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Marist Bulletin - Number 108

 

Expanded General Council - Region of Europe (Day 4)
28.11.2003

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CAN WE EUROPEAN MARIST BROTHERS BE BORN AGAIN?

The meeting of the expanded General Council concluded with work done Thursday morning, November 27th. There were three parts to the day’s agenda: a) analysis and approval of the Council’s message, including action plans; b) a talk by Brother Antonio Leal on the Conference of European Provincials (CEP), of which his President; and c) time for comments and questions, evaluation and thanks. This final day ended with the Eucharist, the source of our fraternity, and a festive meal.

The Assembly’s message: Recreate our Marist identity for today’s Europe
The assembly discussed and debated the text, both for the message and the proposals for courses of action. A few amendments were introduced, which secretaries of the language groups incorporated into a single document, approved by majority vote. The message is filled with interesting reflections concerning a Marist rebirth in Europe. Once this document appears in its final form, we will publish it in a future edition of the Marist Bulletin.

Conference of European Provincials (CEP)
Brother Antonio Leal, Provincial of Portugal and President of CEP, submitted a proposal to the assembly from CEP’s standing Committee, which is working on plans for a new European Marist organization. The restructuring of our Marist Provinces in Europe, to be completed on January 2, 2004, requires an organization adapted to today’s world. Questions followed, focusing on the calendar, how lay people will be involved, and the location and frequency of future assemblies.
A report was presented on decisions taken during the last meeting: to hold a gathering of young Marist brothers in April 2004 at the Hermitage, to find a brother who will bring Europe closer to the brothers and the brothers closer to Europe…
Brother Seán announced the sad news that Brother Antonio’s father had passed away this very morning, and expressed his condolences on behalf of the assembly.

Open-ended session
- Brothers Théoneste Kalisa and Ernesto Sánchez – respectively, General Councilor in charge of the Vocation Ministry Commission and Secretary of that Commission – reported on the Marist Vocation Year (September 8, 2004 to August 15, 2005). They distributed a paper containing information about the significance and organizational details for this ambitious undertaking.
- Brother Emili Turú, General Councilor in charge of organizing this week’s meeting thanked the Central Council of the Spanish Marist Conference for its invaluable work and assistance.
- Brother Lluís Serra, Director of Marist Communications, presented a report on the creation of the new official Web site of the Marist brothers and the new model for exchanging information that our Provinces are putting in place.

Evaluation and thanks
Using a single word or short phrase, each brother appraised what this gathering had meant for him, precious expressions from the heart.
Brother Seán Sammon thanked Brothers Fabricio Galiana and Francisco Castellanos, translators; David, the technician; and Brother Santiago Fernández, who arranged transportation from the airport.

At the conclusion of Mass, celebrated today as on previous days by Father Manuel Barahona, Missionary of the Sacred Heart, Spain’s Council of Provincials presented each participant with a ceramic gift made in Triana, Seville.
A delicious dinner brought this meeting of the expanded General Council, Region of Europe, to an end.

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