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Fraternity Nossa Senhora da Penha


Vila Velha - Brazil
Prov. Brasil Centro-Norte
Created on 1998 - 16


Twelve years ago, the seed for the Champagnat Movement of the Marist Family was sown amongst us.  Br. Cardoso was with us at Vila Velha and he spoke to us on the principles guiding the movement.  It was at the end of August 1998 and we had just received colleagues who had arrived recently from II CEFORMAR (Centre of Marist Formation for the Laity).  Six of us were in it.  And being `ceformarist` was above all to discover Champagnat and inspire ourselves with his ideas.

The movement arose as a way of holding a lighted flame which was lit at CEFORMAR and of living the ideals which made Champagnat a saint who does not belong only to the Marists but to everyone. Having a heart without limits, he belongs to the Christian world. 

It was thus under the impulse of Angelo Brás Bissoli, our director at the time, and with the participation of six `ceformarists`, that the first step was taken towards implantation of the ChMMF.  In the beginning, the participants were the director (this was the animator) the six `ceformarists`, two students, a former Marist Brother and other teachers.  We got together every month and  practically all the members of the group were present.  All received the agenda for the meeting day which included a special time dedicated to spirituality through prayer, reflection and sharing.  We sing religious chants and traditional Marist hymns.  We always use the Marist calendar.

Outside of meetings, we are always speaking of our concrete actions and it is from this that derive all our realizations.  In general, we participate in all the educational events and at the moment the only form of collecting in funds is participation in the `Festa Junina` (of St. John) where we run a stand of `Canjica` (preparation of sugar on a base of white maize and milk).

The last two years (2009 and 2010), we have maintained the monthly meetings.  The presence of the members of the fraternity is not constant, for most of them have taken on pastoral undertakings in the movements and communities of the Catholic Church, and they have often to assist at meetings.  But even so, they have not lost contact with the group.

Presently we are occupying ourselves with the family of a young paraplegic, who can only count on a little help from the INSS and on the support of his mother. She looks after the household and lately has been suffering.

We rely on the regular presence of Br. Raymundo amongst us.  He is our spiritual force.  Following changes in the Direction of the Marist establishment, we are receiving  a magnificent welcome on the part of the school.  Our contacts have dried up somewhat, but we have a room exclusively for our meetings and a space adequate for stocking and classifying our material.

We have participated, with the grace of Mary, our Good Mother, at the Meeting for the Fiftieth Anniversary of the ChMMF in Brasilia. This was a strong time of trial, organization, sharing and re-dynamisation.

We have decided to have two monthly meetings instead of one, in accord with our internal regulations.  We have also agreed to participate in the Pastoral and Teaching  day of the Marist establishment so as to make known the ChMMF and gain new members for our fraternity

And finally, we can say that we are going forward, sowing in our midst the ideals of our Founder, relying on the blessings of God and the protection of St. Marcellin and of Mary, our Good Mother.

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