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Sense of Internationality

“All the dioceses of the world enter into our views”. These words of Marcellin Champagnat inspire the sense of internationality in our Institute that Br Emili Turú highlights in his circular1. Marcellin had a broad view of the Marist mission: he was a “man without borders” , who regretted not being able to physically go to the very antipodes to spread the Good News of the Gospel. Only obedience stopped him, but in the last years of his life he did his best to convey that missionary fire to the first brothers and send them, together with Marist Fathers, to Polynesia itself.  

Soon the brothers, out of their own initiative or due to various historical events, some of them forceful and tragic, were distributed across five continents, until reaching presence in over 80 countries. In recent documents of general chapters, this internationality has been encouraged, not only for the brothers but for all Marists of Champagnat.

This is how the following has been emerging: the proposals of the Mission Ad Gentes, the participation in various forums and international bodies for the defense and protection of the rights of children, solidarity, justice and peace, education and interreligiosity, the implementation of international communities, the formation of international committees with representation from the various provinces to “revitalize the Marist mission through new ways in education, evangelization and solidarity.”

The Marist Institute is inspired by a spirituality of communion and fraternity to go alongside internationality, building a Church with a Marian face and of the apron2. “The depth of the compassion of God challenges us to be men and women with a heart without boundaries, since God, in his infinite love, continues to be passionate about man and today’s world with its drama and hopes3.

The recent establishment of the Secretariat of the Collaboration for Mission International (CMI, 2012) has wanted to promote a missionary conscience that exceeds the geographical boundaries of our countries and administrative unites, as well as facilitate the mobility of persons in the service of the mission”4. The sense of internationality looks to widen the Marist heart to the dimensions of the world, and make the Institute more international and intercultural each day.

Internationality is knowing how to live fraternal listening and dialogue, as well as knowing how to accept the invitation of sitting around the same table. Internationality is walking among the consensus, taking on the differences, watching from complexity and standing in the same Spirit. Internationality is expressed in different languages and cultures, in a shared spirituality, in hands that work together, in the same dreams and the same hope5. Internationality is turned into an invitation for all Marists of Champagnat. “If you feel called to give some of the years of your life to the service of the Marist mission beyond the borders of your province or country, I encourage you to take a step forward and show your availability”.6

1 Cf. Br Emili Turú: To the Ends of the Earth. Collaboration for Mission International. Letter to the Marists of Champagnat, Rome, 2 January 2013, p. 1, where it states:“When one visits for the first time the house of the first Marist community in La Valla or spends a few days at the Hermitage, this question arises: How could Champagnat, in the midst of these narrow and isolated valleys, have such an open mind as to say that “all the dioceses of the world enter into our views”?.”

2 Br Emili Turú: Circular He gave us the name of Mary

3 Document Water from the Rock. Marist Spirituality, 2007.

4 Br Emili Turú: Hasta los confines de la tierra… p. 15.

5 Cf. Water from the Rock, 121: “In a multi-cultural and multi-religious world, there is an urgent need to develop intercultural structures that show how to live this reality constructively.”

6 Br Emili Turú: Idem pp. 18-19.


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