In the cooperation process between ISCAM* (International Specialized Catholic Action Movements) initiated June 17, 2014, we gathered on 22 and 23 May 2015. We were hosted by JOC France at their headquarters. We had 3 main questions:
1 – What is the current relevance of our almost centennial founding intuitions? (Starting from human realities, option for the poor, working by, for and with the people, articulate faith and life …)
2 – How do we stand in the Church with the changes after Council Vatican II and the message of Pope Francis?
3 – How to make this common heritage fruitful for the world today?
First we were comforted: our roots in human realities and our practice of review of life is a spiritual work that gives strength to proclaim Jesus Christ in understandable words. We are supported by the texts of Vatican Council II (participation of the laity in the mission of the Church, discernment of the positive signs of the times but also negative ones). In addition, we are encouraged by Pope Francis, who stresses the importance of meeting people, dialogue, being at the outskirts where many of our members already live.
We also face problems: declining membership, financial constraints, smaller influence on our societal and ecclesial environment. Some problems seem everlasting, sometimes becoming worse: poverty, injustice, unemployment, wars, loss of religious sense in Europe etc … We also have doubts: will we have strength, human and financial resources enough to ensure the mission? Can working together reinforce our own development and not be additional work?
But the main thing was the joy of feeling that deep energy that animates each movement, children, youth or adults, forever searching for relevant places and ways of being witnesses of Christ to those we meet, especially those far away.
Now it is time for creativity and we propose to:
1- Coordinate between ISCAM to offer, in the countries where we are and beyond, an accompaniement and a support according diverse human situations and ages of life.
2- Continue the process of opening our movements to religious and cultural diversity, without forgetting the source, our belonging to the Catholic Church. Promoting human values is for everyone a way to meet God, whatever his faith.
3- Renew our animation methods, our analysis and our language to make the Gospel available to all.
The ISCAM network wants to support mutual fertility, effectiveness, development and reputation of its member movements. We have identified four priorities:
I – To make the network living: mutual information, action together, participation in the actions of others, support if difficulties … Each member is a network’s ambassador with international institutions, Holy See…
II – Sharing resources and competencies.
III – Working on common themes, reflections, reports …
IV – Develop cooperation projects at regional or local level, particularly for the extension of our movements (eg India and China)
• Present this declaration to our partners, national movements, representatives of the Church,
• Organize a joint representation in international institutions, in line with existing structures
• Create our own ISCAM Facebook page, every movement choosing a person to feed it.
• Invite our movements to more cooperation at continental and national level.
• Continue discussions in Brussels IYCW meeting in 11/2015 (Memory of Joseph Cardijn)
• Organize a more important event in Rome in 2016.
“Now there were devout men living in Jerusalem from every nation under heaven, and at this sound they all assembled, and each one was bewildered to hear these men speaking his own language. They were amazed and astonished. ‘Surely,’ they said, ‘all these men speaking are Galileans? How does it happen that each of us hears them in his own native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; people from Mesopotamia, Judaea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya round Cyrene; residents of Rome, Jews and proselytes alike, Cretans and Arabs, we hear them preaching in our own language about the marvels of God.”(From Act of apostles chap 2)
Amélie Peyrard, Joel Bonita (ICYCW) ; Ludovicus Mardiyono, Andy Predicala (IYCW) ; George Dixon Fernandez, Jean Claude Germon (FIMARC); Maryse Robert, Dominique de Talancé (MIAMSI), Antoine Sondag, Abdelkader Oukrid, Robert Scholtus, Bassem (Speakers) ; Camila Jara Aparicio (IMCS Pax Romana) ; Jean Baptiste Ndundu, Philippe Ledouble (ICMICA Pax Romana) ; Bernard Hyon, (Siiaec Pax Romana) ; Michel Gauvry, Daniel Croquette, Louise Paré (Skype) Patrice Roumieu (MIDADE); Claire Quintin, Thibault Duisit (MIJARC); Marilea Damasio, Ernst Bodenmüller (WMCW) Stefan Gigacz (Cardijn Community) ; Christine Roche (CCIC) ; Karine Bonchrétien (secret. IYCS – IMCS)
* ISCAM : ICYCW, FIMARC, IYCS, IYCW, MIAMSI, MIDADE, IMCS Pax Romana, ICMICA Pax Romana, MIJARC, WMCW.