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Sharing Champagnat’s Vision


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06/09/2005: New Zealand


SharingOver the last 7 or 8 years, Marist associated schools in New Zealand have been invited to send teachers to the Sharing Champagnat’s Vision programme organised and run by the Melbourne Province. Some forty or so teachers from schools from Auckland to Invercargill have responded to this invitation. Usually this means a journey to Melbourne in Australia for the three day course. This year, however, the Melbourne team travelled to Auckland in New Zealand. Fifteen teachers attended, two from schools represented for the first time.

They formed an enthusiastic group, fully sharing into the spirit, and valuing an increase in the knowledge of the life of St Marcellin and his charism, in order to share their experiences with their colleagues and students.

The live-in course gathered together a cross section of staff, including Principals, Directors of Religious Studies, teachers from our Glenfield Centre, deans of year levels, assistant teachers and administration staff. They represented various denominations. Within an impressive and warm spirit the participants entered generously into the vision and work of the programme. Centre pieces included a small piece of rock from “that rock” behind the Hermitage. Topics ranged from hearing each other’s life story in a Marist school and Marist traditions, a touching into Marcellin’s life and his letters, a Marial reflection to an “interview” with two of the participants giving a more detailed and personal comment on their Marist heritage.

On the second day, the seminar’s programme focused on Education in the Champagnat Tradition, realities, challenges and call for Champagnat educators today, and the practical implications for each person’s ministry in Champagnat education. On the final day, the course concluded by time being set aside to think about the implications in one’s life, a missioning liturgy, and presentation of certificates and Marcellin memorabilia.

Fr John Allardyce S.M. presided at the Eucharist on the second evening. John led a very special liturgy where we were joined by a number of Brothers from about the Auckland region.

I have been able to touch base with several of the course members. They are enthused and eager to carry on the work of the programme into their classes and staff rooms. They express similar responses to the other teachers who have attended this programme over recent years. All can be heartened by their willingness and generosity to proclaim Marcellin’s charism in their schools.

Our expectation is that the course will again be scheduled for New Zealand in 2007. In August 2004, fifteen teachers who had attended the course in the past, gathered in Auckland at a follow up course, Living Champagnat’s Vision.

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