guide and the material that was distributed, and to adapt this material to the reality of each of our countries;
- Special projects: to make all the conferences aware of the format for requesting projects, including the Twinning Guidebook;
- Youth: to support the youth work plan that was approved by each National Council.
Panama was put forward as the next meeting venue, to be held in May or June 2021. Our meeting concluded with the traditional closing prayer of the Society, and Father Luis Lusarreta, CM, gave the blessing. The meeting wrapped up with mariachi music.
Luz María Ramírez González
The National President in Mexico
Delegation for Training (American Region #2)