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Annual retreat of the Champagnat Movement of the Marist Family

21/09/2011: Brazil

The annual retreat of the Fraternities of « N. Sra. da Assunção » and « Nossa Senhora Boa Mãe » took place from a 13 to 15 August, in the Meeting House of the Marist Brothers in Maranguape-Ceará, 20 km from Fortaleza. This spiritual time was marked by the fraternity and active participation of the 19 members present.

For the participants, there were intense times of reflection, study and prayer, inspired by the retreat theme: « With Mary, at the heart of the Church, to a new land ». Given that Brasil is in train of celebrating the Marial Year, organized by UMBRASIL (Marist Union of Brasil), and in response to the call of the XXI General Chapter, the programme was developed from topics relating to Mary and reflections on the importance of the family at the present time. Thus, the  participants were able to revive the presence of the Good Mother in their lives as members of the Champagnat Movement of the Marist Family.

One fact which merits emphasis is the visit of the image of the pilgrim Virgin, Our Lady of the New Land, brought by Brothers Salatiel Franciscano do Amaral, provincial adviser of the  ChMMF, and Evangelista Jacinto Guimarães, local adviser of the « N. Sra. da Assunção » Fraternity. The image remained 24 hours in the retreat place, and all were able to venerate it. The highlight of the visit was, without doubt, the pilgrimage celebration, with time for silence and interiorisation, a time when all present made petitions for the whole Marist Family: Brothers, Sisters, Fathers and Laity, all having her as an icon of their spirituality.

Another significant moment was the liturgical celebration of the Assumption of Our Lady, patron of the Institute, and the Marist Day. In the course of the celebration, prepared by Br Rafael Ferreira, people were able to hear some life testimonies of some Brothers – especially ones who have greatly contributed to the growth of the ChMMF – and to our Good Mother. The retreat ended with the singing of the Salve Regina, and all present took part in the rejoicings of the Marist Day.

_____________________
Flamarion Lopes
Coordinateur Provincial du MChFM

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