Colombia. The decision was discussed and taken in the Encounter of the Provincial Governments and local Superiors of the Organisms that work in that territory that was once “the Great Colombia.”
We arrived to this agreement in a historical encounter held in the house of Villa Claret (El Picacho), in Medellín, from the 16th to the 19th of June. The following participated in this meeting: 9 members of the governments of the Provinces and of the Delegation, 4 local Superiors of Venezuela, 11 of Colobia Oriental-Ecuador and 19 of Colombia Occidental. They were wisely accompanied by Fr. Vicente Sanz, of the General Government, as President.
In a relaxed, fraternal and sincere climate, they presented the processes of reorganization of the Organisms of the Congregation, following the mandate of the last General Chapter of 2003, with concrete results like the creation of the Provinces of Santiago, in Spain, and Brazil.
In view of certain concerns that could emerge, a survey was made known that shows a great missionary spirit in the new, as well as the older generation. The Claretian creativity, spirituality and mysticism with which all missionary actions are performed were outstanding, in spite of the very complex and demanding circumstances of the social moment we are living in Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela.
The following proposal was put to the vote:
We assume two years of preparation of the process of reunification of the Organisms of Occidental Colombia, Oriental Colombia-Ecuador and Venezuela, from July 2009 to June 2011, when a new assembly of local Superiors and persons in charge of the pastoral areas would be held. The result of the voting was: in favour of the unification, 38; against, 0; abstentions, 3.
After this crushing result, we approved this petition to the Superior General and his council: “…we have decided: to ask you and your council the approval of said reorganization, creating a new Province from the three current organisms, for which we propose a gradual process in the attached document, entitled “Minutes of Villa Claret (El Picacho).”
Next is a detailed calendar of the steps to be followed up to December 2011, when the Chapter of the new Province of Venezuela-Ecuador and Colombia will be celebrated.
At the end of the Encounter, one of the participant Superiors expressed his experience and commitment thus: “Although it looks like a cliché, I had the sensation of being with the Founder in the new beginning of a great work! I am sufficiently a realist to be aware that there will be disagreements and blunt answers, but we could not choose a better way to celebrate in a worthy, consequent and challenging way the first 100 years of Claretian presence in Colombia.”