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“A New Beginning: Hope it means something”

 

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Meeting with youth in three different cities

11/05/2018: Australia

The director of the Brothers Today secretariat, Br Tony Leon, spoke to youth in three different cities in Australia – in Sydney on April 24, in Melbourne on April 26 and in Adelaide on April 27 – on the topic of hope.

Under the theme ‘A New Beginning: Hope it means something’, Br Tony deconstructed the word hope and its various interpretations for today, using his skills as an artist and a story teller in an informal atmosphere. 

“I mentioned the importance of taking a pause for contemplation, for waiting,” he told the general house communications office on May 4. “This is necessary to allow time for us to find meaning or simply to have faith that there is meaning in all the chaos, which we cannot understand at this moment.”

During his presentations, Br Tony told the youth that the verb “hope” in Italian, Spanish, French and Portuguese is synonymous with “wait”. 

“The act of hoping is the same as waiting,” he affirmed. “I compared the fact that we are not good at waiting for anything or anyone today as technology has almost cancelled the need to wait.”

He told them that “the fallout is the effect it has on us to allow time to hope and used the example of ‘binge watching’, the phenomenon of not waiting to watch a TV series week by week.” 

“People now prefer to wait and buy the whole season and watch the whole series in one hit. We are tempted to “binge watch” our lives,” he continued.

Br Tony stressed that to hope is to have faith in ultimate meaning, adding that people who lack meaning in their lives are susceptible to depression – the major cause of illnesses today, according to a report of the World Health Organisation in 2017.

“This is connected to the rising number of self-harm amongst young people in developed countries,” he stated. “So, hope is important for both spiritual and physical well-being.”

In his talks, he spoke about the Brothers in Rwanda, the martyrs in Congo, the Marist history in China and the lives of young people following the High School massacre in Florida under a Christian and Marist perspective. 

He also touched on the potency of hope in current times and what it means for the shared future of Marists, especially in light of the calls of the XXII General Chapter and the upcoming Vatican’s Youth Synod. 

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