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Orthodox and Catholics « Around the Same Table »



Lycées Léonins of Athens: The Vocation of lay marists

02/03/2012: Greece - Photo gallery

On Saturday 14 January 2012, the Lycée Léonin of Patissia hosted a Session of reflection on the theme:  “The Vocation of lay marists” as it is presented in the book: “Gathered around the same Table”.

The Session, which had the  participation of all the members of the teaching and administration staff of the two Lycées Léonins – Néa Smyrni and Patissia – and of all the members of the  Marist Fraternities (nearly 340 persons in total), aimed at studying the real meaning of the Vocation of the Lay Marists and the way in which this  Vocation is linked with the Institute of the Brothers. The ultimate aim of the Session was certainly to assure the strengthening of the Marist Vocation at present and its growth in the future.

The Head of the establishment of the Lycée Léonin of Patissia, Mr Dimitris Kostas, opened the Session by referring to the true role of the lay person who desires to commit him/herself to the Marist educational project and the deepening of Marist spirituality. The Session began with a projection, in plenary session, on the fundamental principles dominating the book «Around the same Table» and continued with a homily on the Vocation of the Christian in the Church and in sociéty.

Just aterwards, all the participants were divided into small groups. The moment had come for us to sit «around the same table», the colleagues of the two Lycées Léonins and the members of the Fraternities, to express our reflections and share our points of view and our experiences on the spiritual aspect of our mission in a Marist establishment or in a Fraternity. Each group was made up of a dozen people, divided into pairs, and each pair presented to the  group a specific chapter of the book. Then, each member of the pair expressed personally what had touched him/her most in reading the book or a spiritual experience lived as a call to the mission.

So one can say that the Session began well before a 14 January, since each pair had to study the book and collaborate to prepare the presentation of the chapter designated by the Marist  Formation Committee. This procedure offered everyone the opportunity to meet, reflect and share in pairs and then in small groups on what it means to be a lay person engaged in a Church and/or in a Marist establishment, called to a mission and to live this mission in a Christian community. It needs to be noted here that all the participants, members of the two Lycées Léonins, are Christians who belong to two Churches, the Orthodox Church (the great majority) and the Catholic Church. This coexistence is a great spiritual richness for us and a sign of unity for our separated Churches! God calls us to journey together, at this moment in history, and to share our spirituality to commit ourselves to children and young people, especially the most disadvantaged.

At the end of the Session, a meal was offered to all the participants, to give us another opportunity to sit «around the same table»,to share not only the delicious food but also our experience of this day.

In the planning already made for Marist formation, provision had been made in the near future for a second session of reflection on the book «Around the same Table», given that many of our colleagues expressed an interest in deepening certain chapters and that this document is  extremely important for the animation of the vocations ministry.

In one paragraph of the book we read that: «We Brothers and Lay people have much more in common than particular differences in our vocation. We both share the beauty and the limits of the human condition at this particular time. We live the same Christian vocation through baptism, and we have felt the call of God that drew us to the Marist charism.» We hope that this Session has been for each of us an occasion of spiritual formation and deepening of our Christian vocation, a day of encounter with God and with the persons who are our collaborators, our companions, our confrères on the voyage of our supreme mission.


Marist Formation Committee

Lycée Léonin of Néa Smyrni
Kokkalaki Maria
Laskaratou Sophia
Markessinis Panagiotis
Zouras Pantelis

Lycée Léonin of Patissia
Br Roussos Georges
Filippoussis Georges
Kostas Jean
Sestrini Angéla

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