1st day of the General Assembly

  11st General Assembly

Although the Assembly began yesterday with the welcome, presentation prayer and toast, it has officially started today (July 9th, 2023).

After breakfast we celebrated the Eucharist together, presided over by the CMF Provincial of Sanctus Paulus, D. Juan Martín Askaiturrieta Ezkurdia, and encouraged by the region of lay people from Northern Spain. At the end of it, they had a surprise typical of the Basque Country. A dantzari (dancer) and a chistulari gave us the dance of the Aurresku, a Basque dance that is danced as a bow or greeting, it is a very popular solemn and elegant dance that is performed in acts of great importance in which it is desired to flatter those who attend that event. Later we were also able to enjoy some other dance, folklore, shown by four dantzaris. Taking advantage of the moment and the visit of several lay people from the Community of CES-SC, the host community, we took the first photos of the Assembly.

Once strengthened and nourished by the Spirit and received with honors, we continued the day with a talk-retreat on the motto of the assembly “Rivers of Living Water” given to us by the CMF Juan Carlos Martos from the province of Fatima. Together we broke down chapter 7 of the Gospel John and he explained to us the relevance of the phrase that Jesus shouts and we have as the motto of the assembly. What is water, how is it obtained, how is it transmitted… After his in-depth explanation, we had to go deeper and work on that “Lectio divina”. This moment of retreat ended before the Most Holy, the Source of all of us.

Eaten and rested, the afternoon began with a round table on the history of the Movement. At the table they were representing this walk: Yolanda Ibáñez, general secretary from 1983 to 1991; Milagros Vicente, general secretary from 1991 to 1999 and training from 2003 to 2007, Aurora Bailón, training secretary from 1999 to 2003 (Aurora and Milagros representing Cristina Martínez, general secretary from 1999 to 2007); Tino Rodríguez, general secretary from 2007 to 2015; Bernardeta Arbaiza, Secretary General from 2015 to 2019 and Miguel Ángel Sosa, Secretary General from 2019 to 2023. Each one of them transmitted to us their experiences, difficulties and/or achievements of their period under the headings: “Putting ourselves in Motion” 1983- 1991”, “Rooted in the Church” 1991-1999, “Every step is important” 1999-2007, “From email to WhatsApp” 2007-2015 and “Broadening horizons” 2015-2023. It ended with a very strong ovation from those present in the Assembly to the speakers in gratitude for their service to the Movement.

After a short break we got together again to continue the celebration of our 40th anniversary. First with a live prayer from different positions of Lay Claretians and later with a live connection, via zoom, we were able to meet as a family, like the great Movement that we are.

With the emotion still within us after the meeting, we were presented with the new image of the Movement, the new logo, and the design of the page updated to the new technological means and with the incorporation of other languages in which we are present and growing.

After dinner, this day of celebration could not end in a better way with the live music of the group Space jam that delighted us with good pop rock that enlivened the party and invited us to move our skeletons.