2023-06-09 SPAIN

Bonding of laypeople to the Marist charism in Mediterranea Province

For several years a formative itinerary (Being Marist Today) has been developed in the Mediterranea Marist Province, in terms of vocational discernment, with personal accompaniment, for those people who feel called to deepen their vocation as Marists, from their state of lay life. This proposal raises the possibility of making a public commitment to bond to the Marist charism, which is recognized by the Mediterranean Province.

A group of 11 lay people (Anabel Pérez, Alfredo García, Ana Gómez, Mª Carmen González, Pepe Camposo, Danilo Farneda, Juanvi Gordillo, José Albalá, Antonio Ángel Flores, Koki and Manu Gómez) from the Spanish area of the Province have followed a personalized path in which they have delved into the three dimensions of the Marist charism: spirituality, fraternity and mission. And as a result of this discernment, they have responded to the initiative of the Spirit, the Ruah, to live as lay Marists.

They expressed their response in the framework of the celebration of the Eucharist held on June 4, the feast of the Holy Trinity, on the eve of the feast of Saint Marcellin Champagnat. A celebration full of life, loaded with meaning, with a multitude of symbolisms that helped them to get closer, in a deeper way, to the experience that was wanted to be expressed and shared. At the end of the Eucharist, a simple fraternal banquet was shared with all those who joined the festive celebration.

Welcomed by the Marist community of Granada, in the south of Spain; and accompanied by their families, companions of their fraternities, lay communities, Marist Brothers, and the full Provincial Council, the 11 lay men and women made a promise to live their lay vocation in the style of Mary and Champagnat, pledging to continue the Marist charism in the places where they develop their life and mission. First with a common formula and then with a personal formula, each of them expressed in what concrete way they understood the link to the charism, from a deep experience of God, sharing life with other Champagnat Marists; and at the service of the Mission among the most vulnerable children and youth.

Brother Aureliano García, Provincial of the Mediterranean, accepted their commitments and imposed a simple cross with three violet inlays, a common symbol that the Provinces of Europe have adopted for this sign of lay bond to the Marist charism. In the words he addressed to the newly bonded lay people, and to the entire assembly, he expressed his gratitude for this experience of fraternity, for the Marist vocation that brothers and lay people share today, and for the new time that they are already living in the family charismatic.

As expressed at the beginning of the Eucharist, “As Marists, in the image of the Holy Trinity, we want to deepen the lay-brother communion. A communion that supposes sharing the same following of Jesus, the same radicalism of the Gospel, the same faith, the same baptism, the same charism. Communion becomes vocational complementarity, mutual enrichment, and a joint search for a greater vitality of the charism for today’s world. And so, in communion and as a family, as sisters and brothers, we are building the Marian face of the Church.”

We remember what is mentioned in number 12 of the document “Gathered around the same table. The vocation of Champagnat’s Marist Laity”: “We Lay Marists are Christian men and women, who in the course of our life have listened to the call of God to live the charism of Champagnat, and, from our lay state, we respond to it.” We give thanks to the good God and our Good Mother, Mary, for this great gift to the Marists of Champagnat in Mediterránea, and the whole world.


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