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The «Marist Forum 2012» of the province of Canada

08/01/2013: Canada

The 2012 edition of the now traditional « Marist Forum », organized by the Marist Movement of Québec (MMQ), was held from 16 to 18 November at Cap-de-la-Madeleine. This visionary assembly is intended to be the annual meeting of the whole Marist world of the province of Canada. This year, the theme « Voyagers to the Marist heart » was the point of departure of fine exchanges, and it also paved the way for following up an important discussion on a new unifying structure for the Marist laity of the province.

 

Impressive !

For many, it was the first participation in such an event. One was struck by the unity of the group : difficult to distinguish the brothers from the laity in the room, so well were all integrated in a single fraternity. Around the same table took on its full meaning...

hat was then noticeable was the good humour and family spirit typical of the Marists, This joyful malady which it seemed everyone had caught, fueled by the «skipper» Robert and his  «ship’s boy» Véronique, our two lay persons responsible for the animation. Between outburts of laughter, the testimonies of faith and trust in Mary brought us to a communion of intimacy impressive for a group verging sometimes on 100 persons!

 

Voyagers...

The Marist world is a more and more international space, and our current Provincial Council shows an audacious vision: it wants Canada to take a new place in Marist international exchanges. Do you find that strange for a province which has had no new brother for more than 40 years? Yet it is this situation which is causing us to develop expertise for evangelisation in a secularised society, by laity and for laity. So our brothers and laity are travelling more than ever, and the theme of the Forum has allowed many to share the riches of their experiences. For example, the striking testimony of the young pilgrims from the schools who went to the Hermitage last summer...

But what is a Marist voyage? Some similar questions were sown, and the external voyage led us to become aware of the interior voyage.

 

...To the Marist heart

The second part of the theme was wisely chosen : the expression «Marist heart» is, in fact, one of the spearheads of the Marist world today, which is seeking to make Marcellin’s charism open to all. And here, that is bearing fruit!

A little history... During the general assembly of 2011, the AC of the Marist Movement of Québec (MMQ) received the mandate to «launch the process for forming an autonomous lay Marist  association and to study the spiritual, human and financial implications». The sub-committee responsible for this mandate reached a consensus for the corporation of the Marist Association of Iberville (AMI) to serve as the base for the creation of this association. That would be the factor of unity for all the Marist laity of the province. Starting with the corporation of the AMI, there would then be the creation of a great corporation of persons desiring to work at the Marist mission.

The process was then launched towards legal accreditation of the future Marist association and its adaptation to cover and represent properly all the laity. That involves a widening of membership to laity, brothers, priests, while making a place for the corporate members. This new association will bear the name of «Marist Lay Association», a proposal  accepted unanimously.

During the general assembly, it was proposed that a committee work to assure the transition towards the new association. In the meantime, the current members of the AC of the MMQ have agreed to prolong their mandate to the formation of the new association, which should take place during the general assembly of the AMI in April 2013.

 

Things are moving!

So you see that things are moving for all who have the Marist heart in the province of Canada! We all left this Forum, more united and more decided than ever to continue the voyage towards our new lands, despite the difficulties and uncertainties, since our Good Mother is with us and draws our attention to the One she always has in her heart...

_____________
Louise Fortier, president, Marist Movement of Québec.

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