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Marist mission assembly in the Province of Rio Grande do Sul

13/11/2006: Brazil

On the 19th October, more than one hundred representatives of Marist units gathered in the auditorium of Rosário Marist College to participate in the Provincial Marist Mission Meeting. Since the start of 2006, various groups had met to discuss the international theme of the meeting: One heart, one mission.
Gathered together for a day of reflection on the Marist mission, the participants started the morning with music, under the direction of Clodoaldo Júnior, Santiago Días, Guilherme da Rosa and Brother Vinícius Tenedini ; then a video on Marist action followed. The objective as the moderator recalled was to indicate that “the mission necessarily passes through the heart.”

Then everyone sang the national anthem and then everyone shared heart shaped key rings that had been offered at the entrance to the auditorium, as a sign of the links of friendship which needs to be part of all the groups. The prayer of the day was animated by the team from the Ministry Centre of PUCRS.

The reflections started with two questions: What time are we now living in the Marist Institute? What are we asking of God during this time? For two minutes the participants were able to discuss these subjects with their companions.

The artistic moment of the meeting remained under the responsibility of the song and dance groups of the Cesmar Marist Social Centre, of Porto Alegre. Children and adolescents performed music and dances which represented the joy of the children and the differences between people. After their performance, the young people descended from the stage and greeted the participants.

Talks
The talks, which aimed at inspiring the participants, started with the words from the Provincial, Brother Lauro Hochscheidt. The Provincial greeted the benefactors and members present and he showed the important work realised by the groups in discussing the subject of the Assembly, highlighting at the current moment the presence of the laity of the Province. “Today the presence of many laypeople committed to the mission is to be noted.”

Then, we heard a message recorded by the Superior General of the Marist Institute, Brother Seán Sammon, during his stay in Brazil in September. In this talk, Brother Seán highlighted the importance of following the heritage of Champagnat by working with children and young people, especially those most in need.

Diversity as an enriching factor in shared experiences, the involvement of laypeople and the experience acquired as a Brazilian representative in the International Marist Mission Commission marked the talk of the administrator of the Marist Province of Brasil Centro-Norte, Dilma Alves. “Diversity cannot be an impediment, rather it must be a stimulus because it is an element that enriches experiences,” declared Dilma relating to her participation in the Commission.

The Marist identity of brothers and laypeople was the subject covered respectively by the director of Rosário Marist College, Brother Firmino Biazus, and by the leader of the Champagnat Movement of the Marist Family (MChFM), Sérgio Schons. In the words of Brother Firmino and of Sergio, there was agreement that, in order to consecrate yourself to the Institute, either as a brother or as a layperson, it is necessary to have four dimensions in your journey: prayer, community life, apostolate and Marist apostolic spirituality.

In finishing the morning’s activities, the Vice-Provincial, Brother Solymar Amaro, and the co-ordinator of Marist Youth, Brother Vinícios Malfatti, spoke of their experiences within the Marist Institute. Brother Solymar spoke of the importance of education and the cohabitation with social activities while Brother Vinícios highlighted in his talk the experiences among young people and his stay in Africa.

The meal was with the Rosário community, and in the afternoon we recommenced the work with the presentation of Provincial information which will be sent to Mendes/RJ for the occasion of the Marist International Mission Assembly.
Then the participants were divided in groups to discuss the changes to be introduced into the information which was followed by a plenary session. A thanksgiving celebration closed the meeting.

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