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Wherever consecrated persons are, there must always be joy

 

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Encounter of Religious Brothers in Rome

29/10/2015: Italy - Photo gallery

“We are all Brothers” is the theme under which 133 religious Brothers from 21 male congregations gathered on Saturday afternoon, Oct. 24, at the general house of the Brothers of the Christian Schools at Via Aurelia 476 in Rome.

To mark the Year of Consecrated Life, these congregations of Brothers, dedicated primarily to education, health and missions, wanted to meet to celebrate the vocation of being a Brother.

The undersecretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, Father Sebastiano Pacciolla, accompanied this meeting as well as the secretary general of the Union of Superior Generals, Father David Glenday. They both offered warm greetings to the participants.

The keynote of the encounter recalled the objectives that are leading the celebration of the Year of Consecrated Life: “to look to the past with gratitude, live the present with passion and embrace the future with hope.”

They shared together moments of their own experiences of this vocation. A video prepared for the occasion offered images of the many activities that the brothers do in different countries and cultures.

The gratitude for the vocation to live the gospel with fraternity and the Pope’s words for this Year “awaken the world,” welcomed as a challenge for their life right now, had special resonance.

Around the remains of Saint John the Baptist de La Salle, present in the beautiful church of the house that welcomed them, they celebrated that brotherhood and giving one’s self to each person, as a result of the love received from God and of following Christ, is good news in a world that needs these values to maintain hope. 

The meeting stressed the Brother’s vocation as a current vocation. The meeting recalled the recent award given to the Brothers of Saint John of God, the Princess of Asturias Awards, which is the highest national award in Spain for humanitarian values. The prize has been awarded particularly for their exemplary welfare work in the fight against Ebola in which 18 Brothers and collaborators died, and for their attention to refugees at this moment.

Although the Brother’s vocation has been reduced in terms of total number of members, they are more widespread throughout the world and they are still necessary as a memory of equality and service in a divided world, unequal and with so many people in need. 

The prevailing mood was of joy, a joy born of fraternity, with which one lived every moment of the encounter.

In this sense, the words of Pope Francis in his letter “Rejoice” – “wherever consecrated persons are, there must always be joy” – have come true.

Superior general Brother Emili Turú and several other Marist brothers participated in the encounter. Director of the secretariat ‘Brothers Today’ Brother Tony Leon produced the following video, shown at the event.

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