2008-05-06 CHILE

A Meeting in Pangal

On April 4 to 6, 2008, in the city of Pangal, Chile, a meeting was held for Marist Fraternities of Argentina and Chile. Brothers Hernán Cabrera, Pedro Marcos, José Tena, and Aquilino de Pedro were in charge of the gathering. ?Wherever a brother is found, there I find my home.? Such are the words of a well known song. They proved to be true at the meeting.

The Argentinian contingent arrived a little bit late in Pangal. They were cordially welcomed by members of the Fraternities and by Brother Teófilo Paredes. A bright sun made its appearance and remained with us all through the meeting. Brother Horacio Magaldi came to assist us in the process of understanding the following point: that the hopes we hold for ourselves do not correspond to the hopes that God has for us. God reserves the right to surprise us. For that reason, He bids us not to fear, not to allow the weight of our lives to prevent us from taking flight, from going forward in life. Jesus changes our plans. He appears ?suddenly? in our lives and he tells us to go ahead to Galilee where he will meet us.

In an unassuming manner, Brother Mariano Varona came to shake us out of daydreams with some new ideas: to deepen our Marist apostolic spirituality in a Marial way; to live out our Marist spirituality more vibrantly, so that it be loved and personally experienced; to follow closely the invitation to make Jesus Christ the center of our lives; to know more intimately the document, ?Water from the Rock,? by making it sure it becomes widely known in the Institute; to schedule various means of spiritual formation which could carry us beyond the year 2008.

Then Brother Aquilino de Pedro spoke about spirituality. He envisions spirituality as an attitude which ought to penetrate our entire life and lead us, even those who are already generous, towards a state of continuous conversion. He spoke of conversion as something effected through love and communion. Love always invites one to something greater, and thus it helps us to lead a richer life.

Brother Augusto Jeneman spoke to us about daring and prophecy? from the elevated standpoint of his 87 years of age! In light of his fidelity to the Marist Brothers, to Jesus, Mary and Champagnat; with his strength and his joy he helped us clearly to see that Jesus dwells in the hearts of all how love him. Brother Augusto invited us to drink lovingly of the ?Water from the Rock,? so as to be daring in living out changes which we must confront.

We experienced intense prayer times, especially while holding a ?Via Lucis? as we went to drink from the ?Water from the Rock.? The meeting was not so much a meeting of fraternities from Argentina and Chile, but a meeting among brothers and sisters! Like Marcellin and the first Brothers long ago at l?Hermitage, we found new strength to go forward.

We are grateful to the Brothers of the Province Cruz del Sur (Argentina) and those of the Province of Santa María de Los Andes (Chile) for their presence and warm and supportive involvement in the meeting. By the strength of the Holy Spirit, we experienced the meeting of Brothers and lay people as a vivid realization of Champagnat?s hopes and dreams.

Mónica Zúñiga


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