The Lay Claretians continue to weave Claret´s dream, to create a new Lay Region in Central America and Panama.

From the 12th to the 14th April, members of the Lay Claretian Movement from Panama, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala hold a meeting at the Claret Retreat House of the Claretian Congregation in Guatemala. Together with other topics, the meeting dealt with the common interest of establishing a Lay Region in Central America and Panama.

Another goal was to come to know each other, to exchange our experiences of the missionary work and deal with the challenges we all face in developing it from the Claretian charisma. We knew the historic-religious Guatemala, who, through the way the population shows its faith, invites us to look at the face of a close and suffering God.

The meeting was led by Bernardeta Arbaiza, as General Secretary of the Lay Claretian Movement, who was accompanied by Miguel Ángel Sosa, from the General Council, and by Father Jeremías Lemus, of the Provincial Government.  In her initial words to the adjourned to this meeting, Bernardeta Arbaiza, General Secretary of the Lay Claretian movement, shared her joy for the great participation of the Lay Claretians, who put aside their family, work and other commitments to came to the meeting, showing therefore their contribution to developing the project of the Kingdom and to strengthening the Movement.

In his turn, Miguel Angel Sosa, from the General Government, showed his enthusiasm and said that, despite the tiredness from the long flight, he was supported by the happiness of the participants´ faces, some of whom he know from previous meetings and others from virtual meetings, and now he could meet them personally, so on behalf of the General Government, he encouraged them to continue making the dream come true.

Father Jeremís Lemus, on behalf of the Provincial Government, also shared his joy for the response of so many faces, old and new; the latter were the majority, though. He also said that the Province is determined to impulse and strengthen the movement in the regional.
After the initial words of the authorities, each Lay Claretian introduced him or herself, where they came from and some insights of their walk and how they said Yes to the Movement. Definitely, a moment of great richness for all, which enhanced the brotherhood of the Group.  We realized that we are a region with different particularities and that we are moved by Father Claret´s sentence “FALL IN LOVE WITH JESUS CHRIST AND YOU WILL UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING AND WILL DO MUCH MORE THAN ME”. And Pope Francis says: “ARE YOU SEARCHING FOR PASSION? FALL IN LOVE THEN! BECAUSE NOTHING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN FINDING GOD”.  This has led us to live this hope of moving from being a group of countries without a region, to dreaming with a Lay Region in Central America and Panama.

It then follow the coordinators meeting with a single point in the agenda, the setting up of the Region in Central America and Panama. We had a long debate, in which we put on the table a number of concerns about, among other aspects, the economy and coordination, which were then answered by the authorities. After this moment of fire and burning in charity, the coordinators of the participating groups agreed to set the foundations to create the Lay region of Central America and Panama.
To consolidate this desire, a Working Commission was established, to which it was appointed DORIS MEJIA, from GUATEMALA; JUAN CARLOS DÍAZ, from HONDURAS;   ADOLFO UMAÑA, from EL SALVADOR; and ANGELICA LOMBARDO, from PANAMA, who will have a preliminary report within the next three months. The first General Assembly has been scheduled for the 18th to the 20th January 2020, at the Claret Retreat House in the city of Guatemala, in which we hope that the great majority of members of the Movement from this Region will be able to participate.