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Marist Bulletin - Number 319


Advent and Marist Solidarity

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For several years now, the Bureau of International Solidarity (BIS) has been offering its reflection booklet, to accompany our prayer during Advent time, while waiting for Jesus to come at Christmas.
This year the leading theme of the booklet is the Marist Mission Ad Gentes in Asia. You can download the text from our website.
In today’s bulletin we are sending the Advent 2007 booklet introductory text, written by Br. Dominick Pujia, Director of BIS.

This year’s reflection booklet focuses on our Marist Mission Ad Gentes Project. Over the course of the next four years, as many as 120 Marists, brothers and lay, will be moving into Asia to advance the mission of St. Marcellin Champagnat among poor children and young people. The process has begun. By the beginning of Advent 2007 two groups of brothers will have already completed their preparation period in Davao, Philippines and will working to establish a new Marist presence in Asia. A third group of brothers will be nearing the end of their preparation period and will be getting ready to join those Marist missionaries already in Asia.

In his letter announcing the Marist Mission Ad Gentes Project, Br Seán Sammon, our Superior General, reminded us that “as an Institute we are missionary by nature.” Our Constitutions and Statues call us to have a missionary attitude like Father Champagnat who affirmed, “We are ready to work in every diocese in the world.” Our move into Asia, while it may be seen by many as dramatic, is a way to live out our identity as Marists, an identity we can point to in over seventy-five countries around the world.

Besides the scripture reading and the closing prayer which come, for the most part, from the liturgy of the day, this year’s Advent text is built around two additional elements: personal reflections written by the brothers who attended the first two sessions of the Ad Gentes formation and orientation program in Davao and Bishop Tagle’s address to the Asian Mission Congress held last year in Thailand, Mission in Asia: Telling the Story of Jesus. We believe that the “missionary stories” of our brothers and the reflections by Bishop Tagle on the significance the Church in Asia places on the “telling of stories” when evangelizing will make for some fruitful periods of prayer during this season of Advent.

We pray you find this year’s Advent reflection text a useful resource for prayer. Please remember our brothers, and our Institute’s efforts to rekindle its missionary spirit and the needs of the Church in Asia.

God’s blessings on you this Advent season.

In prayer and solidarity,
Br. Dominick Pujia, Director Bureau of International Solidarity (BIS)

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