II Asian Encounter of VMY National Councils 2009
Thirty-four (34) participants (20 lay people, 11 Daughters of Charity and 3 CM) from Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, Taiwan, and the Philippines gathered together for the Second Asian Encounter of VMY National Councils held at St. Vincent School of Theology, Tandang Sora Avenue, Quezon City, Philippines on April 15-19, 2009 to “make the lay’s Mission sensitive and profound within the Asian context”. Yasmine Cajuste (International President) and Denise El Khoury (Councillor) were present on behalf of the International Council.
To achieve the goal, the Encounter started with a look at the VMY dreams of 2004 (1st. Asian Encounter, Philippines) and discerning on the present situation of VMY in the continent. We have come to realize that some countries have made progress in VMY while others are still struggling to establish it. In the afternoon the delegates participated actively in the workshop “VMY step by step” that presented in a creative way the formation aspects and Endways in VMY.
On April 17, Ana Maria Escaño (National President of VMY Philippines) and Yasmine Cajuste (International President) offered an interesting reflection on the “TheMission of the lay person in VMY within the Asian Context”. In the afternoon they had the opportunity of visiting the Systemic Change Project in Payatas (a very big rubbish dump where more than 20.000 families live). There, the Congregation of the Mission, in collaboration with other branches of the Vincentian Family are giving a creative global response to the challenges of this social context.
On the following day, the work of the Meeting gave rise to an evaluation of the commitments of the General Assembly (Paris, 2005) and allowed to raise some important questions related to the 3rd. General Assembly (2010) and to the self-financing of the VMY activities.
In the course of the Gathering, the working sessions were accompanied by prayer moments and Eucharistic celebrations, folkloric shows and moments to share about the reality of the six present countries. It is worth to mention the cultural evening performed by a delegation of AdamsonUniversity (run by the CM) with a great variety of sounds and colours.
On the last day of the encounter, the delegates approved the Final Document expressing on it their convictions, challenges and commitments, fruit of the work of the whole Meeting. The commitments VMY Asia adopted are:
** Evaluate the existing formation programs.Make and implement relevant and contextualized formation programs for members, leaders and advisors.
** Establish VMY in countries where the Association does not exist yet.
** Immerse, integrate, and participate in the life of our local Church.
** Recognize, elect, train and empower lay people.
** Collaborate with fellow Asians in deepening and sharing our Vincentian-Marian spirituality.
** Work together with the Vincentian Family and marginalized people to develop concrete programs geared towards alleviating poverty in our society.
** Initiate innovative self-financing and fund raising projects to support our activities.
We are so glad for the successful development of this 2nd Asian Encounter of VMY National Councils. It constitutes a further step in the preparation of our 3rd General Assembly (2010). We want to express our profound gratitude to the National Council of Com-VMY Philippines, the Daughters of Charity, the Congregation of the Mission of this country, and the host families of Quezon City for having opened the doors of their houses and their heart to the delegates of Asia. May Our Lord make be fruitful our efforts to build an Association faithful to the request of our Mother and brave to respond to the present challenges!