Archive for the ‘Colloquium 2011’ Category

Extensive report of the Colloquium 2011

It is a great pleasure for the European Coordination to present the extensive report of the Colloquium 2011. We would like to thank the documentation committeee for their work.

You can download the PDF file : Colloquium2011-Report

Statement of the Colloquium 2011


Between the 8th and the 14th of March 2011, 31 young Christians of the JECI-MEC European Coordination gathered in Birštonas, Lithuania for a colloquium to reflect on “Integral Education and Christian Faith”. As a result of our experiences, reflections and discussions during the colloquium, we present a statement on the conditions, needs and means of education in a Catholic way. In order to avoid any misunderstandings and differentiate our understanding of education from others, we introduce the term “Integral Education”.

I. What is Integral Education based on?

We as Catholics hold the view that life’s goal is to search for and to draw close to the truth – not merely subjective, but also objective truth. Both individuals and the community of the Church search for the truth using different methods. Every individual searches for the truth using his or her own experience of life. However, the Church draws on two sources during this journey towards the truth – both Tradition and the Scriptures.[1]

II. Why is Integral Education needed?

We as young Catholics have heard of and reflected on three major issues concerning individuals and society. We wish to express what we believe is our way of responding to these issues:

1)     The issue: Often human beings are reduced to objects valued simply in terms of their usefulness. People are often judged superficially according to external criteria.

What we believe: Each person is unique and made in the image of God. Therefore a person is more than just a set of characteristics.

What we see to be done: We must always work to respect the dignity and uniqueness of every human person.

2)     The issue: Society itself is often viewed in materialistic or mechanistic terms, where communities are not able to flourish.

What we believe:  Society should be understood as an unconditional love-based relation between people; that is a community of communities.

What we see to be done: In our work and activities we will promote and practice the idea of the common good through solidarity and subsidiarity.

3)     Issue: In the modern world the rights of individuals can be promoted in such a way that the common good is not served. For others, society is developed, so that the rights and the dignity of the individual are not valued.

What we believe:   Every person lives in the context of his or her own society. We believe in a creative dynamic between the rights of the individual and the growth of a real society.

What we see to be done: Society should base its human relations on the value of charity, understood as unconditional love for the other person.

Recognizing the fact, that we, as imperfect creatures, will never be able to fulfill our suggested values fully, we search for the best solution within human measures. This solution, according to us, is Integral Education.

III. What is Integral Education?

We as Catholics hold the view that Integral Education is defined by its purposes.

1)     To form a whole, well-rounded person, who is able to act responsibly and who is free enough to make individual life-choices.

2)     To form a citizen, who is able to make life-choices guided by the common good.

The process of Integral Education actively enables people to act responsibly and beneficially. Integral Education does not only mean that people are taught or receive education but are also enabled to teach others. In this understanding Integral Education has got the third purpose

3)     To form multipliers of knowledge, skills, attitudes, values, and spirituality amongst others.

IV. What is our plan of action?

What follows is a plan of action based on the statement previously presented. This plan holds for all stages of any educational systems and is a list of practical suggestions which may be adopted and implemented in the view of local community needs.

– Encourage experiential learning for personal and social development through extracurricular activities such as outdoor education, civic education, and learning through games

– Reflection and dialogue on the Scriptures and issues of public interest, with the aim of finding ways of acting responsibly after becoming aware of societies’ needs

–  Learning through the knowledge and experience of experts

–  Support the continuous professional development of teachers

–  Collaboration with other organizations including secular ones

–  Organization of collaborative learning through a peer-learning-system or a tutoring system

–  Multicultural education through student exchanges such as Erasmus

– Promotion of the statement of the Colloquium to people in power, (which would include the European Youth Forum), following a pilot study of these suggestions

[1] As expressed by the Magisterium of the Church.


Colloquium 2011 – Personal Reflections

During this week in Lithuania 31 people from 11 different countries met together and with the help of inputs from experts discussed and analysed if education as it is structured can really form up a whole person.

The first thing we noted was the fact that education is normally oriented to form a functional person. I.e. that education is oriented to form up people to do jobs, so society looks at its people as those means which without them it would not survive. This led to the fact that education is not actually forming persons but “functional machines” which are needed to society. This is a somewhat generic statement so it does not refer to a whole reality but it is still in some way true.

