2009-12-13 FRANCE

D day has arrived

« D » day has arrived: this 8 December 2009, the new community of the Hermitage stepped out, at La Neylière, the Marist Fathers? house in the Monts du Lyonnais. The Eucharist, celebrated in the community oratory where Father Colin?s tomb is situated, constituted the important moment of this « foundation ». At their places around the table were: Jean-Pierre, Benito, Annie, Marie Elida, Georges, Diogène, Miro, Allan, Neville, Michel, John (Marist Father); with Br. Josep Maria Sotéras, representing the General Council, Br. Xavier Barcelo, provincial of the Hermitage, Br. André Déculty, vicar provincial, Br. Joao Do Prado, executive secretary of UMBRASIL, and some of the faithful of La Neylière. Missing from the rendez-vous were Norma and Ernesto, who will rejoin the group at the end of the month.

At the offertory, each one joined his or her Yes to that of Mary, by presenting an aspect of life, country, mission. For the setting out, Brother Xavier gave each a pilgrim?s staff, with a litttle bundle attached containing a candle, the sign that Jesus is at the centre of our life; a pebble carrying the name of a member of the community, as a sign of welcoming the other as a particular individual; and an extract from the message of the 21st Chapter. Viaticum for journeying together in confidence and hope in service of brothers and sisters encountered or waiting to be encountered.

A prayer recited together expressed this Yes to be Marists today, in an international community composed of lay people, Brothers, and a priest.

After the sharing of spiritual food, a good meal brought together again the community of La Neylière, some friends, and the « Hermitage » group.

« Yes, how good it is to live as brothers and sisters, all together ».

What this « foundation » day means for:

« For me, it is putting into operation the three calls addressed to me by my Provincial, on my sending on this mission:
Invitation to share with others who I am; invitation to be a gift to others as a Marist from the Philippines; invitation to enter into communion with others in a mixed, international community, for the first time in my life as a Marist. »

Maria Elida
« This is a very special day for me. It is as if Mary was welcoming us into her womb as seed so as to give birth to us as a new community which will bear fruit. I asked Mary to be worthy of the confidence that the Superiors have placed in me by calling me to take part in this mission, and that my participation opens the way for other lay people in this same mission ».

« I have had the experience of what the « Marist family » is, as at its origins: the reality of a diversified group. I have experienced the celebration somewhat as a return to the sources: Marists left France for different lands, particularly for Oceania. Today, it is Marists from different lands who come to found something in France for a new mission. It is a new departure, full of dynamism and boldness ».


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