2007-05-28 SPAIN

Some approaches for the future

The methodology that the participants followed during the international meeting on ?processes of common formation of brothers and laity? was based on the initial presentations made by the representatives of the various provinces, which showed the steps they?ve already taken towards a common formation. From this starting point, they considered what was similar among the programs and courses already established, their deficiencies, and new ideas put forward. What came through very strongly was the importance of community, fidelity and doing things in the style of Mary, as three fundamental reference points that both brothers and lay people can share in developing processes of common formation.

The final synthesis gathered a series of statements considered important in pointing the way to future development of common formation of brothers and laity. It must arise from life experiences and be linked to processes lived in community to provide a definition of Marist vocation for brothers and for lay people. These processes will lead to the taking on of Marist spirituality, to commitment to solidarity and to personal growth. The statements speak of promoting a style of formation that is joyful and celebratory, along the lines of Marist simplicity. This formation must also emphasize the place of the brother and the layperson in the Church, at the service of the Kingdom and of evangelization. It was mentioned that these processes of formation should be integrated into the provinces? planning and take the local culture into consideration. The need to create a team of formators was also mentioned.

These broad strokes, with which the JUDGE stage concluded, provided the Secretariat for the Laity with some elements it can count on to help design common Marist formation for brothers and lay people in the future.

The ACT stage of the methodology provided the participants a chance to reflect on two major areas of action. There was valuable input on what needs to be developed to put into practice processes of common formation of brothers and lay people in each region of the Institute. A number of suggestions were offered on what steps the Institute should take, with the coordination of the Secretariat for the Laity. All the initiatives that have come out of the international meeting at Les Avellanes May 14-20, 2007 will have to be studied in the near future to decide the actual means of implementing them.

Those in attendance brought their work to a close by producing a letter directed to the brothers and laity of the Marist world, in which they expressed their joy at having been present and their satisfaction with having lived days filled with creativity, which was a good sign of a hope-filled future for the Institute.

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