2023-12-08 GENERAL HOUSE

Marist Symposium “Sources and Streams” concludes

Photos | Other info | Video last session

On Friday, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, the Marist Symposium “Sources and Streams”, promoted by the Marist Institute and organized by the International Commission for Marist Spiritual Patrimony, came to an end. Brothers Michael Green, Omar Peña and Vincent de Paul, together with the directors of the Brothers Today Secretariat, Ángel Medina and Lindley Sionosa, formed the organizing committee. All the members of the Patrimony Commission actively participated in the realization of the Symposium, which brought together around 100 people, lay and consecrated members of the Marist family.

The last conference of the meeting was given by Brother Juan Jesus Moral Barrio, from the Province of the Hermitage. His reflection was entitled “Educating from the paradigm of interiority”. After reflecting on what is meant by interiority, Brother Juan Moral proposed a change of strategy in pedagogy: instead of expecting and pretending that models, ways and means come from the outside, favoring that they come from within. This proposal is based on the realization that we can’t start from the outside, whose control is out of our reach; we need to bring out the best in ourselves, looking for the meaning of God. Brother Juan Moral has a doctorate in philosophy and educational sciences and was also archivist at the General House. He lives in Barcelona, where he is a professor at the Higher Institute of Religious Sciences. At the same time, he collaborates with the Marist Memorial in Curitiba.

Brother Michael Green gave the concluding speech in which he summarized the journey that had taken place and indicated the next steps. He began by emphasizing the success of the meeting, thanks to “what” and “who”: what was felt, presented, the ideas, the research; and also thanks to “who” participated, the time spent together, getting to know each other. He then recalled the aims of the symposium and how they had been achieved: to bring together Marist researchers, formators, animators…; to encourage new research and promote literary works on Marist themes; to promote new and potential Marist researchers and writers, creating a link between the generations. He also announced the intention of the Patrimony Commission to hold the second symposium in 2025 at Notre-Dame de l’Hermitage. For this event, he stressed that the new generation that is researching the Marist charism must emerge. He also wanted women to be heard, since the majority of people involved in the Marist mission are women. He also asked what new research needs to be done at the Marist level and invited all the participants to leave their evaluations and suggestions for the continuation of the process experienced at this symposium. Finally, Brother Michael, on behalf of the Patrimony Commission, thanked the many people who had collaborated in making the event a success.

The symposium ended with the festive Mass of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, celebrated by the Superior General of the Marist Fathers, Father John Larsen. During the celebration, Brother Ernesto Sánchez, Superior General, received the temporary profession of Brother Nathan da Costa Cardoso dos Santos, from the Province of Brasil Centro-Sul, a participant in the Symposium, who renewed his vows as a Marist Brother. Then everyone was invited to a festive lunch.

Looking ahead to the next Marist Symposium

Br. Michale Green – Comité organisateur du Symposium

In anticipation of the upcoming Symposium in 2025 at Notre Dame de l’Hermitage, France, we are setting the stage for an exciting exploration of ideas and insights. As we look forward to this gathering, there are key considerations that demand our attention and deliberate efforts.

First, it’s been important to observe the collaboration of seasoned scholars and researchers alongside the presence of younger individuals who represent the future generation of writers, animators, researchers, and leaders. This inclusivity is pivotal, underscoring the significance of nurturing potential within our community. Looking ahead to the next Symposium, let’s actively seek and engage with this diverse array of voices, ensuring a well-rounded representation of both seasoned and emerging contributors.

Secondly, a crucial aspect is the selection of presenters. The question arises: who should we invite to share their insights? The consensus is clear—let’s open the floor to a diverse range of voices. The call is extended not only to established researchers and writers but also to those engaged in postgraduate studies. The experiences of individuals involved in Marist leadership, administration, and spiritual direction are equally vital. The call to hear from women is particularly emphasized, recognizing the indispensable role they play in shaping Marist life and mission. Let us hear from women… – a strong plea underlining the essential need for the presence and voices of women in our discussions. Considering that, in many regions, women form the majority of those actively participating.

And third, what studies or writings should be undertaken? While possibilities for future research and writing have been discussed, the challenge is to actively contemplate how we can foster and encourage new research. This involves not only identifying potential areas for exploration but also considering how to sponsor and support these endeavors. The aim is to perpetuate the evolution of our narrative, ensuring it remains dynamic and reflective of our community’s growth and aspirations.

It becomes evident that our commitment to inclusivity, diversity, and the encouragement of innovative thinking will be pivotal in shaping the future of Marist discourse. By actively seeking diverse voices and supporting new avenues of research and writing, we not only honor the richness of our community but also lay the foundation for a narrative that truly encapsulates the multifaceted essence of Marist life and mission.


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