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Marist Bulletin - Number 24

 

An interview with Brother Emili Turú by Brother Lluís Serra
16.07.2002

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WE HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO

Emili Turú, 47, is from Barcelona. Has earned a Master’s Degree in Theological Anthropology in Rome, worked in formation, schools, and pastoral care, and served as Provincial of Catalunya. Now he is on the General Council and heads its Mission Commission.

How would you define our Marist mission today?
The definition given to us in our Marist Constitutions, Article 2, is right on target: “the Christian education of the young, especially those most in need.” However, due to the extraordinary and rapid-fire changes that are taking place, not only in society but at the very heart of the Marist Institute, we need to adapt to each new set of circumstances. This requires a tremendous spirit of discernment and honesty to overcome smugness and inertia.

Our initials FMS, for Marist Brothers of the Schools – has the S been dropped?
I think the fact that there are some 369,000 students enrolled in 370 Marist education centers around the globe demonstrates the great importance that the Institute attaches to the academic world. And so the S has definitely not “been dropped”…

But people speak about new ministries.
Because our Constitutions say “especially those most in need.” In order to reach such children and young people, often enough what our schools have to offer is insufficient to meet their needs. This is an area in which we still need to make a lot of progress, until it’s clearly evident that the expression “especially those most in need” is not just a rhetorical nicety.

The poor enter into the Chapter Message, but what about specific projects?
A survey carried out in the Institute just before the General Chapter tells us that we have 49 alternative schools and 89 centers providing social services, caring for about 79,000 children and young people. I think this is quite significant, and undoubtedly we will continue to make progress in the coming years.

What priorities does your Commission intend to address?
The main purpose of this General Council Commission (which includes three main areas: education – the school and related fields, youth ministry, and our mission “ad gentes”) is to support and animate all our administrative units in everything having to do with our mission to evangelize in line with Champagnat’s charism. However, our top priorities are those found in the mandates and recommendations in the concluding Message given to us by the 20th General Chapter.

If lay people can accomplish the Marist mission, why be brothers?
The Christian community is built upon diversity and gifts that complement one another. As lay people and religious, we share a single calling to lead a Gospel-centered life, but we have distinctive attributes. Being different is not a limiting factor, it is an asset. We don’t take each other’s place, we complement one another.

(FMS MARIST ECHO 40, July 2002)

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