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9 December

Saint Juan Diego
1879, death of Br. Louis-Marie, second Superior General of the Marist Brothers

Marist Calendar - December

Fifth Meetings of the Fraternities

 

Champagnat Movement of the Marist Family - Iberia Province

10/10/2008: Spain

As has become customary in our Province at the beginning of the school year, we once again held a meeting of the MCHFM fraternities. The Lardero house (La Rioja), was the site of this year’s meeting, and about ninety of us gathered, including our youngest members.

The meeting gave us the chance to organize our plans for the year in regard to formation activities, commitments, etc. In addition the meeting provided an excellent family-type occasion to share the experience which we are having as fraternities. Over so many years - some fraternities having taken part in these meetings for almost twenty years - we really feel ourselves to be brothers and sisters to one another, and so coming together is a real celebration. Even it sometimes we have been saddened by the “farewell” of one of our members, we feel sure that the person continues to accompany us from heaven.


The principal goal of our meeting was to get a better sense of the book, “Water from the Rock.” Several of us had already started to do so, and thanks to the help of Mayte Ballaz and Brother F. Ernesto Tendero, members of the Province’s Spirituality Team, we managed more effectively to uncover all its richness. Some of us have been specially chosen to make a communal study of the book this year.


The best part of the meeting was the workshops which took place on Saturday afternoon. The goal was to see how the Marist charism and Champagnat spirituality is brought to life in our everyday world, especially in places different from the school the environment with which we are most familiar. To attain such an objective, we profited from hearing about: (1) the witness of a young couple who have worked together for a year - in education and in health service - at the Marist Brothers’ apostolate in Chad; (2) the experience of group of volunteers who during the summer worked at the street-children’s center in Romania; (3) the FMS work called “The Spiral” which aims at offering some hope for the future to young people who don’t fit into the regular school system; (4) the experience of one of our fraternity families whose members shared with us, in a homespun but profound way, their manner of “being a family in Marcellin’s fashion.” The youngest members of the fraternity charmed us with their little play and its inspirational message.

On Sunday, Brother Ambrosio, Vice-Provincial, spoke about “the pilgrimage to the
General Chapter,” inviting us to participate in the Chapter and to make a contribution to this important event in the life of the Institute. In addition, time was spent discussing the joint formation experience held at Quito and the charismatic vibrancy which accompanied it, Ana Sarrate and Brother Ernesto Tendero having taken part. Then, we learned about other activities carried out by the leaders of MCHFM in the Iberia Province and the new function which the Provincial Chapter has approved: a “Province link with MCHFM” (Mrs. Pilar Moreno). Having such a link with the Province is going to allow for a good number of activities which will help spread and revitalize the Move-ment in the Province.


A special feature of the meeting, felt as a great enrichment, was the presence of a new fraternity now recognized by the Provincial Council. In addition there was the presence of a full group of young people who are searching a way into the future now that their catechumenate has been completed. Their youthfulness and their contribution to the meeting brought us great hope, which is a help for our own renewal.
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Fraternities of MCHFM, Iberia Province

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