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Catching breath at Alcalá de Henares


I European Meeting of the animation teams of the Champagnat Movement

19/11/2012: Spain

Restaurant « La Valla », around a table, an apron, a menu to choose… what was « cooking » in Alcalá de Henares ? Well ! something very tasty : the first European meeting of the animation teams of the Champagnat Movement.

On the initiative of the European Council of the CMMF and with the accompaniment of the  Secretariat of the Laity, we gathered from 1to 3 November, in the provincial house of the Province of « Ibérica », to share our experiences and ways of operating, to recall what the Champagnat Movement has been up to now, and to dream about what it may become.

We had the opportunity to reflect on the Marist laity, its links and its autonomy, and its situation with regard to the Marist Institute and the Church. The twenty or so participants experienced from the very first a great a harmony in the way they looked at things. At the moment of detecting the great challenges for the fraternities, four main themes arose almost unanimously :

- We believe in the value of the ACCOMPANIMENT of persons and communities.
- Processes of FORMATION, initial and ongoing, are needed for the lay Marists of the CMMF.
- We want to be VISIBLE and immediate signs in the situations which are ours.
- We ardently desire spaces of COMMUNION with the brothers. The future will be with them. We must act in such a way that our fraternites are open spaces.

Mary’s presence was  constant throughout our meeting. We had the experience of the Church with a  Marial face which goes out to meet others and offers to be servant wherever it is needed.

They were days of work, reflection, prayer, shared life. We hope that this type of experience will strengthen us and give us tracks along which to advance in the process of revitalizing the Champagnat Movement in the world just dawning…


Andrés Gil

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