Some still wonder why the OIEC is still needed. Good question! Thank you for asking it, as they say in French! We should take it seriously and sketch the most substantiated reply. There are several ways of justifying the existence of the OIEC: by legal-organizational arguments: the OIEC is an organization with statutes, which must be lived statutorily. Insufficient argument. By historical arguments: the will of the founders must be maintained. Insufficient argument too. By lobbyists arguments: it is necessary to defend at all costs the Catholic schools and the freedom of education against any attempt of destabilization by the States. Insufficient argument, even if it could at least justify itself, as the pressure on the catholic schools around the world is so strong.
It is through a recent exchange with UNESCO’s Deputy Director of Education, Ms Giannini, that the existence of the OIEC is best justified. Indeed, it turns out that the OIEC represents the largest educational network in the world. 210,000 schools or 46 million students. Thus, within the international community, the OIEC is the only global organization able to represent that many students. As a result, and when we simply explain this, we give Catholic education a weight that we ignore ourselves! It is the international organizations that indirectly reveal it! We had a treasure in our hands, and we did not know it ….In this context, what gives the OIEC the charismatic justification of its existence is: meet the national organizations, make them aware of their membership in such a network, make them discover that they are each part of the treasure, make them stay in relation to each other, make them work together in regional networks and to confer on this group a certain unity resulting from our ecclesial identity, create thanks to this unity by the mean of education a saving hope in the person of Jesus Christ, the Son of God made man. The OIEC is indeed an instrument of the proclamation of a universal salvation, manifested by its link to the Church and the “weight” of what it represents. The 2019 Congress will be an opportunity to (re) discover it.
Secretary General of the OIEC
REMINDER OIEC CONGRESS
1. Regularly visit the website https://www.oieccongress.com/ Here you will find all Congress information updated daily.
2. Please send us as soon as possible the expected registrations with your organization/ congregation: firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. As of November, you will be able to register the members of your delegation directly on the website (please see hereafter).
4. Communicate widely within your organization/ congregation about this Congress. This Congress, which takes place every 4 years, is the visible part of the iceberg. We must succeed in celebrating Catholic education in the world and share with the world our universal hope that education can save the world. May every organization and congregation mobilize for this! We are not allowed to fail at this appointment.
REGISTRATIONS ARE OPEN!!!
You can now register for the Congress 2019 directly on the website :
3rd summit of Catholic Education of Nigeria, Abuja
At the invitation of the CSN (Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria), and Father Bernard Asogo, National Secretary of the CSN’s Committee on Catholic Education, the Secretary General attended the 3rd National Catholic Education Summit of Nigeria which was held in Abuja from 15-17 October. More than 600 participants from across the country gathered in the presence of several Nigerian Bishops around the theme “Catholic Education in Nigeria: The Challenges of Child Protection and Human Sexuality.” At the opening mass, Mgr. Augustine Obiora Akubeze, Archbishop of Benin City and President of the Episcopal Conference of Nigeria, spoke clearly and unabashedly about the pedophilia scandals that are shaking the Church right now. He clearly denounced these practices and urged the Catholic education authorities to immediately strengthen procedures for the protection of minors in schools. All the communications during this Congress dealt with the issue of the protection of minors and their sexual education, in the context of modernity and the impact of new media.
MENA General Assembly in Amman (Jordan)
As every year, the OIEC region MENA held its annual general meeting. This year, the meeting took place from 8 to 13 October in Amman, Jordan, at the Sisters of the Rosary. All the countries in the region were represented, including Djibouti and Turkey, who joined the MENA in 2017. Each country was able, through its national representative, to share the information that is particularly relevant to it. The meeting was marked by the issue of refugees from Syria and Iraq, both in Jordan and Lebanon. We have seen that the Church is trying, with its poor means to cope with the inflow of refugees in these countries: 1 million in Jordan with a population of 8 million, and 2 million in Lebanon with a population of 6 million. In comparison France, a country of 60 million inhabitants welcomed 10,000 refugees in 2017. Such a population movement requires the establishment of reception facilities, particularly in education. The participants of this general assembly had the chance to visit a children’s reception center, run by the Catholic Church of Jordan, and this visit left no one indifferent. This meeting was also an opportunity for participants to visit some places in the Holy Land, including Mount Nebo, overlooking the Dead Sea and the Jordan Valley. Mount Nebo is associated with Moses, since it is from this place that Moses showed his people returning from Egypt the promised land.
Project “I CAN”
Brother Juan Antonio Ojeda, responsible for Educational Projects of the OIEC, was present at the Audience of the Pope and Synods, which on the occasion of the Youth Synod was held in Rome on Saturday, October 6, 2018.
During this event students presented two projects of the “I can” project which operates worldwide, in which children and young people are empowered to change the world.
One of the projects is from Colombia, carried out by high school students and focuses on helping the coffee farmers of their town to use clean energy.
And the other is a testimony of two girls from Valladolid/ Spain who share their experiences with the use of the Design for Change methodology, changing their personal, social and environmental contexts.
You can watch the complete audience hereafter or just the two projects directly at 1:32:00 to 1:39:22:
• In Spanish: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iVEERXN1ck
• In French: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hk3oHgsMjvQ
• In English: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swyKJe9nQXw
The videos are also available on the OIEC website: http://oiecinternational.com/i-can/
The Association of Catholic Schools All Over India (AINACS) held its 51st Convention at the “City Montessori School” in Lucknow. 600 delegates from all over India discussed about the subject “Emerging challenges to catholic education”. These themes included the question of minorities in India and the acceptance of these minorities in Catholic schools. In its article 30 (“Right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions”) the Constitution of India states: “1) All minorities, whether based on religion or language, shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice. (…). 3) The State shall not, in favor of educational institutions, discriminate against any educational institution on the ground that it is under the management of a minority, whether based on religion or language “.
During this Convention, AINACS held its General Assembly. The President of AINACS is Father Maria Askok Kumar, SDB, and his General Secretary Brother Thomas Thanickal, WMI.
AGENDA OF THE SECRETARY GENERAL
October 10-13, Amman, Jordan, OIEC-MENA General Assembly
October 14-17, Abuja, Nigeria, 3rd Summit of Catholic Schools of Nigeria
October 18-22, Lucknow, India, annual conference of All India Catholics Schools Association
October 25-30, Saltillo, Mexico, CNEP Congress
October 31, Mexico, OIEC medal award ceremony for Brother Alejandro Aldape, former treasurer of the OIEC