Note: This article was based on https://www.agustinosrecoletos.com/2019/11/5o-encuentro-educar-rio-janeiro/
Rio de Janeiro, BRAZIL – The 5th EDUCAR Assembly that took place from November 18 to 22 in Rio de Janeiro brought together more than 80 Augustinian Recollect school administrators and faculty members from different parts of the Recoletos world. Fray Rafael Pecson, OAR, President of the San Sebastian College-Recoletos de Cavite represented not only the Philippines but also the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno.
EDUCAR is an international educational network of the Augustinian Recollect Family present in more than a hundred educational centers worldwide. This year’s five-day meeting analyzed, reflected, and proposed new paths and projects to come up with an Augustinian Recollect educational model.
The 80 delegates who had registered and attended were the most numerous of those assemblies convened so far. And these delegates were not only the ones connected with the Order of Augustinian Recollects; others represented the centers run by the Augustinian Recollect Missionaries, the Augustinian Recollects Sisters, and the Augustinian Recollects of the Heart of Jesus. Other schools, universities and learning homes committed to work together in a network.
The meeting featured different talks and presentations, as well as working groups that delved into various issues raised during the entire duration of this fifth edition of the EDUCAR assembly. Topics such as innovation in Augustinian pedagogy, the protection of children in the schools, good practices or the training of teachers, among others, were some of the issues discussed in the different work sessions. In addition, the winning projects of the 1st EDUCAR Pedagogical Contest were also presented. More than 60 projects were submitted and classified in different categories: preschool, primary, secondary, baccalaureate, university, and pastoral, sports, or educational projects.
In the said assembly, the educational institutions of Spain, Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Argentina, and the Philippines were represented. A series of conclusions and general commitments were drawn, which were hoped to help the development and advancement of the educational model of the Augustinian Recollect family in the world.
From regional to global
The I EDUCAR Meeting began as a regional assembly among several Augustinian Recollect schools in Guatemala, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Costa Rica. It was held in October 2014 at the Colegio Fray Luis de León de Querétaro (Mexico), taking advantage of the visit of the Prior General, Miguel Miró, and the Secretary General. Eleven administrators and teachers from different educational centers attended to share the context and challenges of education in each of their environments.
The satisfaction of the participants at the first meeting led to the second, a day of Augustinian Recollect Spirituality for school administrators and faculty in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. The II EDUCAR Meeting was framed within the International Year of Education (2015-2016) of the Order of Augustinian Recollects.
The III EDUCAR Meeting, held in 2016, continued to involve more schools in Central and South America. The keys were the need for a pastoral plan for young people to make sense of their life and the search for a definition of “escuela en pastoral” (loosely translated in English as “pastoral ministry in the school”).
The IV EDUCAR Meeting, held in Bogotá, Colombia in 2017, worked on these same lines. In addition to presenting the EDUCAR International Educational Network, it faced different challenges: strengthening the Augustinian Recollect charism and the collaborative culture; finding support strategies for young people; promoting the Augustinian Recollect educational centers as evangelization platforms and analyzing the Educational Project of the Order of Augustinian Recollects.