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Marist Bulletin - Number 116

 

Marist Calendar for January - Br. François Year (VII)
29.12.2003

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THE MARIST CALENDAR FOR JANUARY


In this Marist Bulletin we are publishing the Marist Calendar for January, which appears each day on our web site www.champagnat.org

1 Feast day of Mary as Mother of God – World Day of Peace - 1818, Antoine Couturier, the 4th brother in the Institute, joined the community in La Valla – 1909, the first Bulletin of the Institute was published
2 1817, ST. MARCELLIN FOUNDED THE MARIST BROTHERS at La Valla – 1923, the first Marist Brothers foundation opened in El Salvador
3 Marist Saturday: specially dedicated to praying for the Marist Family
4 Second Sunday after Christmas –
5 First Monday of the month: remembering our deceased Marists
6 The Lord’s Epiphany – Day for celebrating African Cultures – 1814, Marcellin was ordained a Subdeacon in Lyons – 1960, first Marist foundation opened in Sarawak, Malaysia
7 John Paul II: “The road to peace lies in the defense and promotion of basic human rights”
8 John Paul II: “Peace and progress can only be achieved by respecting the universal moral law”
9 1863, Pope Pius IX formally approved the Constitutions of the Marist Brothers – 1902, a process leading to Marcellin’s canonization was begun – 1999, a papal consistory authorized Marcellin’s canonization
10 1838, the first Marist missionaries arrived in New Zealand - Marist Saturday: specially dedicated to praying for the Marist Family
11 The Lord’s Baptism
12 1993, the first Marist Brothers arrived in Koumra, Chad
13 John Paul II: “A greater awareness of universal human duties would greatly benefit the cause of peace”
14 John Paul II: “The question of peace cannot be separated from the question of human dignity and human rights”
15 1925: The first Marist Brothers left for Venezuela – Day of human solidarity
16 John Paul II: “The suffering caused by poverty is compounded by the loss of trust”
17 Marist Saturday: specially dedicated to praying for the Marist Family
18 Second Sunday in Ordinary Time – January 18-25: Beginning of the Octave of prayer for Christian Unity
19 1959, First Marist Brothers foundation opened in New Guinea – John Paul II: “Peace is not essentially about structures but about people”
20 John Paul II: “Religion has a vital role in fostering gestures of peace and in consolidating conditions for peace”
21 1952, First Marist Brothers foundation opened in Rwanda – 1996, Brother Basilio Rueda, Superior General 1967-85, died in Guadalajara, Mexico
22 1881, Brother François, first Superior General of the Marist Brothers, died at the Hermitage in France
23 John Paul II: “A desire to nurture peace by spreading a spirituality and a culture of peace”
24 Marist Saturday: specially dedicated to praying for the Marist Family - Feast day of St. Francis de Sales, patron of journalists
25 The Conversion of St. Paul – Final day of the Octave dedicated to prayer for Christian Unity
26 John Paul II: “The failure to keep commitments in the sphere of aid to developing nations is a serious moral question and further highlights the injustice of the imbalances existing in the world”
27 Day of children’s involvement in mission – Day of mourning the Holocaust
28 Feast day of St. Thomas Aquinas – 1947, the first Marist Brothers left to begin work in Portugal
29 World Day of people suffering from Hansen’s Disease – John Paul II: “Promises made to the poor should be considered particularly binding”
30 1948: Mahatma Gandhi, apostle of non-violence, was martyred – School day for promoting non-violence and peace
31 Feast day of St. John Bosco – 1950, Creation of the Marcellin Champagnat Missionary Union


BROTHER FRANÇOIS’ YEAR (VII)
6 june 2003 – 6 june 2004


Br. Giovanni Bigotto

THIS SPECIAL YEAR IN HONOUR OF BROTHER FRANÇOIS: HALF WAY THROUGH


We began a year centred on Brother François on 6 June 2003. Our desire is to know him better and to reserve him a greater room in our hearts and prayers.
Fruitful initiatives were taken here and there in the Congregation to give a substance to this special year.
Do not hesitate to share with us and the whole Institute by telling us how your province or your community have managed to give more room to Brother François. How enriching it would be to gather up our experiments; it is so easy by internet!

INITIATIVES

1. Booklets These booklets present Brother François’ life; they explain the reasons for this special year. They offer a celebration enriched by many texts written by Brother François. Nearly 10 000 booklets were sent to the provinces.

2. Pictures: Marker-pictures with relics were printed. Nearly 20 000 were requested from different parts of the Institute. The reverse of these pictures offer two prayers.

3. Monthly messages: These messages are sent at the end of each month in the Marist News Bulletin with the Marist calendar of the following month. They reproduce two texts from Brother François and some of his prayers.

4. Book: A new book on Brother François has been published in French. It is currently being translated in other languages. That book allows us to read some of Brother François’ letters and to learn through new testimonies his very fraternal and human aspects.

5. Novenas: Many novenas have been made since the start of this special year: in the United States, in France, in Canada, in Italy, in Chile and in Belgium. The Manziana Third Age Group made a novena for a Mexican confrère suffering from cancer.

Brother Jacques Larouche (Canada) composed an excellent novena with meditations and prayers, Brother François’s maxims, a daily page that gives Brother François’ biography and treats on the main aspects of François’ spiritual personality.

6. François’ Life Studied: Saint Victoret’s Fraternity, near Marseille decided to try and improve its knowledge of Brother François: its members will study new features during each of their meeting for a full year.

7. A statue: Since 1996 at Samabaia, a satellite city of Brasilia, our Brothers have been running a school for three hundred poor children. Brother François was chosen as that school’s patron. Brother Egidio Luiz Setti plans to have a beautiful statue sculpted.

8. Workshops: Three workshops on Brother François have been planned: at the M.I.C. in Nairobi, a training centre that numbers around eighty Brothers from Africa and Madagascar, at Save, (Rwanda) at our French Speaking noviciate and at Kutama, in Zimbabwe in our English speaking noviciate.

9. Writings: Many magazines published short articles on Brother François, as ‘Contacto Marista’ did in Chile.

10. Internet Presence: Our Chile’s former students have inserted Brother François in their web page, ‘Red Informativa Marista’ that numbers 3 000 subscribers.

11. A Favour: Mrs. Michelle Sylvester, after a visit to Brother François’ grave had prayed to him for a long time in her desire to give birth to a child. She is now the proud mother of a boy named, Daniel Gabriel. Mrs. Michelle Sylvester is a teacher in our Capetown School, South Africa. She had been among pilgrims who went to visit the Hermitage in 2001.

12. Prayers: Many Brothers revealed through e-mails that they were praying to Brother François every day – specially to obtain vocations.

All these initiatives in honour of Brother François are wonderful; he is our Brother; he walked on the holiness path with great humanity, like a Little Brother of Mary.

We are sure many other initiatives have been taken in our Marist family. If you kindly inform us, we will gladly edify the others.

We sincerely hope that the remaining six months will be as rich in fraternal love and in prayers as the first ones have been.

Brother François’ first biographer, Father Ponty, wrote,

“I did not meet anybody better: a man of God who, according to Saint Champagnat’s motto, did good without any noise and a lot of good – a long-lasting good to his Congregation, to his country and to his Church.”

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