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Revitalization of the Champagnat Movement

08/04/2013: Mexico

The International Commission for the Revitalization of the Champagnat Movement of the Marist Family met in Guadalajara (Mexico) on March 18 to 22. This Commission consists of eight Marist members, six laypersons and two brothers: Ana Sarrate (Province of Iberica, Coordinator of the Commission); Patricia Ríos (Province of Western Mexico); Agnes Reyes (Province of East Asia); Edison Jardim De Oliveira (Province of Rio Grande do Sul); brother Adalberto Amaral (Province of Brasil Centro-Norte); brother Javier Espinosa (Director of the Secretariat for the Laity); Alfredo García (Province of Mediterranea); Michel Beaulac (Canada).

We experienced from the start a warm welcome from the brothers and laity of the Province of Western Mexico, and that famous verse of the Spanish song Familia Marista became a reality indeed: “Wherever there’s a brother, I’ll be sure to find a home”.

The task we faced was not easy: we had to collect the answers to the questionnaire that was sent out – in the first stage of the process – to all the places in the world where the CMMF operates, and from there, based on facts, look for clues to revitalize the movement. We worked with data collected from 156 fraternities and from other places where the movement is not present yet.

With the summary of the answers, we produced a proposal, which will be sent back to the fraternities for them to make it concrete, explicit and provide additional input. We hope this material will be motivating and will generate hope.

The members of the Commission felt like a Marist community literally gathered around the same table. We tried to listen to the feelings of the fraternities from across the world in order to find answers. Much life experience coming from the richness and diversity of our fraternities was placed on the table. We did a lot of discussion, arrived at consensus, and often laughed together. But above all, we felt the presence of the Spirit helping us overcome differences in culture, language, and ways of seeing and doing things. And we joined in the same call to build the Kingdom of God with our particular Marist flavor.

Each evening we gathered in the cozy CEPAM chapel and, with an intense sense of community, we entrusted the life of all the Marists of Champagnat to the Good Mother. We have lived a strong family spirit at meals, while doing the dishes or sharing a joke, during the breaks or as we spent time chatting.

We are pleased with the work done so far and face the new stages of this process with hope. We assume with an attitude of faith the task of revitalizing the Champagnat Movement, and together with Saint Marcellin and the Marist from the entire world, we keep telling Mary: “This is your work”.
Revitalization of the Champagnat Movement

_____________________
Alfredo García

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