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Marist Bulletin - Number 200


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20.05.2005 - General House
May 20, 1789, birth of Saint Marcellin

We look at Marcellin as our father, and learn from him the values that he held dear. We see in him:
· a heart in love with God: a man of God, passionate for Jesus and Mary, a man of prayer, a pilgrim in faith.
· the heart of a father and a mother: a father who cared for his Brothers as if they were his children, a man of strength yet full of gentleness, a man who knew how to bring joy and laughter to others.
· the heart of an apostle: a pastor who would listen to and welcome others, an apostle burning to proclaim the Good News of Jesus, a friend of children and youngsters, an educator who was both firm and compassionate, a man of creativity and daring.
· a heart without bounds: a man whose vision extended beyond his own era, embracing the whole world and preparing missionaries; a man who lived out his ideal so intensely that many others wished to be like him and to live like him.

21.05.2005 - Brasil
A meeting of young brothers from Brasil Centro-Sul

The annual meeting of the young brothers of the Province of Brasil Centro-Sul took place from the 21st to the 24th April. It had particular significance this year, being the Marist Vocation Year. Forty-two brothers participated: ranging from those in their second year of temporary profession to those in their second year of perpetual profession. Brother Provincial, Brother Vice-Provincial, responsible for initial formation, and a brother who co-ordinated the activities joined them for this meeting.
The co-ordinating team had programmed times for brotherly sharing for their confrères: activities aimed at extending each participant personally, life sharing, celebrations, reflections and a deepening of personal commitment.
The meeting took place in three places in Paraná: the gathering, welcome, preparation and orientation took place at Curitiba. On the second day, the games and extension activities occurred at Tijucas do Sul. During the two final days at Guaratuba, the brothers concentrated on the contents of Brother Seán Sammons letter, Rekindling the fire, written on the occasion of the launching of the Marist Vocation Year. The study of the letter was accompanied by life sharing and the search for practical ways of living and incarnating the suggestions given by the Superior General, and a reflection on each participants challenges in life that had been shared the evening before. The small group work was followed by a plenary session.
A team of five brothers co-ordinated the meeting so as to have an equal share of sporting activities, times for prayer and reflection, and moments for fraternisation and informal gatherings. The aspect that was particularly remarkable was the creativity shown by each participant during the cultural and artistic activities, the games and the social times; this greatly added to the success of the event. All the participants recognised the value of such an experience and the importance of encouraging each other in brotherhood through meetings of young brothers.

23.05.2005 - Australia
Champagnat Pilgrimage 2005

On the 2nd April 2005 twenty-five pilgrims boarded their first of many flights to commence the 2005 Champagnat Pilgrimage, the third biennial pilgrimage organised for school leaders, staff and friends of the Province of Melbourne. Included in the group were four Marist Brothers and the four newly appointed principals of Marist Schools in the Province.
After a brief stop at Singapore and London, the pilgrims landed in Paris and took the TGV to Lyons and bus to the Hermitage. There, Brothers Gabriel Michel and Alain Delorme shared with the group their comprehensive and passionate love of Marcellin Champagnat. Five days later, the pilgrims journeyed to Paris to walk in Marcellins footsteps as he strove to gain authorisation for his fledgling organisation and, at the same time, imbibed the rich Marial spirituality of the environs.
Monday 11th April saw the pilgrims travelling to Rome at that special time in history as the cardinals gathered to elect a new Pope. Brothers Sean Sammon and Jude Pieterse spoke at length with the group about future directions for the Congregation and recent Marist experiences in Africa.
Each Champagnat Pilgrimage takes in the richness of a developing country, experiences that immerse the pilgrims, ever so briefly, in the lives of the poor. This time the group travelled to Belo Horizonte and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and Santiago in Chile. There, Marist hospitality and warmth abounded once again as pilgrims witnessed the juxtaposition of large favellas alongside wealthy neighbourhoods and saw vibrant Marist boarding and day schools run specifically for the very poor.
As the group of tired pilgrims flew into Melbourne on the 23rd April, it was clear the experience had greatly enriched all their lives, exposed them to exceptional Marist hospitality and given them a deeper affection for all things Marist.

