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Marist Bulletin - Number 63



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Mediterranean Province

The General Council has named Brother Manuel Jorques Bru as Provincial of the new Mediterranean Province. Beginning in September 2003 this new administrative unit will bring together the current Provinces of Bética and Levante in Spain, Italy, Syria and Lebanon. The District of West Africa will also depend on this Province. Brother Manuel, 52, was born in Algemesí, Valencia. A History of Art major, he has worked in the field education and pastoral care, been director of communities, and is currently the Provincial of Levante in Spain.
The Provincial Council of Levante named Brother José Antonio Ruiz Abeijón to be Superior of the Marist District of West Africa. Once that region is restructured, it will bring together Ivory Coast, Ghana, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Chad, and Liberia.

Team assembles in Rome

A team of postulators, brothers responsible for promoting the causes of candidates for sainthood, met at the General House on April 7-8. In attendance were Brothers Giovanni Bigotto, Postulator General; Mariano Santamaría, Vice Postulator for the Spanish martyrs; Alain Delorme, advancing the cause of Brother Henri Vergès; and José Flores García, Vice Postulator for the cause of Brother Basilio Rueda.
The four brothers undertook a thorough review of the current status of each cause, and made a series of decisions having to do with inaugurating a year dedicated to Brother François – June 6, 2003 to June 6, 2004, religious calendars, publicity brochures, the cause of Brother Basilio, and organizing material that the team would like to place on the Institute’s future web site.

Inter-congregational meeting

On April 9, twelve men and women from religious orders having martyrs in Algeria held a meeting at our General House. Brothers Giovanni Bigotto and Alain Delorme represented the Marist Institute concerning the witness of martyrdom given by Brother Henri Vergès. The Church in Algeria is proceeding with the process according to its own timetable, as this involves a delicate subject within the country. However in no way does this lessen our conviction that these are genuine martyrs.

Eight new booklets published

Brother Giovanni Bigotto, Postulator General, has just published a collection of eight booklets about Brother Basilio Rueda, with the following contents:
Brother Basilio Rueda Guzmán, man of God:
1. Grace, God, Jesus, the Spirit.
2. Mary, Champagnat, the Church.
3. The world of prayer.
4. Love, wisdom.
5. Poverty, celibacy, obedience. A saint?
Brother Basilio Rueda Guzmán, a man for humankind:
6. Intelligence, work.
7. Superior and brother.
8. The Word of God.
The complete set of eight booklets comes to about 500 pages and costs 16 €. At present it exists only in French. Translations into the other official languages are now being worked on. Orders should be placed through Administrative Units – Provinces and Districts. For each topic original texts of Brother Basilio are accompanied by introductions and reflections.

30 years together with the risen Lord

For the 30th consecutive year Easter is being celebrated at the monastery of Santa Maria de Bellpuig in les Avellanes, belonging to the Province of Catalunya, Spain. The celebrations revolve around six different liturgical themes: initiation, growth, searching, deepening, the way of Meaux, and the desert. Several hundred young people, 17 and older, will come together to celebrate the Paschal mystery from Thursday to Sunday. The motto for this year is “With Christ MPX” (in Spanish, “Minorías Proféticas de Choque”)

- New Zealand. A plaque has been placed at the grave of Michel Colombon (1812-1880), the first Marist brother to arrive in that country, together with Bishop Pompallier, in 1838.
- Sri Lanka. The Conference of Major Superiors has met in Monte-fano Ampitiya to reflect on “the importance of religious life in Sri Lanka today.”
- The World Youth Days International Congress, meeting in Rome in recent days, has stated, “The future of the Church is determined by its ministry to youth.”
- At a meeting of the association for members of the general curias, held in Rome on April 12, Father Fabrio Ciardi presented a conference on “The consecrated life, school of communion in the exchange of gifts among the different ways of being church, with special emphasis on the laity.” Brother Paulo Celso Ferrarezi attended the presentation as Secretary of the General Council’s Commissions on Mission and the Laity.
- “Contemplating Christ through the eyes of Mary” is the keynote theme of the International Marian Congress to be held in Castel Gandolfo, Rome, April 28 to 30, 2003. The gathering will bring together representatives of the Christian, Jewish, and Islamic faiths.
- The “Champagnat Foundation,” linked to the Province of Portugal, promotes solidarity programs in the area of social justice and offers an informative publication.
- Sílvia Sanz de Diego is the first woman from Spain to make her religious profession in the Congregation of the Marist Sisters. To become more fluent in English, she spent several years in London, where she first came to know the sisters.
- The European Conference for protecting children from sexual exploitation took place in Rome April 3 and 4, documenting this truly alarming reality.
- Based on information sent to the Registry and Statistics service of our General Secretariat, as of December 31, 2002 there were 159 novices, 107 in first year and 52 in second.

May Jesus rise in each of us and bring the gift of peace, based on love and justice, to the entire world!

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