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18 years in France!!! It has come of age! This is what we are celebrating!

 

Champagnat Movement of the Marist Family

30/05/2006: France

Eighteen years since the Movement of the Marist Family has seen the light of day in France. This is an occasion to celebrate this stage together at a moment when the Institute and our Province invite us to widen the space of our tent to go together to the heart of our common mission, inheritors of Marcellin.

It was in these terms that the invitation was sent to the fraternities of France, Greece, to the lay Marists of Catalonia and other Marist groups.
The meeting of the 13th and 14th May 2006 at Champagnat House and Notre Dame de l’Hermitage was one of family
a breath of the Spirit
a springboard for the future.

A celebration:
Having come from Greece, Catalonia and the four corners of France, 117 answered the invitation.
It was the joy of meeting, of welcome and of discovery.
It was a time of thanksgiving for all the faces of the brothers and laypeople who were the pioneers of the movement.
It was a time of marvelling at all that is done and the experiences at the heart of our fraternities, each one of which having its own originality. A PowerPoint gave a reflection on this.
It was the exuberance of the family which found itself around the big birthday cake and the evening during which talents were used.
It was the meditation and prayer, helped by the remarkable animation of our singer-leader Jean Marie Hugues.

A breath of the Spirit!
We had the chance to welcome amongst us two brothers who came from Rome: Brother Emili Turú, General Councillor, and Brother Pau Fornells, new Director of the Bureau for the Laity.
Frère Emili addressed the picture of the Marist laity throughout the world: an opportunity to widen our tent to other horizons.
But the Word of Brother Pau opened the windows (at the risk of breezes!!!) on our way of envisaging partnership.
Here are some morsels shared by Brother Pau.
There is material to reflect, to move, to live!!!
“There is only one mission!”
“Dignity and vocation to holiness are equal for all.”
“The Holy Spirit tells us that there is no future for the charism of Marcellin Champagnat if we do not widen the space of the tent.”
“Living the same charism, the same mission in a different way following our vocations.” A journey that opens so that we live equally in the sharing of the charism and the common responsibility of implementing it.

Turned towards the future:
At the end of the Eucharist on Sunday 14th, Brother Xavier Barcello, our Provincial, gave each participant a very symbolic souvenir, a small stone coming from the rock of the Hermitage.
We need to set off once more in our fraternities, but we know that it is together, brothers and laypeople, that we build the “Marist family”, each one contributing his or her stone, each one claiming the same spirit of the Hermitage.
There is bread on the board!
But the joy of the fraternity experienced this weekend is a source where one can drink.

Some testimonies received these days:
On the return to Greece, we continue to experience intense moments of spirituality and of conviviality that we experienced during these two days at the Hermitage. Thanks to the initiative that you had in gathering the Fraternities of the Champagnat Movement, we have had the chance to recharge our batteries. The times of prayer and of meditation, the celebrations, the talks, all touched us deeply and strengthened us in our Marist convictions.
We were impressed by the fraternal ambiance that was created by the tireless devotion of the organisers and we thank you with all our heart.
The piece of stone, given to each of us, reminds us of our mission as builders of the Champagnat spirit that we will try, obviously, to transmit to other members of our fraternities.

Fraternally yours. The representatives of the Athens fraternities.

Again thank you for this weekend! Super organisation, without fail!
Thanks also to the brothers of the General Council.
Thanks to them, we set off once more with strong words that will help to support us for a long time.
And then… we set off with a large pebble in our pocket!
It is important to know these large pebbles.

3) Two days of meeting in Fraternities… A superb idea, this meeting for the eighteen years of existence! One same spirit gathered us as a family. We find the same pleasure in finding ourselves or re-finding ourselves.
It’s the joy of leafing through a photo album… of making bouquets…
of praying, of enjoying… of sharing at table…
It’s the audacity of painting, approaching the other, taking off the veil of an artist, singer, clown, dancer… actor…
This performance put everyone on the grill! But what a success!
We appreciate this mutual welcome Brothers – Laypeople.
What energy! We share the concerns, the worries, life!
Yes! Doors open and the tent widens…
We draw from the same sources: le Gier, Marcellin Champagnat, Mary, Jesus,
God… and we are profoundly attached to our rock.
What emotion in taking a few pebbles from this mountain so dear to Marcellin.

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