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Marist Bulletin - Number 169



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Visit to the Province of Europe Centre-Ouest / West Central Europe
The visit to the Province of Europe Centre-Ouest / West Central Europe took place from the 12th September until the 29th October. Brothers Peter Rodney and Emil Turú, General Councillors, with Brothers Romuald Gibson (New Zealand) and Max Meier (Crux del Sur) visited the Province on behalf of the Superior General.
At the end of the visit on the 30th and 31st October, a meeting was held at the Provincial House at Nijmegen. Present at this meeting were the Provincial Council, the team that had conducted the visit and Brothers Seán Sammon, Superior General, and Luis G. Sobrado, Vicar General.

A New Provincial Council for Melbourne

The Province of Melbourne held its Provincial Chapter from the 27th until the 30th September at the Sacred Heart Retreat Centre, Croydon. This Chapter began with the question Whare is God in our world today? The theme chosen for the Marist Vocation Year: Marcellins Dream: Live it today! was also a focal point for discussion. This Chapter marks the start of the second mandate of Brother Paul Gilchrist as Provincial. The brothers elected as Provincial Councillors are: Brothers John McMAHON, Julian CASEY, Paul KANE, Tony CADD and Tony CLARK.

A New Provincial Council for Sydney
The Province of Sydney held its Provincial Chapter recently at Mittagong from the 28th to the 31st October. During this Chapter, Brother John Thompson began his second mandate as Provincial and a new Provincial Council was elected. The brothers elected were Bill SELDEN (Vice-Provincial), Darren BURGE, Peter CARROLL, Michael GREEN, Neville SOLOMON and Bill SULLIVAN.
Visitors to the Chapter included Brother Carl Tapp, Provincial-designate of the Province of New Zealand, Brother Paul Gilchrist, Provincial of the Province of Melbourne and Brother Brendan Neily, Superior of the District of Melanesia.
During the Chapter, the brothers also celebrated the 80th birthday of Brother Charles Howard, former Superior General. Brother Charles was the oldest delegate at the Chapter while the youngest was Brother Matthew Green, aged 34.

A New Superior for the District of Melanesia

It was recently announced that Brother Ken McDonald has been appointed as the next Superior of the District of Melanesia. Ken, aged 44, first went to teach in Papua New Guinea twenty years ago and, except for a short time for study back in Sydney, Australia, he has worked in this area of the Marist world ever since.


13/11/2004 - Brasil
5th - 8th November 2004, Curitiba (Brazil)

The daily agenda for the meeting was organised in reference to its proposed objectives. This allowed the participants to get to know each other well, to share their reflections and to plan for the future.
Thus, for example, the fifteen-minute presentations on each of the different centres repre-sented took place on the 5th, 7th and 8th November. On the 6th November, the group studied and reflected on a paper concerning the Tertiary Education Institutions within the Marist Mis-sion. Brother Manoel Alves, from the University of Brasilia, presented an interesting exposition: From the heart of the Church to the heart of Champagnat, which was followed by work in small groups and then work in the total assembly.
On the 7th November, the group visited the Fazenda Experimental Gralha Azul, an experi-mental farm run by the PUCPR, in order to become familiar with the work of production and investigation taking place on this 800-hectare property. Finally, the 8th November was dedi-cated to future projects: regarding the total group, the possible collaboration between the Mar-ist University Centres and the different services that could be offered to the Marist Institute.
By visiting the link page indicated, you can learn more about all the activities of this meeting as well as view an album of photos.

