2022-09-18 GENERAL HOUSE

Br João Carlos Do Prado presents his doctoral thesis on the role of leadership in the Marist Institute

On 14 September Br João Carlos do Prado, General Councillor, presented his thesis for the award of a doctorate at St Mary’s University, Twickenham (London), England.

The thesis is entitled: “Revitalizing global, prophetic and collaborative leadership and the charism of the Institute of the Marist Brothers: Challenges and Opportunities”. The research towards a PhD consists of a case study using a mix of methodologies and explores the essential elements for the Institute of the Marist Brothers to form prophetic and collaborative leaders who can contribute to the vitality and continuity of the Marist charism. To this end, the study examines the overall leadership role that the General Council plays in ensuring the formation of prophetic and collaborative leaders. Furthermore, the study identifies the current strengths, challenges and opportunities in the processes used to form Marist leaders.

Key themes of the literature review include the charism and leadership of Marcellin Champagnat in founding the Institute of the Marist Brothers, the Marist charism, the concepts of global, prophetic and collaborative leadership, and relevant formative processes.  .

The study employs a mix of methodologies involving various means of data collection and analysis, both quantitative and qualitative, and bringing together different points of view on the topic under study. The research relied on a quantitative and qualitative on-line questionnaire, answered by 57 participants (brothers and lay Marists) representing 26 Administrative Units from the five continents and the Extended Secretariat of Laity. In addition, the members of the General Council of the Marist Institute participated in face-to-face semi-structured interviews.

The survey results identified the key role of the General Council as promoter and facilitator of leadership formation at the global level, as well as the strengths, challenges and windows of opportunity available to the Marist Institute to ensure the future of the Marist charism.

The study finds that while progress has been made, considerable effort is still required on the part of the Institute for the formation of current and future Marist leaders. It also confirms the need to do more about sharing knowledge of the Marist charism and vision and direction for its future of among leaders, and especially lay leaders.  Also the need to ensure their spiritual care and accompaniment and the enhancement of processes of formation offered to them.

The study points to the urgency of defining and implementing global Institute policies and guidelines for the formation of current leaders and for the attraction and preparation of new leaders. It concludes by promoting the formation of prophetic and collaborative global leaders by strengthening the communion of brothers and lay people and their co-responsibility for the Marist charism, as well as the need to define their place and role in Marist life and mission.

All this will require greater coordination and considerable commitment on the part of brothers and lay Marists engaged in Marist life and mission at all levels and regions of the Institute.


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