2024-02-26 PHILIPPINES

Gathering of the Marist Branches in Davao

Last February 10, around 200 Marists from the Four branches gathered at Almacen, Davao City, Philippines, to meaningfully connect and re-connect, know each other better, and deepen the Marial bond that unites all Marists. This gathering is conducted every two years which began in 2017 with the Marist Brothers as host in General Santos City. In 2019, the Marist Fathers hosted the event in Davao City and in 2022, the Marist Missionary Sisters had the event in Koronadal City. For this year 2024, the Marist Sisters led in the organization and facilitation of this significant Marist event.

The gathering began with the celebration of the Eucharist officiated by the Provincial of the Marist Fathers, Fr. Christopher Thadeos Ganzon.

After the celebration of the Eucharist, Sr. Shiela Manalo, SM, delivered a welcome message. She stated that the Marist Family Gathering, whose theme was MARIST PILGRIMS OF THE HEART, “is a seamless garment given to us by Christ, woven by Mary, and worn by generations of Marists captured the way and the values every Marist is called to live: Let Marists always bear in mind that they belong by a gracious choice to the family of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God. In her name, they are called Marists and they have chosen her as their model, and as their first perpetual superior from the very beginning.”

The said gathering was an opportunity to reflect together, and share lived experiences on how Marists can continue the spirit of their respective founders in our time, in our apostolate, in our work, and in the day-to-day living by further exploring the richness and complementarity of each branch. Sr. Shiela concluded her message by stressing a salient point that “our lives are different and are interwoven, creating a beautiful weaving of love in our world.”

The Marist Gathering 2024 was graced by the presence of the Marist Sisters’ Regional Leader for Asia-Pacific, Sr. Jane Frances O’Caroll, SM and the Superior General, Sr. Sr Sylvette Mane, SM. The sessions in the program were facilitated by both of them, with Sr. Sylvette providing enriching input on the theme and Sr. Jane facilitating the weaving activities engaged in small groupings.

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