Rome from 9 to 11 November.
The UMEC-WUCT, founded in 1951, is an international Catholic organization recognized by the Holy See. It is a member of the OIC (Organizations Internationales Catholiques). As an NGO, it has a consultative role in the Council of Europe, Ecosoc, Unesco and Unicef. UMEC/WUCT interacts with various institutions, including the OIEC (International Catholic Schools Organization), with CIEC (Confederación Interamericana de Educación Católica), with the Pontifical Scholas Occurrentes Foundation, with the BICE (Bureau International Catholique de l’Enfance). Teacher Unions, universities, schools and teachers who wish to work in institutions and society in the light of the teachings of the Gospel and the Magisterium may become members of the UMEC/WUCT.
The Council is an annual event in which the journey of the Union is evaluated and redesigned; it is also a good opportunity to discuss current educational and social issues.
Representatives from Argentina, Belgium, Burundi, the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Philippines, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Romania and Hungary participated.
The meeting was presided over and animated by the President, Guy Bourdeahud'hui, and the Ecclesiastical Assistant, Monsignor Vincent Dollmann (Archbishop of Cambrai).
The Ecclesiastical Assistant inaugurated the work by inviting to prayer and asking for reflection on the testimony given by the Christian educator in any environment where they work.
In the welcoming speech, the President thanked those present and highlighted the progress made by the Union in recent years, a path enriched by the entry of new institutions and young members. This, he said, is a premise for a better service to the Church and society, to teachers and schools.
This year's theme referred to Pope Francis’ invitation: "Educating in the peripheries of the world. Challenges and good practices ".
The Dean of the Faculty of Educational Sciences of the Salesian Pontifical University, fr. Mario Llanos, has chosen as a title to his presentation (full of social and pedagogical reflections as well as proposals): "Educating In-From-Towards The Peripheries". It was a magisterial intervention, an invitation to love the suburbs because they are a source of future regeneration. In fact, he concluded his speech: "At the basis of a new educational perspective in these areas is the conviction that discovers the greatness of love for the peripheries and the consideration of these as a source for the future. The suburbs speak about the concrete reality of problems (unemployment, crime, remoteness of institutions...) that in other areas are discussed in abstract form. We must always remember, on the basis of the acquired conscience, continuing with the study, to understand the periphery, what are the feelings and the experience of young people in the suburbs are in order to determine effective educational interventions".
Interventions of professors from various continents followed. They illustrated the challenges and good practices of the realities in which they operate: Mary Lappin of the Glasgow University; Adrian Podar of the Greek-Catholic High School Oradea; Emmanuel Banywesize of the University of Lubumbashi - Congo; Clarita Carillo of the University of Manila; José M. Del Corral, from Buenos Aires, president of Scholas Occurrentes.
The debate was enriched by various interventions: fr. Alberto Kabuge, provincial of the Salesians of the Congo; Hector Rigaldo of Argentina, Justine Ndayisaba of Burundi, Belen Tangco of the Philippines, Gertrud Rieger of Germany, Elizabeth Boddens of Holland, John Nish of the United Kingdom and Peter Bodo from Hungary.
The annual report of the Union was presented by the Secretary-General, Giovanni Perrone, who, in illustrating the life of the Union, highlighted its characteristics: "The pillars of the UMEC-WUCT are values, skills, relationships, human and professional solidarity, at the service of the integral formation of every person and of the institutions". Regarding solidarity projects, the secretary listed the initiatives meant to support educational projects carried out in suburban environments of Argentina, Congo, Philippines, Romania, South Sudan, Hungary and Tanzania. This support was made possible thanks to the contribution of the Papal Foundation and some institutions part of the UMEC-WUCT.
Professor John Lydon, Treasurer of the UMEC-WUCT, presented the final balance and the budget.
The Council approved some amendments to the Statute (which will be sent to the Pontifical Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life for final approval).
During the meeting the Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, intervened. His Eminence expressed appreciation for the activities and results of the UMEC-WUCT and illustrated the work of the Congregation. He also had a friendly talk with the participants in the Council.
The President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, sent a message of greeting and good wishes.
At the end of the work, the participants went to St Peter's Square to participate in the recitation of the Angelus of the Supreme Pontiff. They wholeheartedly welcomed the greeting addressed to them by Pope Francis.gp
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NOTES AIMC - Consiglio Umec-Wuct
NOTES AIMC - Consiglio Umec-Wuct