On 14 August, we had the election of a new General Council for the Teresian Association. It took place at the end of the 19th General Assembly which concluded in Santa María de Los Negrales on 15 August. Their mandate is for five years, until the 20th Assembly.
The members of the new team are, in alphabetical order, Carmen Aparicio Valls, Berta Balaguer Vega, Elisa Estévez López, Lurdes Figueiral da Silva, Susana González Rea. From among the six members of the new council, the assembly members elected Maria Rita Martín Artacho as vice-president. They will accompany the TA president elected yesterday, Gregoria A. Ruiz, in the task of governance.
María Rita Martin Artacho (1954, Benamejí, Córdoba, Spain). She got to know the Teresian Association when she was a student teacher in Cordoba. She worked for six years teaching Spanish immigrants in Belgium. On her return to Madrid, she was coordinator of the ACIT Youth Movement. She did systematic studies in Theology and obtained a Licentiate in Dogmatic-Fundamental Theology at the Pontifical University of Comillas. She has held administrative and leadership positions in the TA in Spain and has worked in training and development at a general level. She headed the ACIT Department, based in Rome, where she became very acquainted with the ACIT Associations in the countries where the TA is present. She has also been academic director of the Josefa Segovia University Chair. From 2012 to 2019 she worked at Loyola Andalucía University as director of the Department for Evangelisation and Dialogue. She was a member of the General Council in the period 2018-2023.
María del Carmen Aparicio Valls (1954, Cartagena, Murcia, Spain). She studied Mathematical Sciences at the Complutense University of Madrid. After a few years of teaching in Alicante, she studied Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, where she obtained her doctorate with a thesis on Revelation in Gaudium et Spes, published under the title La plenitud del ser humano en Cristo (The Fullness of the Human Being in Christ). From 1989 to 1999 she worked at the Pontifical Council for the Laity, in the Youth section. After completing her doctorate, she began teaching theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University, where she held the Chair of Fundamental Theology from April 2015 until her retirement in September 2022. She is currently secretary to the TA president. Since 2011 she has been collaborating in the biblical-theological training course for lay people that is part of the Cobre project in the diocese of Holguín (Cuba).
Berta Balaguer Vega ((1971, Larache, Morocco). She holds a degree in Business Studies and an MA in Business Studies (Financial Services). She has been a member of the Teresian Association since 1993, and has lived in Spain, Ireland, Bolivia and India. She has worked in the Colegio Mayor Poveda in Cordoba (Spain), in social projects in Santa Cruz de la Sierra (Bolivia) and in Honnavar (India). In India she also worked for an outsourcing company. She has been part of the General Administration team and has been administrator and council member of the sector Nuestra Señora de Covadonga (Spain). She has studied Theology in Ireland and India and Psychology in Spain. Trained in accompaniment based on the Sapiential Philosophy. Since 2013 she has been accompanying people and groups in contemplative prayer. Currently she is still training in philosophical counselling and Gestalt theatre, as a path of self-knowledge and creative transformation.
Elisa Estévez López (1958, León, Spain). She holds a PhD in Theology from the University of Deusto (Bilbao) and a degree in Biblical Sciences from the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. She is currently a lecturer in the Department of Sacred Scripture and Church History at the Comillas Pontifical University (Madrid). She is also part of the RUAJ team of spiritual accompaniment where she offers accompaniment to people and takes part in seminars and courses organised by the team. She is part of the LIDE team (Leadership in Discernment for Ecclesial Organisations) organised by the Comillas Pontifical University. She assists in the courses and in the accompaniment of the people who participate.
She has lived in different cities in Spain and also in Italy (1987-1990) where she undertook biblical studies and formed part of the team of the Villa Ximenes University Residence. During the years 1990-1995 she lived in Guatemala and coordinated a programme for rural leaders and community animators in Petén. She also taught at the Rafael Landívar University and at the National Major Seminary of the Assumption. She has served in various capacities in training and governance in different parts of the Teresian Association and on the General Council (2012-2018). She is currently the TA representative to the Pedro Poveda University Chair (Salamanca, Spain).
Maria de Lurdes Figueiral da Silva (1959, Porto, Portugal). She has a degree in Mathematics and a Master's degree in Mathematics for Teachers. She has been a teacher of Mathematics (secondary and high school) in public schools in Portugal since 1984 and has been a member of management teams.
In 2002/2003 she carried out research in Brussels in the field of emotional mathematics, focusing on issues of identity and citizenship in multicultural contexts. In the summer of 2004 she was a guest lecturer at the Universidad Simón Bolívar in Caracas in a postgraduate course for mathematics teachers. She is a founding member of EDIW (Education for an Interdependent World). She has been an advisor to the National Education Council, an advisory body to the Portuguese Parliament and Government, and president of the Portuguese Mathematics Teachers' Association, between 2012 and 2022.
In the Diocese of Porto, she has collaborated in various departments, including University Pastoral Ministry and Culture. She was Coordinator of the Diocesan Pastoral Council of Porto and National Coordinator of University Pastoral Ministry. For the last two years she has been president of the Council for Culture of the Teresian Association. She was previously a member of the team.
Susana González Rea (1965, Montevideo, Uruguay). She holds a degree in Psychology from the Catholic University of Uruguay. She has a degree in Educational Sciences from the Salesian University of Rome. She holds a Master's degree in Prevention of Sexual Abuse in Ecclesiastical Environments from the University of Mexico, and an International Diploma in the Safeguarding of Minors and Prevention of Abuse from the Institute of Anthropology at the Gregorian University in Rome. She works in direct care and counselling in the areas of psychology, education, training, safeguarding, pastoral care, accompaniment of communities and work teams. She is part of the training and care team in the academic section of CEPROME Latinoamerica (Interdisciplinary research and training centre for the protection of minors in Mexico).
She has lived in Montevideo, Rome and Madrid. She has held responsibilities in the Teresian Association of Uruguay in the areas of educational management, training and governance. In the international field she was a member of the General Formation Department (2006-2012) and was its coordinator between 2012-2018; she was director of the Santa Maria Course in the period (2011- 2018). She currently coordinates the TA International Advisory Panel that monitors our Policy on the Safeguarding of Children, Adolescents and Vulnerable Persons. She was not a participant at the 19th General Assembly.
The 19th General Assembly, named the Centenary Assembly -- as it was held six months before 11 January, the 100th anniversary of the pontifical approval of the TA --, concluded on 15 August.
TA Translation Team