2015-07-21 GENERAL HOUSE

Fourvière Year

Dear Sisters and Brothers:

We are quickly approaching Fourvière Day, 23rd July 2015. This is the day on which we will begin our year-long preparation for the Bicentenary of the Fourvière Pledge. In our letter of September 2014, we shared with you that, as Marist Family, we would like

  • to provoke a sense of curiosity and awe at the significance of the Fourvière Pledge for today;
  • to foster an enhanced sense of Marist identity as “Marist Family”;
  • to boost a renewal of energy, hope, joy, motivation and commitment to the “work of Mary”.

There are various ways in which each of us and our communities can enter into this important Marist Event. These include but are not limited to the following suggestions:

  • Make use of the resources that have been prepared for personal and community reflections such as,

(a) a short history of the making of the pledge and what inspired it by Justin Taylor, S.M., together with a reflection on its significance for us today by François Drouilly, S.M.;
(b) a guide for a short series of three meetings for reflection and prayer for communities;
(c) a collection of contributions from young members of our Marist family on their hopes and dreams for the future, inspired by the young men of Fourvière, which will be published later on in the year. These and other resources will be linked to each of our congregational websites.

  • Encourage your communities to frequently visit the Website that has been dedicated for the dissemination of information on the Fourvière Event (www.maristinter.org).
  • In countries where there are representatives of each or several of the Marist family congregations and Marist laity, we encourage you to collaborate on preparing special gatherings throughout the year to share on the meaning of the Fourvière Pledge in your own lives as well as to use the prayer resources mentioned above for faith sharing following your times of personal reflection. One such gathering could be a combined pilgrimage to a local Marian shrine/church.
  • Plan a gathering in your respective countries for Fourvière Day, 23 July 2016, and celebrate the Bicentenary of the Fourvière Pledge as Marist Family in communion with those who will be gathered for the celebration in Lyon.
  • Consider sending a representative to participate in the Fourvière Day 2016 celebrations in Lyon, France. The celebration will begin with the Eucharistic Liturgy in the basilica of Notre Dame de Fourvière at 10h30. A group of young people who will be participating in the International Marist Youth Gathering in Lyon will join in this celebration on Fourvière Day as the culminating event of their week-long session prior to World Youth Day in Poland. The Mass will be followed by a meal in a location near to the basilica.

Please encourage the Marists in your area to participate in this year of prayerful reflection on the Fourvière Pledge – to ponder its meaning for the first Marists who took the Pledge in 1816 and its relevance in our own lives as Marists today, called to be a little of Mary’s presence in the world.

United in Mary, our first and perpetual superior

Br Emili Turú FMS
Sr Georgeanne Donovan SMSM
Sr Grace Ellul SM
F. John Hannan SM

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