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Marist Bulletin - Number 159



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Rome – Communications Department
In November 1840, Br. Francisco takes advantage of the departure of six Brothers to Polynesia to send a letter to the Brothers working in the islands. Among others news he informed them of the death of Fr. Champagnat… Six months later! If we think of the travelling months of these good brothers, we may think of how long time the brothers living in the islands took to be aware of the death of the Founder.
We don’t need to go back to our beginnings, to be aware of how much things have changed in the field of communications. We take advantage of the extraordinary discoveries of the new communication technologies. In this sense the gap o time from the canonization of our Founder to our days is really meaningful. This period of time is marked by the patient an innovating work of Brother Lluis Serra who is leaving the Department of Communications in August 2004. In this job Lluis Serra worked in such a way that he gained the respect and the appreciation of the whole Marist Institute. On behalf of the Brothers of the General Council I want to say “thank you” to you, Lluis for your excellent and efficient service.
As a witness of what I am saying we have:
thousands of pages with a rich content and nice presentation;
a usual use, among ourselves, of the Email;
A web-site as a meeting point of the Marist world. Thank you very much, Lluis.
Brother Onorino Rota from the Mediterranea Province is replacing Brother Lluis. He is very well known in the Marist Family for his extraordinary and efficient coordination task for the canonization of Fr. Champagnat. Thank you to you Onorino, for your great availability and capacity of service. We are sure that your formidable personal qualities will enrich the Department of Communications of the Institute: most welcome and we thank you in advance.
We want to thank all people who in a discrete way will help Onorino in the future, as they did with Lluis in the past. All of you will made real Brother Francisco’ s wish quoted at the beginning of this article: “I’d wish, my dear brothers, that the notes we are writing will cross very quickly the immense space separating us”.

H. Emili Turú
President of the Department of Communications

Rome – Laity Commission
It is with much happiness that I inform you that Brother Superior General and his Council (C 137.5.4), in their meeting of August 10th, have appointed Bro. Michael Flanigan, of the Province of the United States, as Executive Secretary of the Laity Commission for a period of three years, beginning September 20, 2004.
Brother Michael brings to this work of animation, the youthfulness of his 47 years of age, his experience as an educator, Vocation Director and Vice Provincial, his organizational qualities and his ability to get along with others, as well as his facility for language (He speaks Spanish and French in addition to his native language, English), and his love for Jesús and Mary, whom he felt called to follow as a Marist Brother.
We thank Michael for his openness in leaving his important work as President of Mount St. Michael Academy in the Bronx and his work with young people in order to serve the Institute in the area of animation of the Laity for the next few years. We also thank the Province of the United States and Bro. John Klein for their generosity in freeing another Brother for service to the General Administration of the Institute.
As of July, the Commission on Laity is made up of Brothers Antonio Ramlho, Emili Turú, and Pedro Herreros as the Councilor in charge of the Commission. Bro. Michael will assume to position as Executive Secretary in the task of “widening the space of our tent”of the Marist Charism which is found incarnated in the vocations of Brothers and Lay people in the Church.
Hno. Pedro Herreros V.
Chair of the Laity Commission

Marist Vocations Year
Brother Seán Sammon, Superior General, has written a letter announcing the opening of our Marist Vocations Year, set to begin on September. Presently the letter is being printed and will be sent to all Administrative Units at the beginning of August. Entitled “Rekindling the flame,” it is 28 pages in length.
The Vocation Ministry Commission has published a poster featuring the Year’s slogan and logo. In addition to printing these in our four official languages, we have received a substantial number of orders for other languages including Italian, Catalan, Malgache, and Basque.
We have also printed a postcard-sized version of the poster with a prayer on the back. Judging by the orders that have come in, these cards have been enthusiastically received and this encourages us to believe that this special year will be lived with genuine interest and participation.

