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Meeting of the Extended Secretariat of laity in Sydney

10/11/2015: Australia

From Oct. 17 – 24 of 2015, the extended secretariat of laity gathered in Sydney, Australia, for its annual meeting.  The agenda was characterized by the study of topics provided by the Marist meeting with the local reality and coexistence of the group.

The Secretariat was especially focused on the general chapter of 2017, as part of our commitment to set the agenda topics of the Secretariat. This included in particular vocational itineraries for lay people, the linking and belonging processes, the lay association, initial and permanent training processes for lay and brothers jointly and the revision of the life Project of the Champagnat Movement of the Marist Family (MChFM).

Midway, in October 2016, the meeting of the Continental Committees will take place. It is hoped that in this encounter it be possible to pick topics to guide the General Chapter.

The Secretariat organized the meeting for this purpose and has already sent its preparation for the Regions. It is hoped to reach 2016 with a matured reflection. The document “Basic elements for the design of a Global Framework of the Marist vocational discernment for laity” will be the basis for several of these issues.

But certainly, what was most struck all was the Marist life experienced during the meeting. The province of Australia organised several visits and meetings, mainly with the intention of creating spaces for dialogue on the lay vocation, training processes, and the association. The group visited three schools contacting teachers and students; it met with the brothers and lay people in the provincial residence and in the administrative centre; it participated in the Footseps 2 programme, of the formation of the laity in Mittagong; aside from other spaces of living and sharing. In that province of the Institute, it was verified that the Marist mission is carried out with the brothers and laity, in charismatic communion.

For the group, the annual meeting is an opportunity to meet around the table, talk about family and work and pray together. In the beautiful scenery of Sydney, this was all the more attractive. The group thanks Brother Tony Clarke and his team for the encounter.

The group is formed by the director of the secretariat, Brother Javier Espinosa, by two codirectors, Brothers Pep Buetas of L’Hermitage and Tony Clarke of Australia, aside from representatives of the regions: Inés Reyes of East Asia, Patricia Ríos of México Occidental, João Luis Gonçalves of Brasil Centro-Sul and Raúl Amaya of Santa María de los Andes. Brother Sylvain Ramandimbiarisoa of Madagascar was not able to take part. 

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João Luis Gonçalves

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