24.05.2005 - Paraguay
A mobilisation for the defence of the rights of children and adolescents

Click here to participate in this initiative
The defence of the rights of the child and the adolescent in Paraguay is in need of our attention and our support. This call concerns Marisa N. N., a young girl of thirteen years of age who was working as a domestic helper in the house of a sub-officer of the Paraguayan army who used to continually abuse and rape her. The minor found the courage in June 2002 to make public the humiliations to which her employer was submitting her: Gilberto Cantero, a well-known military person in the region, used every possible means to conceal and be cleared of these accusations. After several problems in the management of the case, as for example the loss of reports and the mysterious change of name of the accused in the case, the process has been drawn out and delayed but the trial must start by the 1st June if it is to proceed at all. The Attorney General and various organisations in the country are working to prevent any further delay and to start the trial against the sub-officer. This would be the first time that the Paraguayan justice system had dared to prosecute a member of the military.
>One of the first people to know about this case was Teresa Mayoral, a volunteer co-worker from the NGO - SED, a Catalonian from Lleida. Teresa has lived in Paraguay for more than two years and has worked in the programme of support for the defence of the rights of children and adolescents that SED has developed in the Chaco desert. Teresa protected Marisa and has followed the stages of the case very closely, which has transformed her into a very important witness in the coming trial. Her security and that of all the people who are prepared to be witnesses is primordial for the success of the trial and to avoid the integrity of a minor in Paraguay being harmed again.
The NGO - SED (Solidarity, Education, Development), linked to the Marist Brothers in Spain, has supported the project mentioned above since January 2002 with the aim of making the new Paraguayan law of December 2001 well known, a law that focuses on the defence of the rights of children and adolescents. This project is being realised in the heart of the Chaco desert, an area that occupies one half of the territory of Paraguay, even though only about 100,000 citizens live there. They mainly belong to autochthonic ethnic groups with their own languages, cultures and costumes. This task is accomplished by supporting the Apostolic Vicariate of Pilcomayo as a local partner organisation and with the consignment of the volunteer co-worker Teresa Mayoral through the Marist Brothers District. The project is attempting to make the existence of this law known by the people of Chaco: the first action consists simply of letting them know that Human Rights apply also to the protection of children and of women. A second action, more difficult to realise, has been working to change the mentality that governs the relationships between men and women in this country. The fruit of this action has been to bring the case of Marisa N. N. out into the open, for which we are now asking support and international signs of solidarity, in order to put pressure on the Paraguayan authorities so that it is possible to clarify this case and obtain justice.
Marisa and Teresa need us for the rights of children to be recognised and so that precedents in law may be set in this country. For this reason, SED, with several national and international associations for the defence of children, for the fight against the exploitation of children and against the recruitment of child soldiers, have started a campaign from Spain to support this cause. These petitions are VERY IMPORTANT, if the authorities know that they are seen and observed abroad, this can lead them to assure the good progress of the processes in course, the actual commencement of the trial before the deadline date of the 1st June 2005 as well as the SECURITY of Marisa and the various people and institutions supporting this case, one of whom is Teresa Mayoral Seró, our volunteer co-worker.

30.05.2005 - Spain
The Audiencia National investigates the murder of Spaniards

The Spanish newspaper El Pais announced on the 24th April 2005 that the Audiencia National (the Spanish High Court that deals with crimes against humanity) would investigate the deaths of four million people in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It dedicated two entire pages to remember the events that happened in 1994 and outlined a brief biography of the nine Spaniards who were killed, including our four brothers Fernando, Julio, Miguel Ángel and Servando.
The criminal complaint was presented on the 22nd February 2005 by the Forum for the Truth and Justice in the Great Lakes and referred to the nine Spaniards who were killed during the genocide of 1994.
The Forum provided sworn declarations and about ten witness accounts and tried to show that some of the people responsible for this are part of the government. The initiative was not taken by groups affiliated to the victims, but by some associations made up of families and some personalities including the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Adolfo Pérez Esquivel.
We are participating in this out of respect for the memory of our dear ones, said a representative of the families. The identification of the assassin will not bring back those who were killed, but will help to make sure that this does not happen to someone else. The complaint is a form of aid because those responsible are still in power and could kill again.
The Supreme Court confirmed that the Audiencia National would be able to investigate these crimes of a universal nature as nine Spaniards are among the victims.
Copy of El País in PDF

