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Marist experiences of charismatic growth and vitality

09/03/2010: Peru

In January 2009, there took place in Chosica (Peru) an experience of joint formation which brought together 14 Brothers and 22 lay people of the Marist province of Santa María de los Andes. The experience lasted 10 days and was accompanied by an animation community formed, for the most part, by Brothers and laity who had been present at the international experience of joint formation held in Quito (Ecuador) in July 2008.

The provincial experience had very satisfactory results for all the participants, and was a source of charismatic growth and vitality for them all. This prompted the Provincial Council, through its Spirituality Commission, to offer the same experience in each of the three countries which make up the province: Bolivia, Chile and Peru.

In Bolivia, it was from 17 to 24 October 2009 and 20 lay people and 6 Brothers took part; in Chile, 10 to 16 January 2010, with 22 lay people and 8 Brothers; and in Peru, 6 to 13 February, with 19 lay people and 3 Brothers.

The content of these meetings is eminently experiential and communitarian, with everyone learning from one another, sharing their journeys of faith, vocation, mission, relations with others, and formation, on the Christian as well as the Marist level. This sharing is distilled into a common summary of shared experiences, which enrich the common Marist vocation and the specific vocations of Brothers and laity.

In the end, the feelings of all were of gratitude and renewal of vocation. In the words of those who have repeated the same experience, “it fills us with enthusiasm and evangelical hope to see the concern and the questions that are generated, and the challenge to live our following of Jesus, in the style of Mary and Marcellin, in a radical way, in our own specific vocations”.

These experiences are continued through personal processes of growth in the Christian faith and the Marist charism (accompaniment), offered to all who feel an interior call to the Marist vocation. At the local level, a beginning is also being made of groups who want to continue sharing their lives and faith. The document “Gathered around the same table” will become a guide for these groups and these processes.

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