11.11.2004 - Spain
Remembering the brothers killed at Bugobe

In 1997 at Castilleja de la Cuesta in the Province of Mediterránea, a day was organised to commemorate the first anniversary of the murder of four Marist Brothers in Bugobe. This also instituted the Marist Family Day. Since then, on the Sunday closest to the 31st October - the date that these brothers died - successive meetings have been celebrated each year.
The VIII Marist Family Day took place on the 30th October 2004 at the Marist College of Seville. More than 150 people participated: brothers from all the communities, teachers, catechists, families and members of the Fraternities.
On this occasion the theme for reflection centred on the person of Brother Julio, one of the four martyrs of Bugobe. After the words of welcome of Brother Juan Ignacio Poyatos, Delegate of the Provincial in the Bética Zone, there was a moment of prayer. After this, Brother Jesús Saiz spoke about the character and spirituality of Brother Julio. Brother Pedro Arrondo, who had spent many years in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, continued by talking about his experience in community with this brother. A power point presentation was shown on each of the four brothers, reproducing the video images shown by the different Spanish television channels at the time of their deaths on the 31st October 1996.
Afterwards, everyone shared the food that had been brought from the different houses and talked as a family very much at ease with each other. A round-the-table talk took place in the assembly hall, during which a doctor spoke about his experience in a hospital in Bolivia and two young people spoke about their experiences when they spent some time in this Andean country.
The day ended with the celebration of the Eucharist with a shared homily. At the sign of peace, as a symbol of sharing the light, each person gave his or her candle to the person with whom they shared this sign of peace.
It was certainly a day in which, apart from the emotional impact, the ambience experienced by all was simple, loving and joyous.

10.11.2004 - Brazil
Curitiba - Brasil Centro-Sul

On the 5th November, the inauguration of the First International Meeting of Marist Institutions of Tertiary Education took place at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná (PUCP), Brazil. There are forty people participating in this meeting, coming from ten different countries and representing twenty-one Institutions.
The objectives of the meeting are:
· To reflect together on the document concerning Marist Institutions of Tertiary Education within the MARIST MISSION.
· To initiate a process of becoming better acquainted with each other through information sharing.
· To appraise the possibility of future collaboration.
The meeting started with a recital by the chamber orchestra of the PUCP, at the end of which the Rector of the University, Brother Clemento Ivo Juliatto, welcomed all the participants.
Following this, Brother Emili Turú, on behalf of the Mission Commission of the General Council, which called for this meeting, delivered these words to the assembly: Throughout these days, we intend to all work together, helping us all to assume the responsibility that has been confided to us, as recommended to us in Vita Consecrata (97): Because of the importance that Catholic and ecclesiastical universities and faculties have in the field of education and evangelisation, Institutes which are responsible for their direction should be conscious of their responsibility. He then went on to remind the assembly of important texts from In the Footsteps of Marcellin Champagnat, A Vision for Marist Education Today, as well as from the last General Chapter, and Brother Emili affirmed: As we begin this meeting, we feel part of a large extended family throughout five continents. We know that each one of us has been called to contribute our best, at the service of a collective undertaking. No one is insignificant. All of us are important. The large and the small university centres, the schools at the various grades and levels, the educational programmes for marginalised or neglected children and young people… We form part of a beautiful collective project, in the most different situations and cultures, trying to be present to the children and young people in the very places where we find them. Finally, Brother Emili thanked all the participants, on behalf of the Superior General and the other members of the General Council, for the educational work that is being carried out in the different Institutions and for their service of animation so generously given.
It is fitting to highlight that this meeting has been made possible thanks to the collaboration of the PUCP as well as the Marist Province of Brasil Centro-Sul, who generously agreed to host this meeting.