03.06.2005 - Spain
An Initiative for the Third World

On the 18th April, the 11th Solidarity Walkathon took place in Granada (Spain), taking as its theme The World is on the move, what about you?
The first Walkathon travelled through the main streets of Granada in the spring of 1995, organised by the Pastoral Care team from the citys Marist school. The two following walkathons followed in similar style. However, other institutions helped organise and participated in the fourth walkathon and hence the group Solidarity on the Move was formed. Its main centre continued to be in our school. This group consists of NGOs, youth groups, parishes, missionary groups and other schools from the city. There are now forty-five different bodies included!
The aim of this initiative is to be able to finance development projects in Third World countries, proposed by the members of the group. In each of the previous walkathons, more than 20000€ were collected and there were several thousand participants. The interest shown in this by young and old alike is enormous.
This years aim is to finance three projects: Casa Hogar for abandoned children in the city of Calabozo (Venezuela), study scholarships for needy students at the Marist school in Korhogó (Ivory Coast) and finally, building a carpentry workshop in the city of Jenaro Herrera (Peru).
The way of collecting the funds is very simple: the participants, who are mainly students, write on a card the names of the people who have promised to give them money and the amount they have promised for each of the ten kilometres that they walk. These sponsors do not need to take part in the walkathon, only the children. Throughout the walkathon route, there are various places where the cards are stamped to verify that the students have completed these sections.
It takes around one hundred and fifty people to help run this event which is characterised by a very festive spirit: many children paint their faces and there is a lot of singing along the way. The aim is to make the people of Granada aware of the situations of injustice and inequality that exist in our world.

05.06.2005 - France
Marcellin Champagnat

It is written that life depends on two or three Yeses or two or three Nos, said at the opportune moment. Marcellin proved this axiom.
Do you want to be a priest?
In France in the early 1800s, there was a boy who had worked out his dreams. But they didnt coincide with those that an other had for him. The boy was Marcellin; the other was God. A priest meets him and disrupts all of his plans: of a business, of money to be accumulated… Do you want to be priest? that travelling salesman of God asks him. Marcellin interrupts for an instant all his wanderings through the dreams that he has invented: and the beautiful sand castles that he has built collapse. He accepts the bet: risky, almost impossible to win; because he will have to face years of intense study. And he, throughout his fifteen years has totalled one day at school: only one! But if God calls him… Nothing is impossible to God. The greater struggle will be to convince others, not himself; those who tell him that this choice is impossible. But he, tenacious and stubborn as he is, looks straight ahead, casting the fears aside, preparing to set off on his new dreams, quite different from the preceding ones. A winning bet or a dangerous risk? The facts will say that it was right to answer yes to God who called him: He becomes a priest and what a priest he is!
He will never regret having taken the change in direction that God showed him.
There is a boy who is waiting for God
The young priest, sent to a forsaken suburb, doesnt know that he is about to do something great, because heaven has organised a new appointment for him: once more he answers yes.
A youth is dying and Marcellin races to prepare him for his meeting with God. But it is really close to the bed of Jean-Baptiste Montagne (the boys name) that his whole world stops for an instant. All the previous pieces of devastating experiences come together in this meeting of the suffering youths ransacked look and the young priests tormented soul; perhaps other emergencies, heavy with suffering, are pressing to be included on Marcellins agenda. Yes, this is one young person who is dying; but the whole society is dying: and no talisman or cosmetic surgery would ever suffice in curing it. That old idea that had made him look such a fool during his days at the seminary and had long since been relegated to the attic of his dreams, is now to be realised in history. We need Brothers! he had often daydreamed. But before the bed of this dying youth who knows nothing about the existence of God, he resolves, There will be Brothers!
It is his yes to God and to history.
He would have been able to analyse the needs by weighing the numbers and studying the statistics. But he did not do this, as there was no need! The disasters of the ideological tsunami were there, before his very eyes. This was not a time for theoretical analysis but for an operation of providing emergency aid: in short, another generous yes! And this is what Marcellin pronounced.
The magic of a monosyllable; written today on the whole planisphere!

07.06.2005 - Italy
Lay Consultant Meeting

A meeting was held of Lay Consultants throughout the Institute at the General House in Rome, brought together by the International Laity Commission. The purpose of the meeting was to listen to Marist laity engaged in animation in their desires and needs of support and to ask for their advice in how we proceed on our common journey together.
We also asked them to look at the plans and tasks of the Laity Commission and to give us feedback on them.
The Lay participants came from 10 Marist Provinces on the 5 continents.
Asia: Andres Magallanes (Philippines),
Pacific: Anne Dooley (Melbourne)
Africa: Adrienne Egbers (Southern Africa), Achi C. Godwin (Nigeria)
Europe: Marta Portas (LHermitage), Encarna Garcia (Mediterranea), Frank Aumeier (West-Central Europe)
Americas: Joe Reganato (USA), Claudia Rojas (Norandina), and Edison Oliveira (Rio Grande do Sul).
They joined Brothers Pedro Herreros, Chair of the Commission, Emili Turu and Antonio Ramalho, Councilors on the Commission, and Michael Flanigan, Secretary of the Commission.

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