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Fraternity Nossa Senhora da Assunção

 

Fortaleza - Brazil
Prov. Brasil Centro-Norte
Created on 1988 - 12


flamalopes@hotmail.com

Fraternity Nossa Senhora da Assunção - Fortaleza

The foundation of the Fraternity « Nossa Senhora da Assunção » dates from 8 December 1988, when the seed of the ChMMF was planted at a meeting in Apipucos/Recife-PE (former Province of  « Brasil Centro-Norte). Among the participants, there were some families from the ColégioMarista Cearense and other Marist school establishments, who felt attracted by the spirituality of Saint Marcellin.

After the meeting, these persons began to meet monthly, following the directions of the late Br Achylles Scapin. It is convenient to point out that the group was reinforced after the publication of the message of Br Charles Howard, then Superior General (1985-1993), in which he presented the Life Project of the ChMMF, in 1990. Br Charles said: « At the conclusion of the Champagnat Year, I receive you into the Institute as a gift of our Good Mother, and I bless you with all my heart. »

Progress continued through regional meetings, with time reserved for the retreat. It was at that time that the fraternity came to know better spirituality, charism, communion and mission, the elements characteristic of the Champagnat Movement of the Marist Family, as described by Br Charles in his circular. At the end of the 1990s, during the regional meetings, the programme was rich in talks, but lacked a time for the sharing of experiences. In addition, people felt a call to become involved in making concrete gestures of solidarity.

Since the year 2000, we have observed a quite significant spiritual growth in the fraternity, especially because of the regional retreats each year. It also seems very important for us to emphasize the  reformulation of the Life Project, the circulars of Brothers Charles Howard, Benito Arbués and Seán Sammon, as well as the documents Water from the Rock and Around the same table.

Throughout its history, the « Nossa Senhora da Assunção » fraternity has known changes as to the number of its members, and this for many reasons. At present there are 12 of us: 6 women and 6 men. Almost all have worked in or are associated with the former Colégio Marista Cearense. Today none of the members is employed by the Marists. Still they remain firm and even more committed. This is truly irrefutable proof of the fact that, impregnated with the spirit of Saint Marcellin Champagnat, they remain faithful to the charism.

The meetings of the fraternity are held in the Marist Catholic Faculty every fortnight. Nearly all are always present. Given the good level of education, the group has a very great affinity with what pertains to intellectual preparation, the study of the documents of the Church, Biblical studies and social movements, without neglecting Christian witness. Most of the members are engaged in parish ministry.

Throughout the 22 years of trying to live the Christian and Marist dimensions, the fraternity has performed the following activities: work with elderly persons; presence, support and delivery of food parcels to communities in need; material aid to children with cancer; presence at religious celebrations with the Brothers; aid and presence in the ministry to street people; conducting  ENREVI (Meeting of Reflection and Life) for the teachers, workers and parents of pupils of the former Colégio Marista Cearense; annual retreats; decisive participation in the creation of new fraternities; participation in the parishes of members of the fraternity; collaboration with other  fraternities by visits, retreats in common, talks, partnership with the University Ministry of the Marist Catholic Faculty; annual meeting to deepen the spirituality, study and common life with the members of the  fraternity.

We advance firmly, seeking our autonomy and our identity. Every year, we give an account to one another of our progress on all levels. This is due, above all, to the satisfaction of participating in a  Movement where the members can nourish their Christian life in following the spirituality of  Saint Marcellin Champagnat, as well as the guidelines of the Brother Provincial Adviser (Salatiel Franciscano do Amaral), who pays us a visit twice a year, and of the Provincial Co-ordination Team and the ChMMF  Bureau. We underline also the importance of the Internal Regulation which regulates the structure, functioning and relationships within the Movement, and of the Formation Plan, where we find the material for spiritual deepening.

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