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Meeting of the commission for the drafting of the Rule of life of the Marist Brothers

03/08/2018: General House

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The Commission for the drafting of the Rule of Life, appointed by the General Council, met at the General House from July 17 – 27. Its members are Brothers Aureliano García Manzanal (Mediterranean), Carlos Saúl Corzo Uribe (Norandina), Josep Maria Soteras (General Council) and Seán Sammon (United States).

The Commission aims to give shape and unity to a document already approved in its structure and content by the General Chapter and that was worked on, before the Chapter, by the Commission for the Review of the Constitutions and Statutes.
In the words of Br Aureliano, the aim of the commission is to offer a text “capable of inspiring, that moves us as Marist Brothers”.

One of the texts that oriented and inspired the Commission is Ruth’s response to her mother-in-law, Naomi, when she talks about returning to her village. Promising fidelity, Ruth tells her mother-in-law: “wherever you go I will go, wherever you lodge I will lodge, your people shall be my people, and your God my God (Ruth 1:16).

This passage recalls the fundamental task of Marist life, which is to follow Jesus, and emphasises the sense of community, which is reflected in the “you” and the “I”.

Historical process
The Commission for the Review of the Constitutions presented to the General Chapter the proposal to have two texts that concretely represent the Marist charism for the specific vocation of the Brother.

On Oct. 5, 2017, the Chapter approved the proposal, offering the Institute two texts, Constitutions and Rule of Life, in addition to the Statutes, linked to the Constitutions.

The Rule of Life was approved worldwide on the last day of the Chapter, as a chapter document, leaving the General Council the task of preparing the final draft, aided by the suggestions of the capitulants, and may also be assisted by a commission for its final drafting.

Nature and structure of the Rule of Life
While the Constitutions represent a more static document that defines the state of religious life of the brothers within the Church, the Rule of Life of the Marist Brothers is a flexible document, capable of adapting to the times, with a less formal or canonical language.

The Rule of Life of the Marist Brothers is divided into three chapters: the first speaks of the brother’s vocation, the second of the fraternity and the third of the mission.

Next steps
As previously stated, the document was approved by the XXII General Chapter in regards to its structure and content, and the team is now only improving its wording. The commission needs some time to draft a final text, which will be defined during the next meeting.

It will then be published together with the new Constitutions.

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