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Archbishop Jorge C. Patrón to Marists: ‘Become like children’

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The feast of Saint Marcellin Champagnat, the founder of the Institute of the Marist Brothers, was celebrated worldwide on June 6 – including at the general house in Rome, Italy.

Around 130 brothers, laity, friends, the superiors of the three other Marist branches, and members of other religious congregations took part in a Mass at the main chapel, followed by dinner.

The Eucharistic celebration was presided by former Marist student Archbishop Jorge C. Patrón Wong, currently the Vatican’s Secretary for Seminaries of the Congregation for the Clergy, and concelebrated by superior general of the Marist Fathers, Father John Larsen, and Father Ottavio Laino, of the Order of Minims.

In his homily, Archbishop Patrón stressed that “the most important thing Marcellin taught us is to become like children (...) because a child lets God cuddle him, he lets God love him.”

“Because when one lets himself be loved by God he can love others, you cannot love if you do not receive, welcome, accept it as a lay person, as a consecrated, as a priest,” he added. “We are not here because we are better (than others) but because we are overwhelmingly loved by God’s merciful love.”

Archbishop Patrón spoke about the importance of questioning one’s self each day on what one has learned and what one has shared or testified during the day.

During the Prayers of the Faithful, laity and brothers put together an image of the face of Saint Marcellin under the altar.

At the closure, Superior general Brother Ernesto Sánchez thanked everyone for attending and stressed the importance of “rediscovering the meaning of fraternity.”

He also touched on the Bishops’ Synod on the Youth, titled ‘Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment’, which will be held Oct. 3 – 28. The Institute was invited to take part in a pre-synod meeting, promoted by the Pope, with young people.

“As we celebrate his life and legacy on June 6, today, let us rediscover his attentive eyes and his compassionate heart (…) and our commitment to those who are in the peripheries,” concluded Br Ernesto. “May Our Lady, the Good Mother, accompany us on this mission as she did with Marcellin.”

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