To see how we can truly form up persons, one has to define what he means by person. A person is not only defined by the participation and role in society. Also a person cannot be defined when on its own. A person is defined by the relationships and actions it has with others and the world. As Christians the greatest example of personhood is found in the triune God. This is because in our Triune God we can see the perfect relationship between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Also in genesis we find that we are made in his liking and so we can only know and be who we are (humans/persons) when we meet God and act as He wills. Nonetheless God never impose himself on us since He respects our freedom. God lets us free to shape ourselves in our unique manner. Still this doesn’t mean that God just let us to drown in our own mistakes. He himself has come in the world as a human and lived as a true human so that we may have an example to look at and learn from.

This shows the fact that a person in itself cannot be shaped or formed but can only be led to grow in its unique way. As God did to us we have to do to each other. We must respect each other’s freedom and so we can never impose a system or a structure. We can only give out what we learned and what we did so that others can learn and shape up their own knowledge using ours. Pope Benedict XVI in the encyclical “Spe Salvi” writes that one can never overlook freedom and “freedom must constantly be won over for the sake of good”. (Spe Salvi Par 24).

As a conclusion we arrived to the fact that for education to form a whole person it (the educational system) cannot just give knowledge but it must give the opportunity for the students to shape up that knowledge and add their own unique experiences so that through this exercise they are also forming up themselves. In this manner one is not only exercising what he got from formal education but now he can also add the other knowledge he got through informal education and non-formal learning. In this manner people could feel more complete and also knowledge could find its practicality and wholeness in the persons mind.

Sergio Fenech

Live from Colloquium 2011

JECI-MIEC European Coordination will try to broadcast live from the Colloquium 201. Therefore each evening the Media Group will publish the resumed activities of the day.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

An informal evening was organised for the arrived participants which started as ice-breaker and thus people managed to get-to-know each other better.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

At the begining of the morning we had an opening Mass of the Ashes day. Then we played some games for knowing each other better and for working as a team. Afterwards we had a guest from Kaunas university, Mr. Benas Ulevicius, talking about the Christian faith and catholic church teaching. We were tought a new method of reflection by St. Ignatius Loyola. In the evening program participants presented their organisations in the Movement Market.

Thursday, 10 March

We began the day with the prayer in the church and afterwards we had a lecture which was held by Dr. Ms.Egle Laumenskaite about the integral education. We were asked to work in groups and discuss such questions as autonomy, critical approach,pluralism etc. After the discussion and lunch, we had a debate experience, where we were able to express our opinion, listen what other participants think and share our point of view. In the evening program we had an intercultural event. Every country had to bring some special food of their country and to share traditional games/songs/videos. It was a great day. We also had a guest, the International Chaplain of IMCS/MIEC, father Chris Mccoy.

Friday, March 11

Friday started with a mass conducted by father Chris Mccoy, who later gave us a lecture about Catholic Church teaching on integral education. He mentioned that this concept was created by JECI-MIEC so it was hard to find out a description in different resources. It was a different lecture because we all participated in order to understand why we need education. The participants found it very dynamic because they were invited to play a game where there survival depends entirely on there’s education, the way we built the society if we were only women and children in an island. After lunch we visited Kaunas where we had an excursion directed by a member of Ateitis federation – Raminta. We ended up the day in Ateitis federation office for celebrating the Independence of Lithuania. The lithuanian participants tought traditional folk songs, dances and games which were really important to knowing the hosting country’s culture.

Saturday, March 12

Saturday started with the Mass after which we had a guest, Mr. Vygantas Malinauskas, who was talking about the analysis of different integral education concepts. During the lecture he asked us to compare four documents: two from the Vatican and two others official documents from church teachings. Then we shared our conclusions and Mr. Malinauskas helped us to understand better those documents. After the lunch we participated in the activity where we were divided by the countries: Malta, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania presented their educational systems, and the rest of the participants formed two teams, who had to answer these questions: 1) What should we get outside formal education? 2)What do we get outside formal education in our movements? The next activity we were having was creation a perfect educational system. The contest of the task was to repopulate new island with 2000 people from every country of the world.

After this activity we had an evaluating reflection of the two days, where we shared what we liked and got from these days. At 21 pm the official program was over and everybody could do whatever they wanted – go for a walk, play games, dance, communicate, sleep.

Sunday, March 13

Sunday’s morning began with a prayer. During all week we were reflecting about the integral education and this day was about finding a plan of action in different levels: to ourselves, in  our country and together in Europe. Every country presented the ideas of a plan and afterwards all participants made some practical suggestions how to improve educational system, how to work inside the JECI-MIEC organisation. After the lunch we shared our final ideas about all the event. The official Colloquim 2011 ended with the closing Mass leaded by father Chris Mccoy, after which everybody get the certificate of participating in this event.  After our final dinner we had a farewell party.

