2024-02-16 GENERAL HOUSE

“Beacon of Hope” collects 21 messages from the Marist International Mission Commission

Beacon of Hope – PDF: English | Español | Français | Português

From December 2020 until October 2023, the Marist International Mission Commission sent Marist leaders 21 messages addressing current issues related to Marist mission. “We want the messages to help us make life flow, give reasons for hope, get excited about our efforts, give meaning and rationale to what we are experiencing, to be innovators driven by passion and compassion,” said Brother Luis Carlos Gutiérrez, Vicar General, at the launch of the project in 2020.

Coordinated by the Vicar General, the Commission is composed of representatives of the General Administration and others leading mission around the world: the Directors and Deputy Directors of the Mission Secretariats, the Bursar General’s Office and Strategic Project Management, representatives of the Networks and the Regions, and the link members of the General Council. The main focus of its work as a commission has been to implement the Strategic Plan of the General Administration (2017-2025) and to ensure the integration and synergy of the different areas, networks and regions from the perspective of Marist mission.

During the last meeting of the Commission, in January of this year, the book “Beacon of Hope” was launched which collects all the messages in a single volume. We reproduce below the presentation by the Superior General, Brother Ernesto Sánchez, who introduces the book.

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Dear Marists of Champagnat,
We live in times of great challenges posed by the pandemic and its aftermath. We are also currently facing complex social situations in a number of countries, such as wars in many places and people on the move as migrants or displaced. These situations have given rise to new forms of poverty and emerging needs. These and many other contemporary realities call for even greater commitment and engagement in our mission.

Mission is key for us as Champagnat Marists. Indeed, the Synthesis Report of the Synodal Assembly which took place in October – and in which I had the privilege of participating as one of the five delegates from
the Union of Superiors General – titled its second chapter: “All disciples, all missionaries”. Its message begins by saying:

Rather than saying that the Church has a mission, we affirm that Church ‘is’ mission. “As the Father has sent me, so I send you” (John 20:21): the Church receives from Christ, the One who is sent by the Father, Her own mission. Supported and guided by the Holy Spirit, the Church announces and witnesses the Gospel to those who do not know it or welcome it. They do this with that preferential option for the poor that is rooted in the mission of Jesus” (XVI General Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops – Synthesis Report, 8a).

Our ministry of educating and evangelising children and young people, particularly the most vulnerable, is our way of carrying out God’s mission. We do this under the inspiration of Mary, our Good Mother, who
encourages and journeys alongside us. This is the gift that Saint Marcellin Champagnat received and shared with us. We are heirs to this gift, with the responsibility of adapting it and updating it for the present time. We receive the same inspiration that was given to him. Our witness, then, and our shared reflection and vision of how to carry out God’s mission in our own day, are very important.

I would like to thank the International Marist Mission Commission for the reflections they have shared with the Institute on different themes related to mission. It has been a team effort, enriched by the variety of experiences and contexts present across the Institute. Thanks to each of the members of this Commission, to those who have been with us from its beginning and to those who form it today, on behalf of the Regions of the Institute, of the different Mission Networks and those in the service of the General Administration, especially the Secretariats, Departments, the Bursar General’s Office and General Councillors. Thanks to Br. Luis Carlos Gutiérrez, Vicar General, for his service as coordinator.

My thanks to all Marists of Champagnat for your generous dedication to mission. Let us give a special place to reflection and teamwork as we journey together as a Global Marist Family.

Br. Ernesto Sánchez Barba, Superior General of the Marist Institute


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