2012-12-28 RWANDA

Novitiate of Save

Come and follow me(Mk 10, 21) was implicitly the theme of the celebration of the official entrance of the first year novices of Save in Rwanda, that took place the 11th December. The ceremony, during which the novices wore their soutanes for the first time, marked officially the beginning of the novitiate formation of the young men aspiring to become Marist Brothers. From this day, these young men are recognized by the Institute as novices, thus sharing the spiritual patrimony with the Marist Brothers.

The day started with community prayer and mass as usual, followed by a long moment of silence for personal reflection and prayer. In the evening at 5.30, the ceremony itself began. It consisted of singing and sharing of the word of God and a brief teaching addressed to the novices and to the assembly as well. The pick of the ceremony came when the nine young men were ready to be dressed with the religious habits, showing by this simple act their faith and courage to move on in the footsteps of Jesus Christ despite the foreseeable difficulties and even overwhelming demands of the Gospel. The Institute on the other hand has to provide solid religious formation for them during the next two years.

Before the end of the ceremony, the novice master, Brother Theoneste Kalisa of the province of Central and Eastern Africa province, known as PACE, and the Brother Superior of the province himself addressed the novices and the assembly. Both stressed the goal of the period of the novitiate formation which is essentially for the novices, to live the experience of God’s love and to already practice the evangelical counsels in the Institute founded by Marcellin Champagnat. They also reminded the assembly of the role of the formators to make the religious and Marist values owned by the novices.

The yesterday’s celebration was an exceptionally Marist event. It was simple yet very meaningful because, not only it revived in us the importance of our long life commitment but also it was an occasion of meeting Marists lay as well as brothers coming from different parts of Africa and of the world. Providentially, since two days ago, a workshop on Marist education, organized by the Brother João do Prado, a Brazilian brother has been going on. This workshop is attended by many Marist brothers and their lay partners involved in schools. Having been notified about the celebration in the novitiate (within the same compound where the workshop is held), they came to join the novitiate community for this event. Besides, a good number of Marist sisters (SMSM) who work in Rwanda, joined in the celebration. These Marist sisters, a few days ago, (on December 8th) celebrated the 80th year of the congregation’s approval by the Holy See as an autonomous Institute of pontifical right

Brother Alphonse Tiamaro, fms, Province of Madagascar


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