2008-02-21 GENERAL HOUSE

Interview with Brother Pedro Herreros

Brother Pedro Herreros, General Councillor, has been entrusted by the General Council with the coordination of the policies of the Council with the activities of the Committee of Patrimony, which will devote its efforts, time and heart to researching our Marist Patrimony. The Directorate of Communications was given the responsibility of printing Travellers in Hope, written by Brother Frederick McMahon. The book was already published in the original English. But some Spanish ?speaking Brothers, who had read it in that language, discovered the value of the contributions made by Brother McMahon. In an interesting conversation, Brother Pedro explains to us how this work has come to light in the Spanish language.

AMEstaĂşn. How and why was the edition of the book Travellers in Hope translated into Spanish?
H. Pedro: In Rome we usually find ourselves representing the four Marist congregations, sharing the topic of our spiritual patrimony. Each congregation presents the position of the investigations on patrimony in its own family and the efforts that are made to include, in both initial and permanent formation, reference to their charismatic origins. One of the participants in these meetings summarized his experience in this way: the knowledge of the origins of each one of our Congregations cannot be carried out appropriately without obligatory and enlightened reference to the origins of the others?.
The Committee of Patrimony of the General Council of the Marist Brothers has suggested publishing the translation of the work of Brother Frederick McMahon, written in 1994, with the aim of promoting among the readers of the Spanish language this enlightened vision of our origins in the context of a common project.

Brothers McMahon?s book came to being following a pilgrimage the author made to the Marist places, accompanying a group consisting of Marist Brothers, Fathers, Sisters and Marist Missionary Sisters. Do you believe that this work helps to fill a gap in our institutional bibliography?
It is possible to find biographies of Jean Claude Colin, of Jeanne Marie Chavoin, of Marcellin Champagnat and of the pioneer founders of the Marist Missionary Sisters. It is more difficult to find a story that gives us, in the diverse stages of realization of the founding project, the relationships with the main characters, their mutual influences, and the co-founding role played by some in relation to the others. And, also, it is constructed like a drama that weaves and unweaves before the captive readers eyes. This is the merit of Brother McMahons work, which places us in the perspective of a journey of hope, because although our founders were not able to complete their first vision, they passed on their spirit and history to those coming after.

One of the delicate moments in the transfer of ideas from one language to another is that of finding the person to whom you can entrust the translations. How did you find the appropriate person?
The well-crafted translation of Brother Carlos MartĂ­n Hinojar, to which we were accustomed even before his arrival in Rome as official translator of Spanish, allows us to enjoy this treasure in our own language. Carlos carried out this task while still dedicating himself to the day-to-day work of his service which is considerable. Thank you for this extra effort.

What future do you see for this new work among the Brothers and the lay people?
I believe that there are many Brothers and lay people who will have the opportunity of growing in the love of their Marist vocation thanks to this reading that we offer them. It will allow them to deepen their knowledge of Marcellin Champagnat as a backdrop to his journey together with the other Marist founders and the Church in France during the XIX century.


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