2024-06-13 GENERAL HOUSE

Second week of the Gier 2024 Program

Photos in Facebook

Since May 28, 15 Brothers from 8 Administrative Units have been participating in the Gier 2024 ongoing formation program. This is the fourth edition of the program, which is aimed at Brothers who have made their final profession in the last 5-10 years. It is an intercultural program that helps the participants to concretely live the experience of being a global family. During the first few days, various activities were carried out, coordinated by Brother Tony Leon and the directors of the Brothers Today Secretariat.

Here below, Br. Dionesio (Jong) Acosta, from Philippines, East Asia Province, one of the participants in the program, tells us about his experience during the second week of the program.


In our world today, most of us associate the word “connected” with WiFi or internet. It has become a part of our daily lives to be “connected.”

The second week of the Gier Program 2024 provided me the opportunity to connect but in a different sense of the word – a time to connect to myself, others, nature and our Marist spirituality. This has been one of the gifts of the program. There had been many activities to facilitate such an experience of connectedness. From the sharing of various Marists of Champagnat to visiting significant places of our Christian faith and history; the week has been full of experiences for me to be able to connect with my personal experiences, the encounter and working with other people and living in a Marist community.

My interaction with the Brothers who are more or less in the same stage as mine in my Marist journey is like looking in front of the mirror from different angles. This is enriched further by the fact that we are all coming from different cultural backgrounds and experiences. We speak various languages which makes communication a challenging but not impossible. We have our personal preferences in many ways which makes life more colorful and meaningful. All of these had given me not only new realizations about myself but also enabled me to connect more deeply with my identity and journey as a Marist Brother in these fast-changing world.

To be connected is also to be conscious and to be aware of what’s happening in and around me – my personal experiences, the realities of our present world and the experiences of others.

Being connected to these will give me a better understanding of who I am, where I am and, probably, to be more relevant in what I do.

I am grateful to be able to participate in this program because it has given me a more concrete and more profound understanding of my life as a Brother – that it is a journey of becoming one and towards holiness. It is never perfect. It is never ended. It is a discovery. It is a process. And along the way, there are people and experiences that I need to be aware of and to connect to in order for me to be more connected to myself.

I hope that with this re-discovery and appreciation of the beauty of connectedness, I will be able to make it a part of my daily life just like the need to be connected to the internet.

But to be able to do so, I am aware that it needs time and conscious effort.

________________

Br. Dionesio (Jong) Acosta, East Asia Province (Philippines).

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