2023-05-04 ITALY

End of the “Mid-life” programme in Manziana

The 2023 session of the “Mid-Life” ongoing formation programme for Brothers between 40 and 55 finished on 29 April in Manziana.  At the final celebration, in addition to the eighteen participants and the Institute’s ongoing formation team, Brother Luis Carlos Gutiérrez, Vicar General, and other brothers from the General Administration were present.

The closing Mass, presided over by a chaplain of the General House, Fr Luis Alfredo, began with a welcome by Br Afaese Afaese, who spoke of feeling deeply grateful for all that has been provided and experienced during the course of this programme. He said, “Each one of us had the opportunity to share our personal experience in this Senderos/Midlife programme. Over the past three months, God has been at work in our lives through personal and community prayer, the topics presented by the speakers, through accompaniment, sharing in small fraternities and in our pilgrimage to some historical places here in Italy and France, especially those related to our origins.”

Expressing the feelings of the group he also paraphrased article 13 of the Constitutions, saying that this article “… speaks of a Covenant of love, in which God calls each one of us by name and leads us into the desert and there speaks to our hearts. During this formation programme, God has touched our innermost being, our essence. God’s Spirit worked ceaselessly in us, leading us to conversion and making us grow in love in order to entrust us with God’s mission. All that happened has expressed God’s freely-given love relationship with us and revitalised our consecration. We felt that the covenant of love, in which God makes a commitment to us and we to God, was made very real through this beautiful experience.

The last week of the Formation Program was marked by moments of evaluation, personal syntheses and a lot of sharing. The overall feeling expressed in these activities was one of gratitude for what had been experienced, gratitude for the generous presence of God in the life of each one, and a sincere desire to continue to follow Jesus Christ as a consecrated Marist.

In our three months of living together as brothers, our community in Manziana was very international and multicultural. The Brothers had the opportunity to share their life and mission; to talk about the dreams that move and motivate their consecration as Marists of Champagnat.

For this reason, feelings of gratitude overflowed at this time of thanksgiving. Br Afaese said: “…we thank those who have helped us in deepening our commitment to God and to those entrusted to our care. We bring all these people to this Eucharist, appreciative of their prayers and support…”  In particular, we thank “… Br Ernesto Sanchez and his Council; the Provincials and our Brothers of the Province; the Brothers of the General House; the presenters and translators; our relatives, friends and employees of the house and the Brothers who coordinated our programme: Brs Xavier, Ataide and Michael.”

We can say that this ongoing formation programme has given us room to grow and deepen our love relationship with God. The same God who loved us, called us and consecrated us, continues to act in our lives, forming us, inspiring us to continue moving forward towards new horizons. This encounter which is now coming to an end is an expression of the care of God and of our other brothers for our lives and our vocation.

At the end of the celebration, Br Luis Carlos, on behalf of the Superior General and his Council, presented a small icon of the Annunciation as a reminder of the personal response of each one to God’s call, and thanked everyone for their commitment to their own formation. According to him, opportunities such as these are very important for our vocational maturing and so it is always a joy to know that the Brothers have made the most of this beautiful experience to further enhance their consecration and mission.


Province Brasil Centro-Sul creates a series o...


Meeting of Brothers from 61 to 75 years of ag...