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Canonization of Marcellin Champagnat


 


 



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Fifth day of the Laity Continental Commissions Meeting

 

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Friday, October 7

08/10/2016: France

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The penultimate day of the Laity Continental Commissions Meeting was marked by the theme of Brothers and Lay communion. It was assumed that the Marist future is based on a community of people around the charism of Champagnat, where the specific vocations of lay and consecrated people are mutually enriched.

 

The initial prayer was held in the room used by the first Brothers of the community of Hermitage and animated by Pedro Chinchilla (Central Mexico) and Matt Fallon (United States). Using elements of North-American native tradition, the group was invited to integrate all the elements of life, the 4 cardinal points, along with looking at the ground, the air and the interiority.

 

The first part of the morning was led by Marta Eugenia Martínez (Notre Dame of Hermitage), Br. Sylvain (Madagascar) and María Torres (Norandina) and dealt with the Brothers and lay communion. Br. Sylvain questioned the group, asking if it is possible to live an integration among Brothers and lay people. Marta told to the group her life experience in the mixed community of Hermitage and the difficulties and values that they experience living this lifestyle.

Before moving to work in groups, a video showed how collaboration lets us reach the goal easily.

The team summarized the discussion on the theme “Communion way” into 5 proposals, which were shared with the groups: charismatic family in communion perspective, promotion of concrete forms of communion, pathways to lay autonomy and maturity, centers or schools of spirituality that promote communion, and charismatic and economic sustenance. The groups were invited to consider the proposals, suggesting changes or approving them.

During the second part of the morning, was continued the theme of communion among Brothers and lay people, focusing specifically the initial and ongoing formation processes. Participants were helped by Agnes Reyes (Philippines), Br. Tony Leon (Secretariat Brothers Today) and Br. Teo Aller (Compostela). The starting point was the principle that the following of Jesus in the Mary’s way is a unifying element of the identity of laity and Brothers, so must be there common formation spaces where both of them enrich each other and support themselves in their specific vocations.

Two testimonies served as motivation for reflecting on the proposals to be presented to the next chapter: Moisés Beltrán told his experience as a lay Marist in Ecuador and Claudia Rojas, from the experience of her family, pointed out that to invest in joint formation is bet on the vitality of the Marist charism.

Before moving to the groups, Br. Tony proposed a reflection taking as a basis the theory of “Borromean rings”, which is a composition of three interlocking rings in such way that if one of them is taken away, the other two become incomplete. As this composition, various elements of Marist life don’t makes sense without the others: the Trinity; mission, community and spirituality; the three levels of the La Valla building; the three years of preparation for the Bicentenary...

Then, in groups of Brothers and lay people, were analyzed the four proposals pointed out by the Forum Initial formation for a new beginning, held a year ago at this same place: creation of a Formation Guide, joint vocational animation, preparation of Formators and international centers of ongoing formation open to laypeople.

The morning work ended with a circular dance, reminding “the dance of the mission”.

 

After lunch, the group visited the La Valla house, place of birth of the Institute, 200 years ago. It was a special moment, characterized by prayer, meditation and sharing of Marist history. The community prayer was made in the old chapel of Our Lady of Mercy, that can be considered the place of the first vocational crisis of the institute. There the participants prayed asking for the Marist vocation not cease ever to grow into the people’s hearts.

The walk to Hermitage, followed by a time of sharing in small communities, crowned the sixth day of the meeting.

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