2021-03-18 AUSTRALIA

Online Symposium of the Marist Association of Saint Marcellin Champagnat

On 2 March, 600 people gathered online for the Marist Association’s online Symposium with Father Timothy Radcliffe OP. Reflecting on the Marist Association of St Marcellin Champagnat theme for 2021: Breathe – the spirit of life (Romans 8:2) as stimulus, the symposium attracted Catholics from dioceses throughout Australia and overseas, including Vietnam, the Philippines, Timor-Leste, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and members of the Marist Brothers General House in Rome.

Father Timothy is well known to many as the former Master of the Dominican Order worldwide. His most recent book Alive in God – A Christian Imagination was a source of stimulus for the Marist Association theme, and his thought provoking comments and reflections on living the Christian life prompted a stimulating discussion during the symposium. The essence of Father Tim’s emphases was reflected in the assertion that “we are most likely to excite people with our faith if Christianity is grasped as the invitation to live fully”.

Speaking of the many challenges that young people face in Catholic schools, participants were reminded to create space to allow the healing love of God in their lives. Drawing on the metaphor of gardening, Father Tim posited that the challenge for Christians is “to become gardeners of life, raising children who know the art of speaking healing words to others, who give freedom from failure and oxygen to live … knowing when we share in that divine creativity we heal, we set free, we forgive, we make new”.

Brother Peter Carroll, Provincial of Australia, noted, “The number of participants and quality of engagement demonstrated once again in this holy season of Lent, the thirst among committed Catholics for spiritual thought, discourse and reflection. Seeing so many people in a diversity of contexts earnestly searching together was a graced experience.”


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