2011-08-11 SPAIN

The Marist charism flies over Buitrago

To both young and old people, symbols are a language to be listened to in silence. This is what happened at the beginning of the Marist International Youth Festival in Buitrago. It was total silence among young people when the inner activity started. Those in charge of animation used masks as a resource to launch this time of reflection: masks and hearts.

The symbol of a heart was always present as a meaningful resource. The heart attitudes were strongly emphasized. We gave great importance to heart’s attitudes. With all this motivation, each participant had to answer: Who am I?

The main hall of the school Santa María del Castillo became an improvised stage, full of  big cardboard cubes, as pieces of an enormous puzzle. Action started with soft music. The main actor introduced four others. The big cubes, placed in disorder, simulated a rocky area. From some holes open on them, jets of water started flowing: there were long pieces of white cloth that, with the magic hands of the performers, became a mysterious figure: ‘the Marist charism’. This white figure started moving thanks to the skilly hands of the performers. All the participants were amazed and became involved in this drama performance.

This drama resource aroused the awareness that we all have a common motivation and we share it in the Marist works all over the world. ‘We gather here – commented a young blond and thin girl seated next to me – because the spirit of Marcellin unites us’. Through the microphone, the performer stated, ‘We were already a family before coming here; now we are proving that we are truly a real one’.

After this motivation, the participants introduced themselves. ‘Where are you coming from? Which type of Marist work are you working in?’ Then there were new symbols to identifiy the different groups of reflection and work.

The work started that evening was completed next morning with questions and challenges presented by brother Emili, superior general, ‘Why are we here?’


He started presenting a kind of  World News: he put in front of us some painful, dramatic and tough events of the world in which we live that, when we look at them, seem big problems. Something similar happened in Champagnat’s time. But Marcellin gave an answer. His commitment expressed itself through simple gestures. Today, -he continued- we are part of the world problems because of what we do or fail to do. We should also be part of the solution. Our answers should aim at building a Church with Marian face. Finally he asked a question, ‘How can we do it?’ And he suggested an answer, ‘Being in attentive listening of what is happening around us, and what the Holy Spirit is whispering within us’.

All the activities of the day found its fulfilment during the evening Eucharistic celebration, presided over by Father Pedro García. The altar cloth was made up of the colourful drawings each one had prepared, enhancing what they have within their hearts. The fruit of the workshops of the afternoon and of the time of silence before the celebration were expressed in a colourful patchwork covering the altar. The penitential rite was an invitation to remove the masks that prevent us to see the realities of our world. The Gospel invited us to build our heart attitudes upon solid foundations, upon the rock. During a free moment of sharing, some of the participants explained the symbols used in their drawings and unveiled the treasures of their young hearts.

In one of the school rooms, the NGO SED had prepared a display of photographs that show the hard reality of our world. This show was a good starting point for the different workshops on solidarity implemented during the afternoon.


International Meeting of Young Brothers...


Sharing life as we walk together...