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Marist Brothers Vocation Weekend - 2-4 th July Mittagong

 

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27/07/2010: Australia

 

Marist“What do you want?” “Who do you say I am?” “Do you love me?”

Three seemingly simple questions, when taken in the context of a religious vocational story, demand serious discernment and considered responses. These were the questions posed to several young men in different stages of formation for the Marist Brothers. They were invited to present their responses to other young men in conversation about possible religious vocation at a weekend held early in July at Marist Hermitage, Mittagong.

The young men spoke with honesty and conviction demonstrating a deeply personal journey, which articulated authentic lived experiences of God in their different stages of life. Br Justin Golding, a temporary professed brother, answered these questions in context of his current ministry in Lismore. Br Patrick Connell, a novice preparing for his first profession, described an intimacy with God, reflecting a contemplative youthful heart. Daniel Lynch, a postulant completing his honours degree, expressed a desire to continue to embrace these questions into the novitiate. Ashley Higgins, an aspirant, approached these questions as a desire to continue to unpack what God’s call involves for him and is not daunted by whatever the demands may be, knowing that others are with him on this same journey.

When confronted with these questions, a young Queensland man enquiring into the life of the brothers said,

“What is lacking in the 21st century is a greater sense of spirituality. Coming from a family, which has a strong spiritual leaning, I have come to appreciate that this is an important part of my life as a young person. I attended a Marist school where I encountered the brothers and I found that the way they educated me made me seriously see that spirituality is an important part of my life. We need people like these brothers to continue asking us these questions when it comes to our relationships with God.”

Some responses from the young brothers on the weekend

Why do we need brothers today?

“We need people to challenge the cultural norms of society and religious brothers offer a living witness to be counter cultural by living the vows we profess. Our particular mission as Marist brothers is to make Jesus known and loved amongst the young especially those most neglected is more relevant now than ever before.” Br Justin Golding

“To be brother in the 21st century is an invitation to explore a contemporary reflection of the church and to develop a relationship with Jesus through ministry with young people; especially in the area of nurturing a modern perspective of faith.” Ashley Higgins

Describe this Vocation Weekend.

“It was a weekend which allowed open and frank discussions about God’s call and saying ‘Yes’. It was also an opportunity to affirm the vocational question that various individuals are experiencing in their respective lives and how this question is lived together in a community of faith.” Br Justin Golding

“It was about listening to stories of those who have walked and are walking the path which I am considering and gaining valuable insights of their own personal responses. The different young men in their different stages of formation demonstrated how going on this journey has helped them to discover themselves in their relationship with God.” A young man in our contact program

“A fantastic opportunity to break open the endless question of discovering one’s vocation with people from every stages of the vocational and formation journey.” Ashley Higgins.

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PHOTO CAPTION:
Our young brothers in training: Standing: Ashley Higgins -Aspirant, Daniel Lynch - Postulant, Gerard Barklimore Postulant Sitting: Br Patrick Connell -Novice, Br Justin Golding - Junior Professed.

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