VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 11, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Here is the description of the World Organization of Former Pupils of Catholic Education which appears in the Directory of International Associations of the Faithful, published by the Pontifical Council for the Laity.
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Official name: World Organization of Former Pupils of Catholic Education
Acronym: OMAEC (Organisation Mondiale des Anciens et Anciennes Élèves de l’Enseignement Catholique)
History: The idea of setting up associations of former pupils of Catholic schools — some of which date back to the end of the 19th century — came about in 1960 at the Eucharistic Congress in Munich, Germany, presided over by Cardinal Agostino Bea. He encouraged the delegates of the European former pupils of Jesuit schools to organize themselves in order to give a more institutional form to their witnessing to Christ.
The representatives of the existing groups created a Commission of International Understanding and Study which, in 1967, led to the foundation of the world Organization of Former Pupils and Teachers of Catholic Education.
Recognized by the Holy See as an international Catholic organization, OMAEC is a member of the Conference of ICOs.
It is linked by a protocol of understanding with the Catholic International Education Office. In its capacity as a nongovernmental organization, OMAEC has consultative status with the U.N. Economic and Social Council, UNICEF, the International Labor Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization, and operational status with UNESCO.
Identity: The priority objectives of OMAEC are to support the Catholic school in its commitment to providing a comprehensive education for the human person and the dissemination of a culture inspired by Christian principles.
The former pupils, which OMAEC represents at the international organizations, are called to cooperate in the pursuit of its purposes by service to the Church, which means a social commitment imbued with the principles that inspired the education they have received.
Organization: OMAEC is officially governed by the General Assembly, which meets every three years, coinciding with a congress convened to study specific issues; the Executive Committee, and the Executive Council, made up of the delegates of the member organizations, whose meetings are attended by a representative of the Youth Commission established by the organization in 1987.
The member organizations can also establish continental unions (there are two at the present time: Unaec for Europe, and Ulaec for Latin America and the Caribbean).
Membership: OMAEC comprises 11 international organizations, 12 national organizations, and two continental unions, to which about 150 million people refer worldwide, some from other denominations, who have received their education at Catholic schools.
Publications: Nouvelles OMAAEEC, a half-yearly newsletter
The member organizations have their own publications (for example Confederex, published by the Italian Association, and Cofaec, published by the French Association)
Organisation Mondiale des Anciens et Anciennes Élèves de l’Enseignement Catholique
c/o Pontificio Istituto Pio IX
Via Cavalieri del Santo Sepolcro, 1
00193 Roma — Italy
© Copyright 2006 — Libreria Editrice Vaticana [adapted]