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The province of Canada celebrates the 200th anniversary of the Institute

27/05/2017: Canada

May 20, 1789 - Birth of Marcellin Champagnat... May 20, 2017 - Marists of Canada celebrate 200 years of the Institute. Sought coincidence? Rather a “wink” of Providence that has allowed this celebration to coincide with a long weekend in Canada, which facilitated the presence of many lay people in this family celebration.

The Marist Association of Laity (AMDL), seconded by the Provincial Council and the CAP (Pastoral Animation Commission), organised of this meeting.

The chosen place united the past with the present we are currently living: it took place at the ESMC (Marcellin Champagnat Secondary School), which from 1929 to 2002 was the provincial house, scholasticate and juniorate of the Marist province of Iberville, two steps away from the “cradle” that welcomed the first Marist Brothers in America, in 1885.
Three stages were designed for this feast: the actuality of the Marist charism; gathered around the same table and thanksgiving.

At first, a video conveyed the testimony of a dozen lay youth of both sexes and other groups of young people, that emphasised the imprint left on the laity by the brothers who had educated them and of those who had discovered that they, too, could and should be bearers of the values of Champagnat in the world today.

A picnic allowed us to meet again, Brothers and lay people, gathered around the same table...

It was followed by a recording of the testimonies of 20 Brothers who narrated, in all simplicity, their discovery of the Marist life and the sense of their commitment of yesteryear and present.

The event ended, naturally, with the thanksgiving of the Eucharist that brought together everything that had been experienced during the day and in the 200 years of Marist life in Canada and in the whole world.

Brother Charles Howard in his circular on the Champagnat Movement of the Marist Family was right when he said: Marcellin’s charism does not belong to us, it is a gift of the Spirit to the Church.

The brothers have lived this charism during these 200 years, but for a long time, we see that the laity assume with us the responsibility to ensure its continuity. We have felt it in this celebration of 200 years and for this we give thanks.

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