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Brother Seán visits the Province of Brasil Centro-Sul

30/10/2006: Brazil - Photo gallery

The Brother Superior General of the Marist Institute, Brother Seán Sammon, after having visited the Province of Rio Grande do Sul, came to the Province of Brasil Centro-Sul from the 1st to the 15th October. Among other activities, he participated in the Meeting of Social leaders of the Province of Brasil Centro-Sul at Florianópolis, SC, in October. The event was marked by the pooling of activities that took place in the units of the Social Sector during 2006.

Brother Seán attended presentations made by the Social Units on the services offered in the domains of Child Education, of Complementary Education and of Regular Education and then he gave to nearly sixty participants a talk whose principal subject was solidarity and how the spirit of Champagnat is alive among the laity.

Brother made an appeal to the participants to assume responsibility in the mission, using as an example the works carried out with young people and adolescents employed in the Social Units. “Champagnat does not only belong to the Church and to the brothers. He belongs to all those who are committed to his mission. We can note a great difference in the lives of young people with whom we work. You are not only improving the life of these people, you are proclaiming the Kingdom of God. You work with the children and young people who live in the suburbs and who lack many things. And they are interested in what these structural, profound changes do, and they can already see the results of their work. This work is going to continue and it will take a lot of our energy. Some people will feel disturbed when the changes commence to interfere profoundly in the reality of things. But changing the social reality is what the Gospel tells us,” said Brother Seán.

For Brother Seán, the work carried out in the Marist units is of extreme importance, principally for the villages in developing countries. “In a few parts of the world, poverty is so general that any programme can be considered as social,” he commented. And he insisted on the necessity for finding meaning in this work; it’s from there that we draw our strength. For that, we must consider our mission as a part of the mission of the Church.

Brother Seán also spoke to the participants on the way in which the Vatican sees the figure of Champagnat. “One week before the canonisation, we received in Rome to visit of a journalist who told us: “You perhaps do not have the dimension of the way in which the Church sees Champagnat. For you he is a brother, but for the Church he is a true saint.” I did not know to what he was referring until I saw the image of our Founder in the Vatican, on the exterior wall of an apse designed by Michelangelo. That has a very special meaning for the Church.”

Brother Seán explained that when Champagnat spoke with the teachers, he asked them to pray for their work, in a period when education was in ruins. He asked them to be amongst children, in a period during which a great distance existed between the teachers and the students. With that he showed that the seculars must grow in family spirit.

Brother Seán finished his talk with the words of the prophet Habakkuk: “The mission has a meaning. And this mission makes us finish our work until its last consequences. ‘If that drags along, hope: because it will come, certainly’ so that you will accomplish it.

Leaving Latin America, Brother Seán continued his visits to the Provinces, passing now through the United States of America from the 18th to the 28th October.

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