The whole week was a wonderful experience for everybody, and we know, that those people who we met will be in our hearts the whole life.

Thank you all the organisation team, animators, and every participant! See you soon, in WYD, Madrid.

Confirmed participants to Colloquium 2011

Colloquium “Integral Education and Christian Faith”, is taking place from 8-14 March 2011 in Kaunas, Lithuania.

The Colloquium is designed for members of the movements. This means that participants in the meeting should be actively involved in projects at national/local level or to be members of the national/local board of the movement.


  • To reinforce the students to be active participants in the society, school/university,their movements and the Church.
  • To empower the member movements to understand the importance and the role ofChristian faith in Integral Education and to promote it.


  • To acknowledge the key role of the movements on educational / political / social /cultural / religious spheres of their societies;
  • To analyze and reflect the Catholic Church teaching on Integral Education;
  • To analyze the tools that National movements should use to promote their role asactive actors of social transformation;
  • To emphasise on learning about social values and concepts such as mutual respect,identity, culture, religion, minorities, through intercultural learning process;
  • To reflect on national movements’ work, on promotion / recognition of Integraleducation;
  • To implement and transmit experience of intercultural learning on the realities andwork of National movements;
  • To raise awareness for self responsibility to the participants to act as multipliers intheir movements, transmitting and sharing the experience to the grass root level.

You can find in attachement the final timetable and a list of confirmed participants as of today.



Call for participants for Colloquium 2011

We have a pleasure to invite you to the Colloquium “Integral Education and Christian Faith”, which is taking place from 8-14 March 2011 in Kaunas, Lithuania.

The Colloquium is designed for members of the movements. This means that participants in the meeting should be actively involved in projects at national/local level or to be members of the national/local board of the movement.

In order to apply for this activity, you have to fill-in the application form (you can find it together with this document or download from our website at or attached to this e-mail) and sent it by e-mail The deadline for receiving the applications is the 30 January 2011. In any case we already now are asking you to reserve the travel tickets and to buy then ONLY as your participation will be confirmed.

After receiving the applications we will inform your movement of the participants confirmed and we will send them the “Participants File”.

For any further information, please contact the European Secretariat by phone or by e-mail:

We hope to have a lot of participants – especially from movements that are not so often present in the activities.

Attached files:

+ Colloquium2011-CallforParticipants
+ Colloquium2011-ParticipantForm
+ Colloquium2011-Timetable

Training Team for Colloquium 2011

It is a great pleasure to announce the names of the Animator Team for the Colloquium 2011 which is going to be composed by:

– Fani Freri – Greece – on behalf ot the incoming European Team
– Milda Vitkute – Lithuania – on behalf of the hosting movement Ateitis
– Nuno Wemans – Portugal – on behalf of national movmenets (MCE Portugal)
– Mihai Floran – Romania – European Coordinator

Also Fr. Chris McCoy , International Chaplain from IMCS is going to assist the Training Team and will attend as expert the Colloquium.

The Preparatory Meeting will take place in December 2011 in Paris, France and will prepare all the needed document for this event.

Call for animators for Colloquium 2011

I have a pleasure to invite your movement/federation to nominate candidates to be animators for the Colloquium Integral Education and Christian Faith”, which is taking place from 9th till 13th March 2011 in Kaunas, Lithuania.

Please, find enclosed all the documents related to this process (Animators’ file and Application form for animators). Please read them carefully.

The deadline to send application form is 15th October 2010. The application form, filled in by the candidate, should be send only by e-mail to Any application send by other means will not be taken into consideration.

After the selection of animators, it will be a common task of the Animators team which we expect to be composed of 5 persons (2 from the European Team, 2 from the National Movements and 1 from the local organising movement) to develop the subject of the activity further, to find ideas to involve the local reality in this regard and to design the concrete program and timetable.

We would like to inform you as well that the Preparatory meeting will be most likely held Paris, France or in Kaunas, Lithuania in November or December 2010 according to the Animators’ team availability.

Please find attached the call for animators, the animator file and the Application Forms for the candidates.

I hope that it will not take long for you to find a candidate among your members. I would like to stress once more that it is a good opportunity to work in a multicultural team and to gain the experience for your future.

Attached files:

+ Colloquium2011-AnimatorsCall
+ Colloquium2011-AnimatorsFile
+ Colloquium2011-AnimatorsForm

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