2009-12-30 AUSTRALIA

Following the XXI General Chapter

Following the end of the XXI General Chapter and the return of our delegates, the Brothers of the Sydney Province gathered in Convocation at St Joseph?s College Hunters Hill from Friday 11th to Sunday 13th December.

We were grateful to have newly elected General Councillor Br Michael De Wass with us for the duration. His presence was a clear reminder of the international character of our Institute, one of the signposts the Chapter gave us towards our future.

The atmosphere of the convocation was positive and energising, not only for the chance to meet up with confrères met rarely throughout the year, but also because of the challenging and encouraging agenda before us: Our identity as Brothers, our relation with Lay Marists, and Marist Mission.

There were many gifts of these days together:

Brotherhood was powerfully present among us ? ?it was good for us to here? – and much positive praying and sharing took place throughout our time together.

It was a deeply prayerful gathering, with appropriate and thoughtful liturgies prepared and shared, and time given – even within sessions – for reflection and quiet time.

We experienced in a delightful way the gift of our Marist colleagues ? women and men ? who shared with us their insights, hopes and aspirations for our journey together as Marists in Champagnat?s tradition. They spoke of ?feeling valued?. The Brothers, in their turn, endorsed the steps the Province is taking to foster communion and co-responsibility.

From each other, as well as our colleagues and students, we were strongly affirmed in our call as Brothers today, to continue to be visible and welcoming to the young in our ministries. Who we are in our hearts and how we engage with others is the key to our Marist mission in the future.

To have had our young Brothers and young men in formation with us, assuring us of their love for our vocation and commitment to our Marist journey together, was a special gift of these days. They encouraged us, as they reiterated Br Steve Urban?s wonderful encouragement of many years ago – ?Tell the sons of Israel to march on!?

And permeating so much of these days together was the invitation ? even challenge ? to deepen our Marian spirituality and to reach deep down into our Marian hearts to hear our lives resonate with Mary?s Magnificat so that we might with generosity and conviction ?go with her, in haste, to a new land?.


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