(ANS – Panama) – The Salesian Cooperators of the Interamerica Region held their III Regional Congress from August 11-14 with the theme “Conceived for Living Synodality in the Church.” The meeting was held simultaneously in person and online, with the participation of 89 Salesian Cooperators and delegates.
The Congress had three purposes: formative, elective, and presentation. Accompanying the event were the world delegates of the Salesian Cooperators, Fr. Dominic Nam Nguyen SDB, Sr. Lucrecia Uribe, FMA, and the Rector Major’s Delegate for the Salesian Family, Fr. Joan Lluis Playá, SDB.
Members of the various provincial councils and their delegates attended and voted at the Congress, as well as Salesian Cooperators invited as guests.
The new members of the Regional Executive Secretariat for the period 2022-2028 are:
– World Councilor for the Interamerica Region: Martín Calderón – Costa Rica
– Treasurer: José Francisco (Franklin) Ortega – Dominican Republic
– Secretary: Pierre Larocque – Canada
– Formation: Juanita Silva – Mexico
– Communication: Victoria Mónico – El Salvador
– Youth and Family Ministry – Karla Ramos – Honduras
– Representative for the Northern Area – Kristie Garza – United States of America
– Representative for the Southern Area – Alfredo Algandar – Mexico
The Inter-America Region consists of 172 local centers, 2302 Salesian Cooperators, and 503 aspirants, distributed in 9 Provinces, 13 countries: Canada, United States, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Haiti. Three languages are spoken in the Region: English, French, and Spanish.
At the end of the event, Francisco Burciaga and other members of the Regional Executive Secretariat were thanked for their pastoral service. In addition, Pierre Larocque, Salesian Cooperator from Canada, was spotlighted for his service as a translator over the years.
The meeting was managed by the Salesian Cooperators of Panama and the whole Congress experienced an atmosphere of family and fraternity. One of the significant moments was the visit to the ‘Valdocco of America’, located in the Don Bosco Basilica in Panama. There was also an opportunity to learn about the history of Panama during the visit the participants made to the Casco Viejo in Panama City. The closing dinner was held in a festive atmosphere at El Arco Chato, where several folkloric presentations were performed.