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5th Provincial Chapter of the South Asia Province

30/08/2019: Sri Lanka - Photo gallery

The 5th Provincial Chapter of the South Asia Province, that took place in Sri Lanka, from 22 to 24 August 2019, was a wonderful success, brought about particularly by the openness of the Brothers, the contribution of Lay Marists, the skills of the facilitator Br Graham Neist (from Australia), the presence of Brothers Ernesto Sánchez (Superior General), Sylvain and Josep Maria (General Councilliors), and the guiding hand of the Holy Spirit.

Marists in this part of the world face particular challenges, being small in number and working in Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka, where Catholics form a minority in primarily Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist cultures.

The word “passion” was experienced, particularly on the second day of the three-day process, when Lay Marists addressed the Chapter and shared some of their experiences, dreams and challenges for the Brothers. With their many work and family responsibilities they stretch themselves, feeling a passionate call to reach out to many in the local community – for example, those affected by the Easter bombings, particularly Marist students and family members who were injured or killed. With passion they continue to support Young Marist leaders, guiding their outreach activities with poor children and young people, and with ecological projects in our region. And with passion they called for greater involvement in the lives of the Brothers and vice versa.

The chapter took up these challenges, as well as some renewed emphases, by committing to appoint Teams of Brothers and Lay to work in Vocations Ministry, to work with a process to heal and unite, to energize new forms of Community life, and to form a ‘Think Tank’ to explore more creatively our response to the challenges we face now and into the future.

Chapter delegates took on the role of forming a “delegate’s network”, a web of Marists who will work to promote the actions and directions of the Chapter, with all members being a first point of contact for the new Council.

On the last day, members of the Council were elected, and include Brothers Sunanda Alwis, Devasiri Fernando, Nicholas Fernando, and Lazar Sebastian.

The Provincial, Br Mervyn Perera, in his concluding address, assured those present of his commitment and love for all, and encouraged Brothers and Lay Marists to go forward with daring and hope together.

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