2011-02-26 BRAZIL

A young member of the CHMMF enters the Novitiate of Brasil

It was in 2007 that I had my first contact with the Champagnat Movement of the Marist Family (CHMMF), in my home town of Silvânia – GO, in the fraternity « Nosso Senhor do Bonfim ». I received an invitation from the animator at the time, Marli Jesus, à Abre, to take part in a meeting. I identified with the group easily enough, given my state as a Marist youth in search. I found there a way of deepening Marist spirituality more from the lay dimension; I took part in three meetings, then I asked to join the fraternity.

In 2008, I had the grace to participate at the Movement’s retreat in Braslândia – DF, on the theme: « Drinking at the torrents of living water ». As this meeting did me good, I felt the desire of becoming a Marist Brother growing in me.

The Champagnat Movement was one of the places where I experienced the call of Marcellin: « We need Brothers so that Jesus Christ may become known and loved. »

After much prayer in the presence of God, I felt impelled to try a more intensive experience in the Marist Congregation: in 2009 I entered the Marist pre-postulancy at Vila Velha – ES.

At the Postulancy of Belo Horizonte in 2010, I had the opportunity of accompanying the Fraternity « Nossa Senhora da Boa Viagem » (Our Lady of the good Voyage)

The XXI General Chapter proposed to us, among other things, « a new relationship between Brothers and Laity, searching together for a greater vitality. » The fraternity of Belo Horizonte was a formation space in my postulancy stage. Not only did we have the wish for a joint formation of Brothers and Laity, but we organised meetings for the study and sharing of life and mission.

In this meeting space, I realised the importance of the vocation of the lay person in the Institute. The will to advance together, to share life and mission with the Brothers is something which makes me enthusiastic and helps me in my discernment. « We realize that there are new forms of family among us. Whatever the circumstances, we Lay Marists wish to live them like a Christian home, where love and understanding are at the centre of our relationships » (Around the same table, 76)

And finally, from 13 to 15 November 2010, we celebrated the 25 years of the  CHMMF in Divino Paraíso de Gama – DF: 33 fraternities were represented, with more than 200 Laity and 9 Brothers. The gathering was marked by the fraternity and joy of being together around the same table. It confirms me in the conviction that the laity enrich the vocation of the Brother, and that it is necessary for us to recognize and support the value of the lay Marist vocation.

We are all Marists, Brothers and Laity, belonging to the same family, and, Together, we hope to build the Kingdom of God!


May God bless and protect us!

May our Good Mother preserve and watch over us!

May Champagnat accompany and inspire us!

Brother Dener Rodrigues de Souza

Novice mariste 1e année

Passo Fundo, 08 fevrier 2011.

[1]Theme of the celebration gathering of the CHMMF, Province of « Brasil Centro-Norte », 2010


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