2012-07-18 EL SALVADOR

We are no longer Brothers but we do not stop being Marists !

I would like to share the experience of the II Meeting of former Marist Brothers living in El Salvador. I live in Guatemala, but I had the great chance of being present at their meeting.

There were about 20 former Brothers, of different generations, from the 1960s to our day … There were people of all ages, accompanied by their wives.

This took place on 10 June, feast of Corpus Christi. We began with the Eucharist at 8 o’clock, in the chapel of the school « San Alfonso », with the people who take part in this celebration each Sunday.

We then went to the Hermitage – as the meeting room in the school building is called – and the  “spectacle” began: embraces, greetings, cries of joy or surprise, enquiries about so and so, etc. … 

Br Hipólito Pérez made us welcome and co-ordinated the presentation of those taking part. One curious detail : someone, having lived many years with another, finally learned that the latter’s family name was « Napoléon » … We also did a photographic tour of the different communities of the Province.

Br José A. Baños introduced us to the document Water from the Rock, which describes Marist spirituality.

We had a break and a snack … It was especially a sharing in group ; people asked for news of so and sohe has died … ;  someone else is living in  … and working at … We did not notice the time pass ! We were already being called to the next meeting.

Br Roberto Linares animated a little but very rich dynamic in little groups, well distributed, for further life sharing : a very profound presentation, an exchange about the aspects of the Marist life each one is living daily now, how each felt about sharing his life with someone who had been a Marist Brother, etc. And again we ran out of time.

Br Provincial took the floor again to share some news of the Institute, the Province, some concerns too ; the possibility, for example, of holding next year’s meeting at Los Cóbanos … The gathering ended with the singing of the Salve Regina. And then we went on to share a good meal and some pleasant conviviality.

Some Brothers had come from other communities ; it was good to see Brothers rediscovering former Brothers with whom they had shared  important and sometimes difficult moments at a time in their lives. We celebrated the joy of meeting.

There is no doubt :we are no longer Brothers, but we will never cease being Marists !

Leonel de León Valdés


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