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Marist Bulletin - Number 121



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On life’s pilgrimage
The new Province of Compostela was formally inaugurated on January 2, 2004 in Valladolid, Spain. More than 200 brothers attended, from the three former Provinces of Castile, Leon, and Portugal. Brothers Seán Sammon, General Superior, Luis García Sobrado, his Vicar, and Emili Turú and Peter Rodney, General Councilors, also were there. Seán and Luis spoke on choosing life.
After that, the first provincial chapter got underway, consisting of 32 brothers and 10 lay invitees. Issues examined concerned vitality and government animation, brothers and communities, the animation of brothers and the laity, economic and legal matters and the Christian interchange of goods, and mission.
The province’s priorities for the next three years are: to offer paths to human development and conversion for brothers and lay people; go forward in solidarity with the least favored (in new communities, in schools, with each center committing itself to a local social project), being with young people in ministry programs for youth and vocations, and building province unity and diversity.
The Council to work with Brother Primitivo Mendoza, Provincial was elected on January 6th. Its members are Brothers Máximo Blanco, José Calleja, Raúl Figuera, Nicolás García, António Leal, Óscar Martín, Diamantino Duque, and Miguel Rey.
There are 285 brothers in the province. For more information visit their web site at:

Note: This completes news that appeared in the previous edition of UPDATE.
At a ceremony in Madang, Papua New Guinea, on December 20th, the new District of Melanesia came into existence. This District is the fusion of New Caledonia – Vanuatu (a District of the former Province of Beauchamps – St.Genis) and Papua New Guinea – Solomon Islands (a District with links to the Provinces of Sydney and Melbourne). The Merging Liturgy occurred towards the conclusion of a double event: the General Council Retreat for the District, which was followed by a District Assembly. The Assembly enabled the Brothers of the new District to get to better know each other and the ministries of the District.
The District consists of 66 Brothers. There are 11 temporary-professed brothers working in the District. 11 more Brothers are at MAPAC in Manila doing their post-novitiate formation, and another 5 have just been professed at the novitiate in Fiji. So, over a third of the District is made up of young brothers in temporary profession.

All of us build hope!
The 13th provincial chapter of Western Mexico was held on December 26-30, 2003. Brother Víctor Preciado began his service as Provincial animator and thanked Brother Enrique Escobar Zúñiga for his outstanding dedication to this important mission over the last six years. The 22 delegates, 4 alternates, and 28 observer brothers were in attendance. The six commissions that have been set up with the participation of delegates and observers are: vocation ministry, initial formation, the life of the brothers, mission, solidarity, and administration and government.
The new Provincial Councilors are Brothers: José Luis Bustamante Penilla (31 years old); Manuel Franco Jáuregui, Vice Provincial, 49; Javier López Godina, 49; Eduardo Navarro de la Torre, 53; Miguel Ángel Santos Villarreal, 52; and Luis Enrique Rodríguez Santana, 38. With the slogan All of us build hope! this first session of the chapter has been experienced in open and fraternal dialog. The commissions are now preparing their proposals for presentation at the second sessions that will be held within the next few months.

Our Marist mission in Europe
A colloquium on “The Marist mission in Europe” was held at the Hermitage December 27-30, 2003. Convoked by the Mission Commission of the General Council, it coincided with the hundredth anniversary of the Combes law, which had two important consequences for the life of our Congregation
Using the slogan “Sharing history, building our future” the Colloquium brought together 40 people – brothers and laity – representing today’s five provinces in Europe and members of the General Administration. Brother Seán Sammon, General Superior, was present on December 28th to preside over a ceremony to honor the brothers of France for their contribution to the Institute arising out of events in 1903. He dedicated a ceramic mural that has been installed at the Hermitage.
This is precisely what the Colloquium had in mind – to express gratitude for what Marists in France have contributed to the entire world and to examine our Marist future in Europe.
This Colloquium is to be seen in the framework of a process that will lead to the celebration of an International Assembly of Marist Mission in 2007. Prior to that, in addition to Europe 2003, regional gatherings are being planned for Africa in 2004, Asia-Oceania in 2005, and the Americas in 2006.

Meetings at the General House
January 3-6, under the leadership of Brother Théoneste Kalisa, Brothers Gaston Robert, Antoine Kazindu, Alain Delorme, and Maurice Goutagny met at the General House to plan for a 5-month spirituality course for French-speaking brothers.

