Fraternities of the Champagnat Mouvement of the Marist Family

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We have just finished celebrating the 25 years of the beginning of the Champagnat Movement of the Marist Family which, according to our Constitutions, is an extension of our Institute (C164.4). Brothers and laity, we form part of the same charismatic family, we share the same charism. With affectionate and cordial words, Brother Charles Howard closed his introduction to the Life Project of the Champagnat Movement, addressing Marist laymen and women: “One last word, to stress something which you already know. You are very, very welcome in ‘your’ Marist home. You have been living in it for a long time already by your way of living, feeling and acting. Now you have chosen to live the faith and the apostolate more deeply by becoming other Champagnats in the setting of your own life, beginning with your own homes”.

The more than 3000 lay persons who form part of the approximately 260 fraternities that there are in the Institute give testimony to the belonging to our common home of the Marist charism. From the Bureau of Laity we would like to let these brothers and sisters know what Brother Charles was referring to when he wrote in 1990: “The laity reveal to us new facets of the Marist charism, as soon as they go on living it more fully. Sharing spiritually with them will also reveal to us new depths of our vocation as brothers”. Together we can prepare the new epoch for the Marist charism and together we can shape the new way of being brother.

In recalling the history of the Fraternities of the Champagnat Movement, spread throughout the Marist world, we observe a variety of styles and accents, of participants and contexts, of processes and missions. They are the diverse profiles of the Marist charism lay in tone, feminine in expression, with the colour of cultures and a diversity of vocations… This pluralism is a help to us on our common journey towards new lands.