2021-11-24 GENERAL HOUSE

Appointments of the Enlarged Secretariat of the Laity

The Superior General, Br Ernesto Sanchez, and the General Council have appointed Ms Alida Bodomanitra (Madagascar) and Mr Nathan Ahearne (Australia) as members of the Enlarged Bureau of the Laity for a period of three years. Both have started this mission on 01 November 2021.

Alida Bodomanitra works together with Br Elias Odinaka in the animation of the Africa Region. Nathan Ahearne replaces Ms. Carole Wark representing the Oceania Region.

The Extended Secretariat is a team that supports the directors of the Secretariat, Raul Amaya (Santa Maria de los Andes), Agnes Reyes (East Asia) and Manu Gomez (Mediterranean).

It is currently composed of Ana Saborío (Central America), Nathan Ahearne (Australia), Br Elias Odinaka Iwu (Nigeria), Alida Bodomanitra (Madagascar) and Marcos José Broc (Brasil Sul-Amazônia).


Alida Henri Bodomanitra

She was born on March 04, 1976 in a small town located in the southern part of Madagascar. She is married and has 3 sons. From her childhood to the end of secondary school, she was always in catholic schools. Later she studied in a private university, DTS (Diplôme de Technicien Supérieur) in management.

In 2007, she started to work in a Marist school. In 2013 she changed to another Marist School where she teaches in primary section up to now. Since 2020 she is in charge of this Primary section and she teaches Religion and “Education à la Vie et à l’Amour” (EVA), this is teaching the students on how to live and to love. She is member of the Teachers’ association in my school, as bursar.

She teaches catechism at parish level to prepare children and youth for sacraments. This is for me an opportunity to implement the ideal of Champagnat “to make Jesus known and loved”.

She was working with the Brothers in vocation animation. She shared witness to the young people on how to live Marist charism as Lay person.

As much as she can, she participates in Marist recollection of workshop or joint formation to strengthen my spiritual life and Marist spirit. In my family, we use to pray using Marist prayers.

Before my appointment as member of the extended of secretariat of Laity, she participated in the lay Animators Course in Rome in 2015. It was my opportunity to see the Pope. After that she was appointed Lay animator in Madagascar.

She likes travelling so she visited different groups even in the furthest villages.

In 2017 she was appointed member of the African Lay and Brothers Commission and had meetings in Nairobi. In one of them we meet with the Lay Secretariat and gave them report on the Lay situation in Madagascar.

She participates in different Marist Provincial Chapters. She was appointed member of the preparatory commission of this last Provincial chapter, the first time there is Lay in that commission. It was an opportunity for me to know more about Marist life.   

She has shared life with the Marist for 14 years. Marist spirituality has been something that has filled me and gives meaning to my life.

Nathan Ahearne

Nathan is from the province of Australia and his wife and four children live in Canberra. He is 39 years old and currently works in adult formation for Marist Schools Australia. Prior to this appointment, Nathan worked for fifteen years as a Religious Education teacher and leader of Youth Ministry at Marist College Canberra. He is a keen writer and enjoys reflecting on the intersections between faith, life and relationships.

He originally studied Graphic Design, running a small business and volunteering in his Parish as a Youth Minister. Nathan later returned to study Secondary Education and Religious Studies in 2005 and was employed as a Catholic High School teacher the following year.

Pursuing his love of learning, he went on to study a Master of Theology with a focus on practical ministry and its application to Parish, Families and School partnerships. Nathan hopes to continue his passion for discovery through further study in adult formation.

He has been blessed by a close relationship with the Marist Brothers and many lay people who have supported the formation of his faith over many years. This has included joint-formation experiences with the Marist Brothers and lay people, a pilgrimage to La Hermitage, Rome and the Holy Land, personal spiritual accompaniment and practical workshops in adult faith formation.  

Nathan has been a member of the Marist Association of St Marcellin Champagnat for six years and a member of the leadership Council for the past three, chairing the committee for Formation. His current ministry work with the Marist Mission and Life Formation Team has opened many new doors for Marist solidarity in the Pacific Region, most notably through an online formation program based on Fratelli Tutti.


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