2007-09-14 BRAZIL

Final stretch of the group work

Today, September 11th, has been another day of intense work for the Assembly. The methodology used to approach the four pending themes is similar to the one used for the previous two themes: exposure to the group, clarifications and proposal of observations in writing

A revolution of the heart: open to the breath of the Spirit.

The third topic makes reference to a change of heart. It starts from a declaration: ?we are called to passionately center our lives in Jesus Christ developing a spirituality of following.? And later the scope of this revolution of the heart is indicated: ?Our educational and social works and communities of insertion are sacred spaces for conversion. Together with the children and young people, we listen to their needs, paying attention to the calls of God. We feel directed to center our spirituality in an evangelizing and freeing action, respecting cultural differences.?

The Assembly points out some suggestions for advancement in this direction: ?specific and combined formation for brothers and laity on the provincial, regional and international levels, implementation of a program of inter-religious dialog, the study of Marist spiritual patrimony, personalized accompaniment and vocational follow up for brothers and laity, creation of new areas of participation.?

Marist presence in evangelization

The groups that worked on this topic call us to be ?audacious? in order to ?evangelize by means of the integration of faith and life,? promoting ?a welcoming, participative, evangelical and fraternal Church.? They also speak to us of ?a transformative education of young people and families, in such a way that they live and proclaim the Gospel as agents of change.? And they invite us to re-examine our works ?in order to make them more evangelically rich.?

Marists of Champagnat on a shared mission

Today?s third theme was centered on the new relationship between brothers and laity. ?As Marists of Champagnat, we believe that God is calling us now to share life and mission, co-responsibly, men and women, with a spirit of confidence, inclusiveness and mutual respect.?

The topic had a vocational echo: ?We believe that God calls brothers and laypeople in different ways to follow and share the charism of Marcellin, according to their personal vocations.? Together in diversity: ?We feel called to promote a new Marist vocation ministry and formation combined to deepen our common vocation and our specific vocations.? Later an exhortation comes to ?begin new forms of linking to the Marist charism, so that laypeople and brothers can listen to the call in living their identities.?

The practical realization of this proposal, in which the mission is really shared, is going to require the creation of ?new structures and processes to strengthen co-responsibility and to make joint decisions.?
At the heart of our dream

With these contributions a text was sketched, still provisional, from which we offer some paragraphs:

?? We?ve listened to the Lord, to the voices of children and young people and we?ve listened to each other. We?ve shared from the heart our desire to work together to shape our dreams. In the center of these dreams, Jesus manifests himself to us as the son of Mary and the Risen Lord??

Jesus Christ is in the heart of each person? We find him among us, in our communities. Full of his love we experience an ardent desire that unites us with passion to serve and proclaim the Kingdom Of God. We?ve listened to this call to holiness. As Saint Marcellin responded, we also follow Christ as Mary did. The powerful image of Mary giving birth to Jesus has overcome us? We contemplate Jesus in the eyes of children, in the faces of young people? and we listen to his voice in the cries of those whom we have not yet met (Mt 25, 34-40).?

The text received a very warm welcome on the part of the Assembly.

Work by regions

Practically the rest of the day was dedicated to analyzing and sharing the implications that all that was reflected on and lived during the Assembly has for each region of the Institute. The geographic distribution was: Asia, Africa, Pacific, Europe, Arco Norte, Cono Sur and Brazil.

A Brazilian ?churrasco? with ?caipirinha?

The day concluded with Eucharist and an outdoor meal. The menu was a Brazilian style ?churrasco? (barbecue) with ?caipirinha? (special Brazilian drink).


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