General Administration Community
Their contracts fulfilled, the following Brothers will be succeeded by new brothers taking up their posts:
Brother Gerard Brereton, English language secretary-translator, returns to his Province in the United States. Brother Ross Murrin, a member of the Sydney, Australia Province, will take over this post.
Brother João Fagherazzi, Portuguese language secretary-translator, returns to his Province of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil. Brother Manoel Soares Silva, a member of the North Central Brazil Province, will succeed him.
Brother Henri Réocreux, in charge of computerl services, returns to the Hermitage Province in France. His duties will be divided up among remaining members of the community.
Brother Lluís Serra, Director of Marist Communications, returns to Catalunya, in the Province of the Hermitage. Brother Onorino Rota, from Italy, a member of the Mediterranean Province, will succeed Lluís.
Our gratitude to those who are returning home, and a warm welcome to our newcomers!

Note: Since people use various E-mail addresses to contact this Communications Service, please keep in mind that beginning in August Brother Onorino Rota, as the Service’s new Director, will be the exclusive recipient for the publica@fms.it address. Anyone wishing to contact Brother Lluís Serra should use lluis.serra@interfree.it or lluis.serra@fms.it

The Reserved Area on our web page
The Reserved Area on our www.champagnat.org web page is now open for the Marist brothers. To this point, a little over 60 brothers have signed on. Besides having different information at their fingertips, users will find sections involving participation and discussion.
At their discretion, Provinces wishing to do so can include their Council reports as well as publications in the reserved or open area, to provide information for a larger audience. You will need to send these texts, in either Word or in PDF format, to: publica@fms.it

- July 1st marked the Tenth Anniversary of the death of Brother Chris Manion. In June his Province of West Central Europe dedicated several articles to him in its Bulletin No. 15. Some of these articles will be included in an upcoming Marist Bulletin Online.
- Provincial Councilors and Bursars of our China Province met in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia for two days, reflecting on the document “Evangelical use of goods”. They felt called to “place our goods at the service of the Kngdom and use them to promote Justice.”
- On July 17th in Guadalajara, the Province of Western Mexico held a second set of sessions for its 13th Provincial Chapter.
- The government of the Mexican State of Jalisco has officially named our Brothers’ university in its capital city as “Marist University of Guadalajara”.
- 28 young brothers will profess their vows in the District of West Africa: first profession (1), renewal of temporary vows (22), and perpetual profession (5).
- Brother Anthony Tan has organized a workshop on Marist mission for all the teachers at “Marist Stella High School” in Singapore. Brother Robert Teo, and Brothers Jeffrey Crowe and Graham Neist of the Sydney Province, will direct this presentation.
- Maristenschule in Recklinghausen, Germany has celebrated the 90th Anniversary of the Marist Brothers’ arrival in this city. At a ceremony on June 5th, the school became a Diocesan high school.
- The Marist Iberian Province has established an expanded Council of provincial leadership, made up of 17 members, to promote, reflect on, and evaluate provincial leadership. It held its first meeting in Lardero.
- Currently the District of Paraguay is subject to the Southern Cross Province. To foster the District’s integration into this Administrative Unit, the Superior and two Councilors from the District have met with the Provincial Council in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
- Brother Dominique Pivert from Paris is now in Bafut, Cameroon, to supervise the construction of a high school for 800 boarding students.
- Gebetskreis, Maristen-Familie is a Marist publication in German.
“The Irish Post” has published an article about Brother Walfrid Kerins, born on May 18, 1840 in Ballymote. Plans are underway to dedicate a statue to him as founder of the famous Glasgow Celtic soccer team.


Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul - PUCRS - Brazil
During the period 2000-2004, 1,100 people have benefited from “Reflections,” a program that provides the teachers and staff of the University and its St. Luke’s Hospital with time to listen, reflect, and talk about the identity and purposes of the Institution.
This program of ongoing education, coordinated by Brother Joaquim Clotet, Vice Rector of the University, offers three very important meetings, the first of which lasts three days, as well as complementary activities. Each meeting covers a different topic:
The first meeting: introducing a reflection on PUCRS: the view.
The second: reflecting on the identity of PUCRS: the identity.
The third: reinforcing our institutional commitment: the commitment.
The complementary activities are intended to enhance the dialogue between faith and culture. They include conferences, informal fraternal gatherings, end-of-the-year meetings with the Rector, monthly meetings on timely topics such as science and faith, ecology and the environment, mission and the role of the laity in the Church, the Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae, the latest on human genetics and the ethical implications involved, Christianity and religious pluralism…