As called for by the General Council, the Bureau for International Solidarity (BIS) began a rather long and detailed period of review the week of January 11-15. Br. Chris Wills, director of the Sydney Province’s Marist Asia-Pacific Solidarity (MAPS) office, Sr. Caroline Price, a Sister of the Good Shepherd and director of her congregation’s International Secretariat for Justice and Peace for all Creation, and Mr. Pablo Villalba, Associate Director for Projects for SED, the Marist NGO of Spain form the review team.
The team will review the services of the office as they have developed over the past eight years and make recommendations as to how to better improve it’s work and plan for the future. BIS was established in 1995 based on the recommendations of the delegate of the 19th General Chapter in 1993. It is responsible for several areas of work including projects, education and animation for justice, peace and solidarity.
The consultation will be wide. Over the next six months, the team will gather input from the General Council, the General Administration, Provincials and District Leaders, Solidarity Contact Brothers, NGOs and external funding agencies. The team is expected to have its report ready for the General Council by their summer plenary meetings.

Assistant General 1958 to 1976
Brother Paul Am-brose Fontaine, a member of the Province of the United States of America, died in Miami, Florida on Saturday, December 27, 2003 at the age of 90. He was a Marist Brother for more than 75 years.
Brother Paul was assigned to Marist College, at that time known as Marian College, from 1943 to 1958. During that time he served as Master of Scholastics and Dean of the school. He was responsible for leading the transformation from a two-year training school to a four-year institution.
From 1958 to 1976 he served as Assistant General in Rome. He returned to the United States in 1976 and served as superior of the retirement community in Lawrence, Massachusetts. After that, he was involved in many projects to help raise money for the Marist Missions.
In the late 1980’s he went to Liberia as an assistant to the Bishop in Monrovia. In 1989 he returned to the States after contracting malaria. At that time, at the invitation of Marist College President Dr. Dennis Murray, he returned to the College in Poughkeepsie where he served on the Board of Directors. In 2000, he moved to the Brothers’ retirement house in Miami where he continued his correspondence to raise money for the Marist missions.
Brother Paul has a sister, Mrs. Lucille Civilik, and several nieces and nephews, including Brother Paul Bernard, FMS at Archbishop Molloy High School in New York.

Meeting in Manziana, Italy
The General Councilors of the Marist Congregations come together once a year. This year they met in Manziana, Italy on January 16-17.
For the first time since they were elected in 2001, almost all Council members were present. Each Council presented an overview of its life and activities and those of its Congregation. In addition, the four mixed commissions (Marist spirituality, formation, justice and peace, and lay Marists) shared their thoughts and work done throughout the year.

MAPAC – Marist formation center
There are 37 student Brothers for the 2003/2004 academic year. However, 14 Brothers in their third year have returned to their home countries (during October 2003) for the last semester of practical teaching. So currently there are 23 first and second year student Brothers living in the center. Half of the present student Brothers are from Papua New Guinea, the rest are from India, Philippines, Korea and Solomon Islands. There are 4 “fraternities” of student Brothers, each with a staff member as Animator. There is a separate fraternity for the teaching staff. There are 8 Brothers on the staff for the new semester.
It is expected that we will have 37 student Brothers for the academic year 2004/2005, and the projected figure for 2005/2006 is 38.
As is the practice for many years, there are also a good number of external students from several Religious Congregations (about 20 Sisters, and one Brother) who join in the academic programs at MAPAC.

Golden Jubilee of Brother Patrick
At the end of last year Brother Patrick Bwana, community superior at the high school in Mtendere, Malawi celebrated the Golden Jubilee of his religious profession. He was the first Malawian to become a Marist brother and this month turns 84 years old. Nowadays he works in programs that help the poor and handicapped as well as orphans. The motorcycle lets him get around and carry out these labors of love.

Brazil and Marist District of West Africa
- Marist District of West Africa. Brother Oliver Tata (Cameroon) professed his perpetual vows in December, just as Brother Jean Nvo did in Chad.
- Last November 29th, Brothers James Pinheiro dos Santos, José de Asís Elias de Brito, José Flaviano B. de Oliveira, Luiz André Pereira da Silva, Paulo do Nascimento Sousa y Paulo Gustavo Dias Oliveira professed first vows in Fortaleza, Brazil.

- Lebanon The Marist brothers take care of two secondary schools: Champville in Antelias-Beitur (3,200 students and 270 including teachers and staff) and Our lady of Lebanon in Jbeil-Amchit (2,200 students at two sites).
- Syria This year marks the hundredth anniversary of our Marist work in Syria. Today there is a community of three brothers in Aleppo. They take care of two scout groups, three fraternities, and a group of 37 teenagers.
- Sri Lanka and Pakistan Having 34 candidates who are discerning their Marist vocation, Brother Joseph Peiris points up the need to find accompanists and room to accommodate this process.
- Belgium The Missionary Work of Genval, begun in the 1940s and currently directed by Brother Edgard Iserentant is aiming to raise funds to aid Marist works that are being developed in the Democratic Republic of Congo and from 1952, in Rwanda.
- Hair-raising data: According to a report by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, close to half a million boys and girls were forced to be soldiers, sex slaves, laborers, mules, or spies in 2003.

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