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21 May

Saint Eugene de Mazenod
1789: Saint Marcellin Champagnat was baptised at the parish church in Marlhes, on the feast of the Ascension.

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International Communities for a New Beginning

 

The Lavalla200> 2017 group concludes its programme at L’Hermitage

Cmi

24/07/2017: General House

After nearly two months at San Martino a Monte, the last formation week of the second group of the Lavalla200> project, held from June 29 – July 2, was an intense experience “in the footsteps of Champagnat,” treading on the land where everything began, walking on his paths, praying in front of the same images and places that had inspired his soul.

The last two days, dedicated to personal synthesis, were under the guidance of Br Hipólito Pérez: “Take off your shoes, this is sacred land!” Was his invitation to the participants, repeating the gesture of Moses on Mount Horeb where he received his mission face to face with God.

In silence, each participant had the chance to reflect on the experience at San Martino a Monte, on the “new beginning” to which they are called to give life... and to make an in-depth synthesis of a strong personal experience.

But above all it was a community experience and has changed (probably definitively) the way of being Marist together: Brothers and laity, diverse generations, language and culture, distant from each other… Yet the unity that was experienced has been so strong, so full, so contagious that it really made us feel “one body.”

And this is what everyone emphasized when sharing what they experienced, while remaining concrete and giving suggestions to further improve the formation proposal for the next group in 2018.

Br Emili, Superior General, also shared the two days of synthesis before seeing everyone gathered in front of Champagnat’s urn and before repeating each of Marcellin’s gestures: “Go and be Mary’s presence ... in Tabatinga (Brazil), Atlantis (South Africa), East Harlem (United States), Moinesti (Romania) and in the Marist District of Asia. Before giving each participant a small Marist cross, he recalled two Biblical expressions: the first, which is very well-known, was: “Do not be afraid!” and the second, which Paul told Timothy: “The Lord trusts you!”

And on the last day, we were all in the Basilica of Fourvière, in front of the “Good Mother,” to give her thanks and to make our promise, like Champagnat and the first Marists did:

For us, Marists of Champagnat, be part of the program Lavalla200>2017, has been a privilege, a gift and a dream. A privilege because of the challenge of coming to know and appreciate the diversity among us and to discover the mystery of each other. A gift because we lived together in fraternity and discovered the other as a sister or brother. A dream because we have shared the richness of our Marist Charism in a sincere and profound way…

We commit ourselves: to dedicate regular times to go into the “deep well within” and to draw inner strength from the Holy Spirit… To live as an intercultural community enriched by the different cultures, being patient and humble when difficulties arise, and being united by our vocations and shared dreams… To be a significant evangelizing presence among children and young people who live in situations of vulnerability.

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