Meeting of new Provincials at the General House in Rome
The Brothers recently nominated as Provincials and those who have already been in office for a brief time are currently meeting in Rome, from the 16th to the 25th June. This meeting gives them the chance to meet and dialogue with the Superior General and his Council and to discuss and consider themes of animation and government that are appropriate for their office. The Provincials are nominated by the Superior General and his Council, after consultation with the Brothers of their province.
The Brothers that are attending this session are: Fernando Mejía (México Central), Víctor Preciado (México Occidental), John Klein (USA), Demetrio Espinosa (Cruz del Sur), Claudino Falchetto (Brasil Centro-Norte), Carl Tapp (New-Zealand), Manuel Manny de Leon (Philippines) et Laurentino Albalá (Norandina).
To be Provincial today is to unite the Brothers, the communities and the lay people who share in the spirituality and Marist mission so as to bring to life the charism of Saint Marcellin in the service of children and young people. The geographic sectors for which they are responsible are generally quite spread out so they count on the collaboration of their own Council for the animation and government of their Province. At the General House, as well as the time devoted to the sessions and meeting together, the Provincials have had the chance to discuss matters that are appropriate to their responsibilities and to get to know better those who are working in the General Administration.

Decrees of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints
The morning of June 22 in the Vatican’s Clementine Hall, in the presence of Our Holy Father, members of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, and Postulators of their respective causes, 16 new decrees were promulgated. Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, Prefect of the Congregation, gave a talk on the lives on each of the men and women Servants of God.
Six decrees had to do with heroic virtues, another six with martyrdom, and four more with miracles. Among those concerning martyrdom, one decree was about the Servant of God, Marist Brother Bernardo (Plácido Fábrega Juliá), born in Camallera, Girona, in 1889, and murdered on October 6, 1934 in Barruelo, the victim of religious persecution in Spain.
This Decree means that Brother Bernardo has been recognized as a martyr. Actually his process forms part of a group of 27 causes that include 498 Spanish martyrs. One cause has to do with Brother Laurentino and 45 companions, martyrs, all of them Marist Brothers. Early indications are that these Beatifications will take place in autumn 2005 or spring 2006.
Brothers Seán Sammon, Luis García Sobrado, Giovanni Bigotto and Lluís Serra were present at this assembly. The Pope, after praying the Angelus, received a personal greeting from everyone in attendance.

Ltyentye Apurte School, Marist school for Aboriginal children
In the middle of May Marist primary school students from “Our Lady of the Sacred Heart School” in Alice Springs visited their Marist counterparts in Saint Teresa, a small town about 80 kilometers (50 miles) away. Most of the townspeople are Aborigines. Their ancestors, including in this community east of Arremete, go back some 40,000 years and live with the painful memory of having been thrown off their lands. They arrived in Ltyentye Apurte, their promised land after years of wandering through the desert. In 1978 they were granted the deed to this area. Studying their culture, language, and spirituality is tremendously enriching. The government assists them to a great extent with financing and personnel.

