Sure, Why Not?

aidanfamvinDear family and friends of the mission:

Bolivia is my home now, and I hope I can dedicate the useful years of my life here as a Vincentian priest. Working with Diego, Cyrille, Flora, Violeta, Juvenal and Ramiro continues to give me the most satisfaction I have had in thirty-five years of ministry.

famvin-logoAt the end of last year, the leaders of the Vincentian Community asked me if I would consider leaving the mission and dedicating myself to the development and extension of the Vincentian Family’s presence on the internet. It includes websites in multiple languages, as well as multilingual presences on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube… you name it, the Family is there! They sent me a rather extensive strategic plan and asked me to review it and consider their request. I cut a deal.

I indicated to my superiors that I didn’t think that I needed to leave the mission, nor did I want to. In fact, my presence in the missions could be a plus. I suggested that, with some initial moves that I could make from here in Bolivia, and an intensive burst of work during the second half of 2015, I could make the plan a reality. They agreed.

Cooperative learning...

Cooperative learning…

While working in Mocomoco, I’ve built a presence on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in Spanish. I’ve been revising parts of the plan and taking the plan to the level of concrete strategies and tasks to be accomplished. This will be the basis for dialogue with the team that does most of the work, and we need to firm things up so we can invite others to participate in the project. In May, I’ll be home for a short visit to see you all, to celebrate Nur Gorayeb’s graduation from St. John’s (Nur is the young Bolivian woman that I helped find her way to St. John’s) and to meet with the group that drafted the original plan. We’ll hammer out details, but the mid-range plan for me is to be in Philadelphia from September through January, working with Fr. John Freund, who has dedicated years to building this project and was the one who suggested me to succeed him. He will be a pleasure to work with. The long range plan is to return to work in Bolivia and manage and develop and its parts from Bolivia, creating international teams of people who will collaborate on the “FamVin Project.” I even have an idea to involve my computer students in Ingas! And why not? The internet makes it possible to work, to connect and to collaborate from almost any part of the globe. I love Bolivia, and I love the possibilities that exist in a worldwide network of charity. I am grateful and excited to have the chance to participate in both!

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A Year of Collaboration

famvin-logo (español abajo) We’ve just begun planning for training in collaboration as part of our National Vincentian Family 2015 gathering in Bolivia. Members of VFCAP will be here to help us. But there’s no need to wait when possibilities exist in the upcoming Vincentian Family “Year of Collaboration.” There are lots of things to be done and people willing to do them!

clapvisurWhat do you do when you need help that you can’t find in your own country? You collaborate! In another province (Beni), the Daughters of Charity will collaborate with the inter-provincial Mission Team of CLAPVI-SUR (provinces of Argentina, Chile, Perú, and Ecuador, and the mission in Bolivia) in the renovation of a “priest-less” zone. The training of the missionaries was funded by a grant from the East-USA CMs.

Missionaries in the making...

Missionaries in the making…

What do you do in a Vincentian Mission when there are no other Vincentian Family branches around? You collaborate! This year, in the Bolivian Altiplano mission of the Congregation of the Mission, the parish in Mocomoco embarks on a new venture. After establishing a catechetical and formation center in Ingas with collaboration of COVIDE-AMVE of Spain, the Eastern CM province of the USA, the Vincentian Solidarity office, the people of the local community, the faculty of the local school and supporters in La Paz, we’re reaching out for deeper collaborative systemic change. In a few days, with our support, local authorities will approach the Salesian Family to transform the school into a “Escuela Popular Don Bosco,” with much more local control. Additionally, the people will start producing all the vegetables we need for the mid-day meal program (and more, to provide an income to many families), supported by another start-up grant from Spain. Finally, we will co-finance a sports development program for the high school which lacks a true physical education program. In 2015, we’ll collaborate with whoever is willing. Want to help?

Here’s what I’m reading these days: Lani Guarnier. The Tyranny of Meritocracy. Thanks Kindle! It provides some interesting insights on collaboration versus competition.

Acabo de comenzar a planificar la formación en colaboración como parte de nuestra reunión nacional de la Familia Vicenciana 2015 en Bolivia. Los miembros de VFCAP estarán aquí para ayudarnos. Pero no hay necesidad de esperar cuando existen posibilidades en el “Año de la colaboración.” de la Familia. Hay un montón de cosas por hacer y gente dispuesta a hacerlo!

¿Qué hacen ustedes cuando ustedes necesitan ayuda que no se puede encontrar en su propio país? ¡Colaboran! En otra provincia de Bolivia (Beni), las Hijas de la Caridad colaborarán con el Equipo de Misión interprovincial de Clapvi-SUR (provincias de Argentina, Chile, Perú y Ecuador, y la misión en Bolivia) en la renovación de una zona sin sacerdotes. La formación de los misioneros fue financiado por una subvención de los Este-USA CM.

¿Qué se hace en una misión vicenciana cuando no hay otras ramas de la Familia Vicenciana en todo? ¡Colabora! Este año, en la misión del Altiplano Boliviana de la Congregación de la Misión, la parroquia en Mocomoco se embarca en una nueva aventura. Después de establecer un centro de catequesis y formación en Ingas con la colaboración de COVIDE-AMVE de España, la provincia CM oriental de los EE.UU., la Oficina de Solidaridad Vicenciana, la gente de la comunidad local, la facultad de la escuela local y partidarios en La Paz, estamos llegando a un cambio sistémico con colaboración más profunda. En pocos días, con nuestro apoyo, las autoridades locales se acercarán a la Familia Salesiana a transformar la unidad educativa en una “Escuela Popular Don Bosco,” con mucho más control local. Además, la gente comenzará a producir todas las verduras que necesitamos para el comedor popular (y más, para proporcionar un ingreso para muchas familias), apoyado por otra subvención inicial de España. Por último, vamos a cofinanciar un programa de desarrollo de los deportes de la escuela secundaria que carece de un verdadero programa de educación física. En 2015, vamos a colaborar con quien esté dispuesto. ¿Quieres ayudar?

Aquí está lo que estoy leyendo en estos días: Lani Guarnier. La tiranía de la meritocracia. Gracias Kindle! Proporciona algunas ideas interesantes sobre la colaboración frente a la competencia. (en inglés)

Posted in Bolivia, Events, VinFam | 1 Comment

A Little Change

Just finished a nice visit to Cochabamba to give retreat to the Daughters of Charity. It’s always delightful to be with them. I also took some time to do Vincentian Family work, getting ready for our national assembly in April.

Just got home, and thought I’d write.

Posted in Bolivia | 2 Comments