2016-04-12 GENERAL HOUSE

Superior General expresses gratitude in a Spanish Magazine

The monthly Spanish review, Vida Religiosa, published an article, in its April edition, written by Superior General Brother Emili Turú. In a section entitled ‘A look through a magnifying glass’, Brother Emili dedicates a page to showing gratitude and appreciation for the circumstances and persons that he has recently encountered.      

Why are you expressing thanks during this time? 

I give thanks for the numerous signs of life that I perceive around me and which I accept as wonderful gifts…    Thanks for the letter that I have just received from the mother of a Marist Brother who is in Thailand, serving the migrants of Myanmar in that country.   She is a retired teacher, she has just spent six weeks with her son, rendering service as a volunteer.  She writes that experience, “has disrupted my view in the world …. a new world has presented itself before me, in such a way that it has penetrated into my heart and it will remain there forever”.  

Thanks for the three Nigerian Brothers, whom I met a short time ago, who are working in the inter-congregational project in South Sudan. I was impressed by their simplicity, their courage, their profound sense of service, their evangelical quality, their openness to innovation.

Thanks for the Brazilian young man whom I met yesterday, who told me that he had made “a pact” with his fiancée, that he would be far away from his country for two years as member of a Marist inter-cultural community, sent on mission by the Superior General.  He is one of the over 90 Brothers and lay men and women who have responded up until now to my invitation to participate in new mixed international communities (Brothers and Laity), distributed across the five continents in frontier zones.   

Thanks for the community of Brothers whom I met two days ago in Florianópolis, who live inserted in the “Morro do Montserrat”, one of the most violent areas of the city.  There, together with a diocesan priest, they are prophetic signs of mercy and acceptance, and have succeeded in calming down and pacifying the area in some way.   Now, they tell me, they are asking themselves if they should go to another neighborhood which is still more violent. 

Thanks for the Brothers whom I have recently asked to assume the service of Provincials.  Their generosity and availability disarm me and make me feel proud.  

Thanks for the Brother who drove me to the airport yesterday and who told me that he is making an effort to have greater silence and more prayer in his life.  

Thanks for the mother of two Colombian Marist Brothers who assures me that she prays for me every day. 

Thanks for the Marist educators – men and women – in Quito whom I met this morning and who clearly live their profession as a vocation, with love and dedication.  

I could fill up many pages with my thanksgiving. I feel privileged and blessed for so many green shoots of life that I perceive everywhere.  Yes, beauty and love will save the world.  

A few days ago I read an interview with Margaret J. Wheatley.   I was impressed that this woman, who has worked as organizational consulter for more than 40 years with leaders from the whole world belonging to all types of organizations and communities, affirmed that now, due to her experience, she has changed her way of thinking: “Now”, she says, “I do not believe that great systems can be easily changed, because I see that this is not happening; is not taking place.  Now I center myself completely on individual persons and on how we can prepare ourselves to be combatants for the human spirit”.  

I do not know if what Margaret J. Wheatley thinks is true.  In any case, I also feel that great transformations become possible because of persons who take a step forward and commit themselves, each one according to his or her reality and possibilities.  In the words of Primo Mazzolari: “The river begins with the first drop of water; love with the first look; night with the first star; spring with the first flower”.  


Br. Emili Turú
Vida Religiosa, April 2016 – Number 4, vol. 121


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