JUSTICE PEACE TRAINING MEETING ECUADOR - July 4th to 8th 2012
The meeting was carried out in the House "CREER" located in Pilar, Quito - Ecuador. The start of this training meeting was highlighted by the Eucharist, presided by Father Ruben Dario Bedoya,, who stressed in his homily the invitation to bear witness to Justice, in response to the request of Pope Benedict XVI to live a Year of Faith. His words called us to let the Holy Spirit be the center of our lives, in order to live our testimony, rather than just using words; to be witnesses of Justice, so that the world may believe that Christ was sent by the Father.
Filled with the Spirit, we shared a toast to start this training on Justice and Peace. Sister Ofelia Cazorla, representative of Sister Clemencia, Provincial Leader of Ecuador, gave us a warm welcome.
In her workshop, Sister Clare Nolan reminded us of the path of Justice in the Congregation of the Good Shepherd. She also spoke of the foundational meaning of Justice, which is "Inclusion", because it is the measurable and useful term that best represents it. She also spoke of the role of the JP contact person and its implications.
The opening theme of this day was about systems and structures. To begin, Sr. Clare told us the difference between these two terms, emphasizing the following:
-Systems are relationships to keep the stability. They influence each other and are associated with values, and this is good.
-On the other hand, the structures tend to get rid of values. The only value is that of utility and functionality.
-The structures are easily replaceable. However, systems are difficult to change.
Our task is to change the systems and structures. We often change the structures and we think that we have changed the content. We need to empower people and thus focus on the changing of structures. The Good Shepherd calls the changing structures to include the necessity of changing power relationships.
After this presentation, we had a moment of reflection on the structures and systems that Jesus changed and how to apply it to our reality.
The morning concluded with the presentation about participation on "Rio + 20" by Martha Iris and Fernanda Ferreira.
In the afternoon, we discussed policies that we must implement as JP contacts, since public policies serve to achieve a goal. When we want to achieve our mission, we must work to bring down the wall in order to achieve reconciliation, mercy, justice and human dignity.
The best policies are achieved with consensus. These will be effective, if they are accepted and implemented. For their acceptance, they require education, and to be implemented, they require national and local laws and regulations.
At the conclusion of this day, each unit presented to the group their work on Position Papers, and how we are working locally in terms of advocacy.