San Pío V, José Benito Cotolengo y Nuestra Señora de África
The Secretariat of Laity is proposing on its website a set of worksheets intended to bring about reflection regarding the new relationship between brothers and lay people as promoted by the XXI General Chapter. By means of this, the Secretariat wants to offer some hints to address the implications of this new relationship, which is grounded on communion, and entails a common search for a greater vitality of the Marist charism in the present world.
The Chapter specifies there is novelty to this relationship – although it was already there – and indicates some fresh nuances to it. When the Chapter documents use the expression “brothers and lay people”, they imply shared participation in a specific vocation. “Grounded on communion” indicates the breaking down of differences and categories. “Searching together” speaks of shared responsibility, of joining hands. “Vitality of our charism” denotes it already belongs to all.
The reflection process proposed throughout the ten worksheets reminds us that lay people and brothers, while sharing the same Marist charism, have specific vocations at the service of each other; that our diversity is complementary; and that by aiming at communion among us “we are presenting the Marian face of the Church we really want” (B. Emili).
Reflecting on the new relationship between lay and religious Marists at the present moment the Institute is living stands, undoubtedly, as an act of maturity. This is a powerful certainty: the path of unity will contribute to the coming of the Kingdom into the heart of each member, and within the institution as such, subsequently finding expression in its different works. We are not inventing the Gospel. We are joining forces to make it real. Marist future is a future of communion.
This reflection suggested by the Secretariat is an invitation to undergo a process together. Its thematic lines challenge us to deepen our conversion, and are an opportunity for prayer. They are a point of departure for fraternal and sororal dialogue, an opportunity to share what inspires our hearts, and what our eyes envision as Marists. Having the same horizon, and walking together towards it, is what we deeply desire.
Each worksheet includes a text, a motivational PowerPoint presentation, and a number of questions for personal and group reflection, as well as a complementary article or document.