Marist Philippine Province holds 5th Marist Educators’ Congress
The Education Commission of the Marist Philippine Province recently held its 5th Educators’ Congress at the Family Country Hotel and Convention Center in General Santos City from May 27 to May 29, 2004. The objectives of this gathering were to deepen the understanding of Marist education as part of the Church’s mission, welcome the Marist Lay Formation Program, and adopt the Marist University System.
The Educators’ Congress was attended by delegates coming from five different schools of the Province and from one bishop’s school managed by the Brothers. The 105 delegates in attendance were composed of Brothers and lay people who are school principals, department chairs, coordinators, faculty representatives, and representatives of the non-teaching personnel.
The Congress’ theme was “Marist Education Towards an Integrated Formation, Mission and Solidarity.” The topics were “Champagnat’s Vision of Evangelization” presented by Bro. Manuel de Leon, FMS, Provincial; the “Marist Lay Formation Program” presented by Bro. Rene Reyes, FMS, Chair of Task Force Committee of this program; the “Culture of Peace and Dialogue” by Fr. Albert Alejo, SJ; and the “Marist University System” by Bro. Caesar Fernandez, FMS, Chair of the Education Commission. Each presentation was followed by small-group discussions and a report given at the plenary session.
The concept of a Marist University System had been endorsed by the previous two Congresses. This last Congress instructed the Education Committee to continue its study and research, and bring awareness of the concept to all members of the school community. The assembly just concluded hopes that during the next Congress the concept will become clearer to everyone and that its implementation will soon begin.
The Educators’ Congress is held every two years and schools take turns in hosting the event.

Marcellin often went there on pilgrimage to entrust his projects to Mary…
Pilgrims from N.-D. de l’Hermitage love to go also to the chapel at Leytra (N.-D. de Pitié), so special to Father Champagnat. Indeed, Marcellin went there often on pilgrimage to entrust his projects to Mary…
But as this site progressively deteriorated, a process of restoration proved to be necessary… This has been accomplished!
On Saturday June 5th, at 10 o’clock, the inauguration of the renovated chapel of Leytra took place. Here is an extract of the speech given by Brother Auguste Gras on this occasion:
“This place has a history linked to the life of the men and women of our village. A long history, since the first mention of this chapel can be noted in 1482… The plague was common at this time. Those who suffered from this disease were excluded from the village and lived in huts in this area. Was this chapel built as a place of worship for the plague-stricken? It is noted that towards 1630 people used to come here to Leytra to pray to Mary under the title of Our Lady of Pity.
Today, the plague or cholera have practically disappeared. But does that mean that such a place would therefore become only a quaint historic monument? And if this place could preserve its tradition as a haven of peace where one can come to confide themselves to Mary …”

III Encounter of young brothers in the Marist Province of South Central Brazil
42 young brothers, most of them in temporary vows, along with 5 older ones who accompanied them, met in Curitiba, Brazil from June 10 to 13. They came together to share life, talk about their concerns, reflect on Sean’s second letter to the young brothers, take a close look at their commitments and vows, plan hope-filled futures for their Province, and spend time together praying, relaxing, and taking part in sports. To sum up, celebrate life.
Times like these, which serve as a parenthesis around the activities of their everyday lives, allow them to strengthen bonds of fraternity, develop their youthful potential, give impetus to their mission to educate and evangelize children and young people, and renew their commitment to the person and cause of Jesus of Nazareth, just as Mary and Marcellin used to do all the time.
When we let ourselves be swept away by the frenetic pace of everyday life – not stopping to catch our breath, immerse ourselves in silence, contemplation, and fraternal dialog – we deaden our interior life. These young brothers understand this, and so from time to time they make a special effort to recharge their batteries, with growing conviction and dynamic enthusiasm continuing to give witness to God’s love among the children and young people they educate.

Internet and TV, two key factors in education
In response to our question: “Education in the use of Social Communications, what medium should be given priority?” 53.7% of you think that challenges posed by use of the Internet require urgent attention from the educational community. 29.5% say TV; 11.4%, newspapers and magazines; and finally, 5.4%, radio.
We might think that pornography is the main danger on the Internet, but police reports find other perhaps greater hazards such as pedophilia, fraud, and drug dealing. Without downplaying the immense possibilities that the Internet offers, educators and psycologists point out that its use can create a dependence capable of cutting people off from their families and communities and creating a virtual world disengaged from reality. Although chat rooms offer a fine way to communicate, they can turn into stamping grounds for children and adolescents with problems, like sites recently reported on involving girls with anorexia.
Turning off the computer isn’t the answer. We need to help children and young people learn how to surf the web without drowning in storm-tossed seas. Parents have an irreplaceable role. Even though they don’t control what the Internet puts out, it is still their role to accompany their children, helping them use this educational medium wisely and effectively.

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