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The new evangelizationis an invitation to not stand around with your arms crossed

 

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Interview with Emili Turú, Superior General of the Marist Brothers and Auditor at the Synod

02/11/2012: General House

During the seventeen days of the XIII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, there is one group representing diverse sectors of the Church, of society and of other religions. They speak of their experiences, make interventions, but above all they listen… We refer to the “auditors”, about 50 of them, who form an official part of this event, important for the future of Catholic evangelization.

One of the auditors is Brother Emili Turú, Superior General of the Marist Brothers, with whom ZENIT dialogued about his experience inside the Synod Hall. He shares his vision after most of the sessions have been held and shortly before its closing by Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday, October 28 (By José Antonio Varela Vidal – Taken from Zenit).

 

It is said that the Synod has been a privileged opportunity to have new experiences and to encourage one another for evangelization. Do you agree?
--Brother Turú: A meeting of this dimension is always a great opportunity to experience the richness of internationality and diversity not only of the Catholic Church, but also of other Christian churches, given the wonderful presence of fraternal delegations from other denominations. And yes, it is an occasion for having new experiences and, above all, for meeting new people, many of them of exceptional quality.

There are some who say that they arrived a certain attitude and ideas, and leave with others, Has this happened to you?
--Brother Turú: An experience like this does not leave you indifferent. Everything has been very intense and rapid-fire, so I think I'm going to need some time to digest it and reflect on some ideas that seem especially important to me. In my case, I don't consider it a matter of great changes in attitudes or ideas, but more of questionings that I need to deepen.

From what you have heard regarding the new evangelization, what do you consider most urgent for these times?
--Brother Turú: What is most urgent is for each baptized person to take seriously our Christian vocation and live it in depth, not as a burden, but through the conviction that it is the path that leads to full self-realization. To be disciples of Jesus, called to live in community, who witness above all by the quality of their lives and their commitment. And it also seems me extremely important to be very attentive to the signs of the times, through which the Spirit speaks to us.

And which practices should be gradually set aside for lack of results or lack of acceptance by the people? 
--Brother Turú: I am not very sure that I can speak of practices that should be abandoned, but certainly attitudes: for example, the arrogance of presenting ourselves as persons or institutions that already know it all, that have answers for everything and don't need to learn from anyone. From the experience of the Church in recent years, we should learn to be humble, to approach other people with respect, disposed to allow ourselves to be evangelized by them… Dialogue is fundamental, not as a strategy, but as a basic attitude.

Where are the proposals of the Synod headed these days? Is there a lot of expectation from the people by the "new" things that are going to be proposed to the world of the Church...
--Brother Turú: I don't think it's realistic to expect great new things from a Synod, given the characteristics of a meeting of this type and the methodology used. I see the Synod as an invitation to be creative on the local level, as an invitation to reflect, pray, discern… and act! The Synod will not have been of much use unless in each diocese and in each Christian community they begin to ask themselves what is the meaning of the new evangelization, and to what is the Lord calling them.

And the final Message?
--Brother Turú: I believe that the Message of the Synod has an overall positive and encouraging tone, but it also contains a clear invitation to not remain with our arms crossed … It's not a matter of what the Church can do for me, but of what I can do for the Church.

How was education dealt with?
--Brother Turú: The Synod has not yet finished… but I am sure that there will be a clear recognition of the Catholic educational institutions as clear places of the new evangelization. Some bishops have clearly stated that, given the reality of its context, the most important point of reference for evangelization is not the parish, but the Catholic school. For many children and youth, that is going to be the only possibility of contact with the Church. If we say we have to go where the young people are… We already have in our Catholic educational institutions around 56 million children and youth! ... we must use this excellent platform, without forgetting the other many young people outside our institutions, especially those who are marginalized.

Will there be suggestions?
--Brother Turú: As far as suggestions go, I believe it's going to be very important, if we really want our educational institutions to be focus points of the new evangelization and "Courtyardof the Gentiles", to have adequate formation and accompaniment for the educators.

And at the level of religious life?
--Brother Turú: The Synod recognizes the important contribution of the consecrated life to evangelization, in the present as well as in the past. In many places around the world, the first evangelizing was done by the labors of men and women religious. What is hoped today is that we continue faithful to our mission, as much for what we are as for the development of the mission. In a special way, we are invited to full availability to go to "frontier" places, whether they be at the geographical, social or cultural level … May we be up to welcoming and accepting the challenge!

At ZENIT we are celebrating our fifteenth anniversary. What message might you have for our readers?
--Brother Turú: The readers of ZENIT are people interested in ecclesial life and who, therefore, I believe, don't need too much advice. But yes, I would pose a question to them: Most of the news you receive is about events or people who are far away, most probably unknown to you…,In what news item would you like to be the main actor in the future?And yet a second question: what is impeding your being the main actor in thisnews? Excuse for forwardness, and happy anniversary!

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ZENIT - http://www.zenit.org/article-43444?l=spanish

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