2021-06-16 CANADA

Celebration of St. Marcellin Champagnat: a family celebration

The Marists of Champagnat in Canada, brothers and laypeople, have had the opportunity to celebrate as a family the feast of our Founder. The restrictions of the pandemic have invited us to rediscover the mechanisms that the Zoom platform offers us to favour the fraternal encounter, the cordial greeting and sincere embrace in the distance, the sharing of life in a simple way, without haste; the times of reflection, interiorisation and prayer lived in a personal way, the sharing of what was expressed in the groups…, in short, a thousand and one gestures and moments that we felt could only be lived fully in a face-to-face way.

This event, as a global family, is part of a journey as a province that we began last year and which, throughout this 2021, has been taking shape in actions and initiatives that are linked together and give meaning and content to each of the stages of this journey.

We began our journey with the retreat we held last Easter. This virtual meeting was prepared with great generosity and dedication by an ad hoc team, led by the provincial animation commission. From personal reflection and group sharing emerged a series of treasures present in the community and some beliefs that nourish our life and mission as Marists: what we are and what we believe should be the path to follow if we wish to transmit, faithfully and creatively, the charism that we have inherited.

A new step in this journey was the meeting on the occasion of the feast of Marcellin Champagnat. The committee which, since April, has been in charge of the planning of this meeting has had the invaluable help of the team which organised the retreat last Easter. From this joint effort came the guiding principles that gave meaning and unity to the almost two hours of the celebration:

– To focus our gaze and heart on our current Canadian context, seeking to respond to those realities that challenge us.

– To promote the culture of encounter by making real, in concrete names and faces, what the General Chapter of 2017 invited us to do in each of its 5 Calls.

– To prepare our hearts to continue to journey together, laity and brothers, in a creative and forward-looking way, with a view to our next assembly at the end of July 2021.

What the different groups, composed of more than 50 participants, have expressed will guide the dynamics of our next assembly, the same one that will begin our new stage as a District and the Association of Marists of Champagnat of Canada (AMCC), made up of laypeople and brothers, and in which we will continue to seek to respond with the same enthusiasm and intuition with which Marcellin Champagnat responded in his day.


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