To Educate Yes

New York. The OIEC (International Association of Catholic Education) World Congress was held from June 5-8, 2019 at Fordham University, Lincoln Campus, New York.

The theme of the Congress "Educating to humanism in solidarity to build a civilization of love" was chosen by the Congregation for Catholic Education with reference to Laudato sì and the contributions of the Catholic schools of the world to educate to solidarity, to humanism and to the care of our common home.

"Education yes", it is possible. Thus the OIEC symbolically expressed a link between the two guidelines for Catholic schools worldwide: on the one hand, the 2030 formation plan established by the United Nations and UNESCO, and on the other hand, the proposal of the Church with the Encyclical Laudato Sì. This is the sign of OIEC's commitment to education for everyone.

530 people gathered to represent the 46 million students, 210,000 schools, and more than 100 Nations, in particular those experiencing difficulty for Catholic education; Rectors and Professors of Catholic Universities, Leaders and Coordinators of Catholic Schools in the world.

The Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians was represented by Sr. Ivone Goulart Lopes, Collaborator of the Youth Ministry Sector; Sr. Martha Seide, Professor at Auxilium and member of the Ecumenical Council of OIEC; nine FMA and one lay person coming from Colombia, Brazil, Dominican Republic, United States of America, and Korea, thus from three continents.

The World Congress was organized in three sessions. The inaugural session began with the opening Mass in St. Patrick's Cathedral, presided over by Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan, Archbishop of New York. On 6 June, the Eucharist was celebrated in the Church of St. Paul the Apostle, presided over by Cardinal Tobin (Archbishop of Newark, New Jersey). On the 7th, the Eucharist was celebrated by Cardinal Vicenzo Zani.

The topics presented were:

"Laudato Si’: a prophetic word" - Rev. Agbonkhianmeghe Orobator, SJ, President of the Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar.

"Education today, emergencies and challenges" - Dr. Jorge Baeza Correa, Rector of the Silva Henriquez Catholic University, Santiago de Chile.

“Educational challenges for the global village” - Brother Armin Luistro, Former Minister of Education of the Philippines.

"How can Catholic schools contribute to the development of an integrated humanity respecting the common good and the integral development of the human person" - Prof. Luisa Ribolzi, Professor of Sociology, University of Brescia, Italy.

"Educate for a new society" - Father Eduardo Corra, Secretary General of the Episcopal Conference of Mexico.

Philippe Richard, Secretary General, presented the themes of the workshops that were the central nucleus of the Congress:

1. A new educational model, based on the culture of dialogue.

2. For a Christian identity of the school, founded on an evangelical root.

3. For an inclusive school, open to all and especially to the peripheries (Sr. Anna Julia Surel, Dominican Republic and Sr. Sara Cecilia Sierra Jaramillo, Colombia).

4. To form leaders and teachers able to manage the educational emergencies (Sr. Martha Sëide, Auxilium, Rome).

5. For a quality education, inspired by the Gospel and oriented to the conservation of the Common Home, inspired by Laudato Sì (Sr. Lee Mi Yeong Gemma, Séoul, South Korea).

6. For a positive and constructive presence in the international community.

7. For the development of new pedagogical tools and resources.

8. For networking, formal and non-formal education.

The book "Educating with the heart" was presented and contains 243 good practices, of which 44 are from the FMA: 4 Africa, 6 Asia/India, and 34 from America.

On Saturday 8 June, the closing ceremony took place at the United Nations headquarters. Sr. Ana Julia Suriel (FMA), of the Dominican Republic, was elected as a member of the OIEC Council.

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