2013-12-23 GERMANY

Marist Europe

The five European Provincial Councils meet together every two years. These meetings provide an opportunity for the various members of Provincial Councils to get to know each other better and to discuss matters of common interest and concern. The latest meeting was held in Berg Moriah, a Schönstatt retreat and conference centre near Koblenz, Germany, from 27 – 29th November, 2013. 

Thirty-eight brothers participated in the meeting, including Brothers Ernesto Sanchez and Antonio Ramalho, the members of the General Council who have responsibility for Europe and Africa. Most of the participants were from Spain, along with brothers from Italy, Portugal, France, Germany, Belgium, Scotland and Ireland. 

During the first day the brothers listened to reports from the four European work teams: Mission, Brothers Today, Vocations, and Lay People and Brothers Together. There was also a presentation from the Champagnat movement of the Marist Family. The presenters gave an outline of the objectives of each team, the nature of their activities, and their vision for the future. This enabled the brothers to understand better the current structures that exist in Marist Europe.

Experience has shown us that we benefit from taking time to relax together. With that in mind the brothers went on a boat trip from Koblenz to the famous Lorelei statue. The brothers had their meal on the boat and enjoyed the beauty of the countryside and towns along the banks of the Rhine. Most importantly, it gave them time to relax and chat together. That evening Brother Winfried Schreieck visited the centre with his great-nephew, Wolfgang, to present a wine tasting evening. Brother Winfried’s family produces a range of wines. The brothers benefited from an introduction to quality German wines in a relaxing setting.

The following day the brothers listened to presentations about important themes from the General Conference that was held in September: Internationality, Contemplation, Mission, the Poor and Evangelization, and Formation. There was also a presentation about statistics, with projections between now and 2022. At the end of the day the brothers made proposals for a future for Marist Europe. 


Marist European Conference

The Provincials members of the Marist European Conference (C.E.M.) discussed the proposals when they met the following day. This was the first time that some of the participants had visited Germany. Despite the weather they were able to visit places of interest, like Cologne, with its magnificent cathedral, Mainz and Frankfurt. Participants agreed that it was a profitable meeting, which helped us to move forward as Marists together in Europe. 

Brother Brendan Geary


María Pilar Benavente Serrano...


District of Asia...