2021-06-24 GENERAL HOUSE

Second Meeting of Masters and Accompagnateurs of Novices

The masters and accompagnateurs of novices gathered once again on Wednesday, June 16, to continue ‘journeying together as a global family’. Organized by the Secretariat of Brothers Today, this meeting, like the first virtual encounter on April 28, primarily aims at getting acquainted with each other and sharing experiences in the ministry of novitiate formation.

Br. Ernesto Sanchez was also present to greet the attendees and give his message of encouragement. He acknowledged the service that the formators are doing, with special mention to those who are now accompanying novices in these unusual circumstances. He also talked about the pandemic, its lights and shadows, and the challenge for all of us to respond to the emerging needs it has brought to surface.

The meeting started with a prayer, wherein Brothers Angel and Lindley invited the novice masters and accompagnateurs to share photos of their respective novitiates / communities and the novices, while offering a Hail Mary for them.

As he was not around on April 28, Br. Greg McDonald who is accompanying the 9 novices in Baucau, East Timor, was invited to share about the Marist presence there and about his community and the novices.

The main message of Br. Ernesto revolved around three key ideas: formation that is authentically Marian (formation in the Marian key), caring for ourselves and others, and formation for mission (in the key of mission).

“The great gift that Marcellin gave us was the name of Mary. We are invited to pass on to our novices a deep spirituality, favoring a heart that is free and open to welcome God, as Mary did.” Br. Ernesto said. In talking about caring, he reiterated some words from his circular, “Homes of Light”, stressing rest and giving time for oneself, as well as accompaniment and listening to one another. As for the mission key, Br. Ernesto reminded the formators that aside from giving the novices solid formation in spirituality, they should “have this connection with the context of the most needy.”

Brothers Óscar Martín and João Carlos do Prado, link councilors for the Secretariat of Brothers Today, also gave their brief message of thanks and encouragement to the formators.

The Secretariat then presented two important projects. First, the process of the revision of the formation guide, wherein the formators and formands will also be involved along the way. Second, the proposal for the Year of Marist Vocations (20 May 2022 – 06 June 2023) in which they were invited to think and talk among themselves about this and send ideas to make this celebration more meaningful.

Participants

In attendance were Novice Masters Fabien Bulaimo (Save, Rwanda), Emmanuel Mwanalirenji (Mtendere, Malawi), Yao Kouassi Kan Sylvain (Kumasi, Ghana), Rubens José Falcheto (Cochabamba, Bolivia), Alejandro Herrera (Medellin, Colombia), Sean Sammon (Poughkeepsie, USA), Francisco García (Tudella, Sri Lanka) and Pepito Mahong (Tamontaka, Philippines).

Also present were brothers designated to accompany novices who are in communities and who cannot be with their respective novice masters for now. These accompagnateurs are Reál Sauvegeau and Rod Thompson (Tudella), Anselmo Kim (Saigon, Vietnam) and Greg McDonald (Baucau, East Timor). The other members of the novitiate team of Kumasi participated as well. They are Ezugwu Eugene Ikenna and Osuagwu Obinna.

While some novice masters and accompagnateurs were unable to participate in the meeting for one reason or another, their service of formation merits acknowledgment, nevertheless. They are Brothers Joni Seduadua (Fiji), Vigilio Bwalya (Bangladesh), Mark Poro (Solomon Islands), Antonio Cavazos (Haiti), Claudino Falcheto (Patos de Minas), Simeon Banda (Mtendere) and Afaese Afaese (Samoa).

Helping with the simultaneous translation was Teofilo Minga from Manziana.

The meeting ended with a note to see each other again in about two-months’ time.

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