2019-10-07 GENERAL HOUSE

Wherever you go: Rule of Life of the Marist Brothers

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We live out our consecration, brotherhood and mission, founded on a life-integrating spirituality

Today, October 7, the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, the Institute is receiving this important document: Wherever you go: Rule of Life of the Marist Brothers.  It is a text that allows us to deepen our understanding of our consecration, brotherhood and mission, and that can inspire an integrated approach to our spiritual journey. It belongs to our Proper Law, and is intended to be read, meditated on and prayed over, both personally and in community.

“Live your brotherhood with simplicity. Your primary mission is to be a brother and to promote brotherhood”. (1) I repeat this invitation to all of you today: for this document to be more than a “Rule” or “set of obligations”, but rather a source of inspiration and contemplation as we reflect on our contemporary Marist life and vocation as brother.

Ten years ago, in a reflection of the XXI General Chapter, we spoke of the need for a conversion of heart, in view of the ever-changing world in which we live. An in-depth revision of our Constitutions and Statutes was proposed, with a broad consultation of Brothers and with the purpose of helping us revitalise our vocation. Therefore, the Chapter recommended that this revision be carried out and a new text to be presented to the XXII General Chapter of 2017. (2)

This process of consultation and revision began in 2013.  We took up the reflection and conversations prompted by the guide, “Stories of the Journey, Told Around the Fire”, and then had the chance to send in suggestions and amendments to the Constitutions and Statutes. The level of participation was high, and a large number of reports were received.

Along the way, the idea came up of producing a new document belonging to our Proper Law (3), a Rule of Life, which would contain inspiring thoughts and language, complementing our Constitutions and Statutes that are more canonical in character.  This proposal was put to the XXII General Chapter and accepted. The Chapter welcomed the draft text and asked the General Council to develop further a final version and approve it.

Over recent days, after studying the final draft prepared by the commission and making some changes, the General Council approved the text in English and Spanish.  This is what we are presenting to the Institute today. For the moment, we are distributing a digital version. Over the coming months, we will have the French and Portuguese translations and so we will be able to present officially the final version in the four languages on January 2, 2020. The text will include some more notes and quotations that are not yet included. Now is not the time to print the Rule of Life in book-form: when we receive the approval of the Constitutions and Statutes from the Vatican, a single book with these documents will be published.

I would like to thank the editing teams for their effort and dedication.  The text presented for the XXII General Chapter was prepared by Brs. Eduardo Navarro (México Occidental), Tony Clark (Australia), Antonio Peralta (Santa Maria de los Andes), Albert Nzabonaliba (PACE) y Sebastião Ferrarini (Brasil Sul-Amazonia).  The text received from the Chapter was worked on by Brs. Seán Sammon (USA), Aureliano García Manzanal (Mediterránea) and Carlos Saúl Corzo Uribe (Norandina). My thanks to Br. Josep María Soteras, from the General Council, who coordinated the work of both groups and accompanied the process from the beginning: both the revision of the Constitutions and Statutes as well as the writing of the Rule of Life. Thanks also to all who were consulted during the process.

With the assistance of this new document, may we seize the moment to revitalise our vocation and to live according to Mary’s heart, as Champagnat wanted in giving us her name. Truly, it is worth the gift of our lives to be a BROTHER today! (4)


Br. Ernesto Sánchez B., Superior General.


1: Wherever you go, 71

2: “TheXXIGeneralChapterbelievesthatfora newworld,weneedaconversionofheart. A thoroughrevisionoftheConstitutionsandStatutes, with the full participation of the Brothers,canhelptorevitalizeourvocation.Tofacilitate this, the XXI General   Chapter recommendsthattheGeneralGovernmentappoint a commission to carry out this revision andthatthenewtextbepresentedattheXXII General Chapter.(Document of the XXI General Chapter, 2009)

3: In the Institute, the legislative bodies are the General Chapter and the Provincial Chapter. They establish the law, either directly or through a major Superior.  The Proper Law is made up of the Constitutions approved by the Holy See, and the statues, Norms, and Rules of Procedure approved by the authorities of the Institute (Explanatory note I, Constitutions edition 2010, page 161)

4: Wherever you go, Introduction

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