08.11.2004 - México
Preparing ourselves to Rekindle the fire

Within the scope of the celebrations of the Marist Vocation Year in the Institute, a Workshop for Vocation Animators was held in the city of Morelia (in the centre of Mexico), This workshop was organised for the brothers who are the vocation co-ordinators in each of the communities of our Province of México Occidental. This event took place from the 14th to the 17th October 2004 and twenty-five brothers participated in it. It was co-ordinated by the brothers of the Provinces Vocation Ministry Commission, and the attorney Lucía Rostro Rivera, who works on the Provincial Commission for the Formation of the Laity, led some of the sessions. We were also fortunate to have our Brother Provincial, Victor Manuel Preciado, present during these few days.
This small workshop gave us the opportunity to acquire some useful tools for the promotion and accompaniment of vocations in each of our communities but it was also an occasion for the sowing of hope. All of us know that, in talking about vocations, there have not been easy times. But returning to the house where many of us had made our novitiate allowed us to reflect on the reality of the young people with whom we live and we were able to take off our shoes in order to step onto the sacred ground of vocational accompaniment and succeeded in rekindling the fire in many of our hearts.
In the final part of the workshop, we were able to contemplate on a beautiful mosaic formed by the names of the young people whom we can invite to start the process of vocational accompaniment this year. There were many names. With our hearts burning within us, the presence of God felt very close through these small pieces of paper. The Marist Brothers who were present in the chapel of the house where we made our novitiate are witnesses to the fact that it is worth being a Marist Brother today. Champagnats dream continues to live strongly today, and needs our hands to make Jesus and Mary known by many children and young people.

05.11.2004 - Spain
Barcelona: three brothers commit their lives to Jesus Christ

Diego Collado, aged 45, Isma Valls, aged 27, and Xavi Gual, aged 27, professed their perpetual vows on Saturday, 23rd October in the Church of Santa Maria de Sants in Barcelona. Six hundred people crammed into the church for the Eucharist that lasted two hours. Brother Xavier Barceló, the Provincial of the Province of LHermitage, received their vows and was the principal witness to the signatures of the three brothers on the official documents, which symbolised the signing of a blank cheque for Jesus Christ. This deep life-long surrender, which sends such a shiver down the spine of a society that exalts in temporary pleasures, had a great impact on those present: brothers from all the communities in Catalonia, young people from youth groups and scout groups, teachers from educational centres, volunteers, parents, priests and religious from various congregations.
The dream of Champagnat is possible today in Catalonia as, according to various reports, it is the most secularised region of the continent after the Netherlands. Three young people, with different vocational journeys, remind us of this. Diego stated: I am united with Saint Augustine in the statement that late have I loved you but nothing is late if the happiness is real. And since my first YES to God, I am conscious that the responsibility and commitment is a daily task that is worth giving all you have to it. Isma challenged those present: It is worth the effort today to live Champagnats dream. I have taken this on. What about all of you here today? Xavi commented that he had seen Jesus in the faces of the brothers in the community, in the young people and the children… To keep your eyes open to Gods presence in the world is a first step in hearing his voice that calls.
The celebrations continued throughout the night in an atmosphere of togetherness and friendship… In the heart of each one, the whispering voice of God could be continually heard.

03.11.2004 - Australia
The Marist Vocation Year

An enthusiastic group of young Marists aged 16 and 17 from our schools throughout NSW and Queensland gathered together at the Farmhouse at Mittagong for a forum to mark the beginning of the Marist Vocation Year.
The focus of the weekend was on making choices on our life journey. Several presenters shared their life stories and the choices they have made in their own lives. A key component of the presentations was centred on solidarity and social justice.
On the Saturday night, during the dinner, an open forum was conducted to explore different lifestyle choices. Damian and Julie Sligar spoke about their marriage; Sr Kate McPhee talked about life as a Marist sister; Br Anthony Robertson spoke about the Marist Brothers while Fr Paul Ghanem, a Franciscan, explained why he chose to be a religious priest.
Moments of prayer and small group discussion time gave the students the opportunity to reflect on the stories told to them, to apply the lessons to their own lives and to share their own stories and beliefs. The spirituality of these young people was evident during the weekend. The significance of Mary was highlighted in a presentation. One of the notable aspects of the gathering was the way in which these young people connected so quickly with each other. They were like-minded people with a common Marist heritage. As is so often the case with these types of gatherings, it is the simple, human relationships which are formed that also have a profound impact on the individuals involved.
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30.10.2004 - Dem. Rep. of Congo
31st October 1996

