2015-10-23 GENERAL HOUSE

A Team for International Communities for a New Beginning

The planning and formation team for the International Communities for a New Beginning project gathered in Rome from Oct. 16 – 19 for further planning, focusing on the formation program for candidates among other issues. 

The team met with the planning and management committee –  Vicar General Brother Joe Mc Kee, Econome General Brother Libardo Garzón, Brothers Today secretariat director Brother Tony Leon and Brother Chris Wills, Collaboration for Mission International (Cmi) secretariat director –  at the General House to discuss details on how to prepare future community members. 

Although the location still needs to be agreed, the months of May and June of 2016 have been set as the two months of formation for the candidates.   

The project requires each Marist region – Oceania, Africa, Europa, Arco Norte and Brasil-Cono Sur – to propose two communities or more, consisting of four Marists and having at least three Brothers, by 2017. Asia, the home of the Marist District of Asia (MDA), which began as a Mission Ad Gentes project, is already considered as integrating the international communities for a new beginning.

The General Council affirmed it is looking forward to each region establishing at least one community by the end of next year.

Provincials and District Superiors are compiling a list of candidates who wish to be members of these communities, submitting the names to the Superior General for consideration. Candidates can expect to be contacted by the team soon with a request for information so that personal profiles can be created to assist the process.

The formation team for the project, appointed by the General Council, is made up of Brothers Jeff Crowe and Ángel Medina. They will direct the formation programme and be members of the accompaniment teams for each of the proposed communities.

During their encounter, the project team proposed that the formation be centred on a two-month experiential program arranged in accommodation clusters and having common meeting place. The aim is to develop the spirit of intercultural living as a key process of the formation.

 “This project is important because it is a major strategy of the Institute and it has been discussed in all recent meetings,” said Br Chris. 

Superior General Brother Emili Turú published a letter in March, titled Montagne, the dance of the mission, in which he appealed to Marists “to discern, before God, whether you feel called to leave your home country to form part of an international community in another region of the world.”

The vision statement of the project invites Marists “to commit ourselves to responding with new and daring ways to the changing and urgent situations of our world of today.” 

The statement notes that “the duration of the commitment will be adapted to the life circumstances of the members, especially in the case of the lay people.” 

Br Chris clarified that Lay and Brother Marists will be encouraged to live in the international communities for a renewable terms, according to their life situation. 


The Formation Team

The former provincial of Australia is among many candidates who have already put their names forward to live in an international community. 

“What does a former Provincial do next?” Brother Jeff Crowe told the general house press office on Oct. 20. “Deep down, I want to be part of the future of Marists and I see that future as increasingly global.” 

“In my own case, this is not so surprising since I have lived outside Australia for many years in a variety of contexts,” he stated.

Br Jeff volunteered himself after the Superior General asked him to be part of the team to form the candidates for two months before they move to one of the international communities. 

Br Ángel has been the leader of the formation community for Brothers in El Escorial, Spain, for the past six years.

“The meeting was a confluence of dreams, hopes and challenges, with those who have been entrusted with the mission to animate this experience and those who have offered their lives and themselves to make it happen,” said Br Ángel.

“This project is important because the new beginning needs concrete expressions of life and commitment by the entire Institute and by dedicated Marist people, brothers and laity,” he added. 


International Communities for a New Beginning
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