My dear Brothers, we owe great thanks to God for having chosen us to carry the light of the gospel to those people in darkness; that favour will turn out to be a source of blessing for the Institute. If we measure up to the designs of God for us, he will grant us, in turn, everything necessary to carry out that difficult task; …
Yes, I say without hesitation, and the very thought is a great source of joy and consolation to me, one day the Institute will have its martyrs: priests and Brothers put to death by the people they go to instruct, giving their lives for Jesus Christ…
Dont make the mistake of believing that the task devolves only upon the lucky ones chosen to travel to those distant lands; it is the responsibility of the whole Institute. It may not fall to our lot to consecrate our labours, our strength and our health to that work; we are, in such a case, even more obliged to promote its success by our prayers, by our good example and by every sort of virtue. (Life of J. B. M. Champagnat)
A Church that does not remember its martyrs of yesterday and no longer recognises its martyrs of today cannot claim the honour of being the Church of Christ… In our century martyrs have returned and their witness must not be lost in the Church… (John Paul II)
Lets live each day in a spirit of discernment, seeking honestly what the Lord wants of us. Our recently martyred Brothers are a powerful encouragement to us to live in creative fidelity to the message of Marcellin, in giving ourselves without reserve to those whom the Lord places in our path, particularly the little ones. (Choose life)
Photo collection

28.10.2004 - General House
The General Councils leadership and government

FMS Message, the official magazine of the Marist Brothers, has dedicated its latest edition to the presentation of the plan for the leadership of the Institute, developed by the General Council.
At the end of its work on the 13th October 2001, the General Chapter sent a document to all the members of the Congregation. Its title constitutes again today an invitation and a challenge, not only for them, but also for all who share the charism of Marcellin Champagnat: Choose life.
Inspired by this document, the General Council has developed its plan of leadership and government, which will direct its service to the Institute until the next General Chapter in 2009.
The magazine presents a well-articulated scheme. It describes the six commissions that are chaired by a General Councillor and co-ordinated by a Secretary. For each commission, the objectives are stated, the projects are outlined and the activities time line is indicated. The Superior General and his Vicar are not part of any of these commissions, yet they animate, support and direct the activity of each one and co-ordinate the initiatives of all of them.
Towards the end of the magazine, the work and services of each department of the General Administration in the General House are described. They provide the necessary organisational support so that ideas and decisions may be realised and communicated to the people for whom they are intended.
The middle section of the magazine covers an interesting interview with Goyo Domínquez, described by many as Saint Marcellins artist. Many of his works are presented in this magazine, both on the cover and inside. They are not only rich in content but also very pleasing to the eye.

25.10.2004 - UNICEF
A world war against children

On the 18th October, children from a multiethnic school in Rome came to the large hall at Montecitorio (the seat of the Italian Parliament) to welcome the 200 women parliamentary representatives from 107 different countries. They welcomed the women with these words: We remind you that whoever kills us, kills the future. And the President of the Italian Republic turned to the parliamentarians and uttered a sentence that has become for us Marists a refrain: The little ones only ask to be loved.
It was a beautiful initiative to call together a World Conference of Women Parliamentarians for the Protection of Children and Adolescents.
It is a pity that the poetry of the meeting had to give way to the hard reality of numbers. The data from UNICEF resonated throughout the hall and it seemed that this was an account of a real world war that adults had declared on children throughout these years.
547 children die every day in war: 1 every 2½ minutes;
10,000 children are killed every year by mines; 27 a day;
5,000,000 children have been wounded or crippled;
20,000,000 children have been fugitives during these last years;
300,000 children, less than 15 years of age, are soldiers in active service today.
Compared to the figures of the budgets of industries and of States, these figures seem small. But we need to remember and state clearly: these are not figures, they are human beings who constitute the future of humanity.
Marcellin Champagnat would add that Jesus has not hesitated to offer his life in order to save them.

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