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General Council Meets with Young People of Brazil and Cono Sur

28/10/2008: Argentina - Photo gallery

Once more, Villa San José has discovered the dynamic and happy spirit it used to know in earlier years when it served as Juniorate and Scholasticate.  Young people from the three FMS Provinces of Brazil and from the Provinces of Cono Sur put life back into the formation site which the Brothers had set up close by the sanctuary of Lujàn.

Region

Province

Country

Brothers

Boys

Girls

Total

Brazil

Río Grande do Sul

Brazil

3

2

2

7

 

Brasil Centro Sul

Brazil

1

4

2

7

 

Brasil Centro Norte

Brazil

1

5

1

7

Cono Sur

Cruz del Sur

Argentina

2

4

3

9

 

Cruz del Sur

Uruguay

 

3

2

5

 

Cruz del Sur

Paraguay

1

2

4

7

 

Santa María de los Andes

Bolivia

1

2

2

5

 

Santa María de los Andes

Chile

1

4

1

6

 

Santa María de los Andes

Peru

 

2

2

4

General  Councilors

 

 

8

 

 

8

General
Administration

 

 

1

 

 

1

Support  Staff     

 

 

 

3

1

4

Total

5

7

19

31

20

70

The group is made up of young people and Brothers coming from five FMS Provinces which conduct their apostolic works in seven countries.  The initial stages of the meeting were marked by presentations, one for each of the countries represented.  As the first day unfolded, all participants spoke singly, giving basic information such as name, language, place of birth, likes and dislikes, problems being confronted.  A general discussion ensued about the life experience each one has known within the FMS apostolates and about the manner in which responsibilities are shared between lay people and Brothers.  Then too, of course, there are the special characteristics of each country, the way in which the young people traveled to the meetings, the kind of music they like most and the mutual interests which develop naturally when young people come together.

After coming to know something about each individual, it was time to discover a common group identity.  Each small group presented something about its national identity, its customs and values, its way of thinking about life, its flag, traditions, its folklore.  Standing behind the word “Marist” (as in “Provinces of the Marist Brothers”), lies a whole world of experiences shared by Brothers and young people in Province works: schools, social programs, apostolic undertakings.  The sum total of the factual data made clear that a common spirit lies in the group, a spirit that reveals itself in a deep communion of interests, ideals and dreams. 

As the hours passed we saw how this family grew in size, its members having come from: Amazonia, the Andes plateau, the Pacific coast, the high Andes, from the plains and from the forests.  Brother Superior General and his Councilors became the common center of this family drawn from the entire world. 

 An initial glance upon such a multicolored landscape, gathering so many youthful faces from such beautiful parts of the world, allows us to single out a few notable characteristics.  Among the young people who have gathered in Lujàn one finds catechists, pastoral leaders drawn from social works or the university world, Marist Brother aspirants, volunteers working with indigenous communities, etc.  Here is a treasure that gives rise to hope: young people who are mature, cooperative, dedicated to their work, joyous, overwhelmingly so in fact.

The overarching image which is guiding the meeting is that of «pathway.»  “During our days here, we are on the side of the pathway, taking a short respite on the pathway of Marist history.  We are making a stop on the pathway of our lives, in the course of our common history, this time in company with our brothers, the Superior General and his Council: to take a look at the direction we have been following.  We are stopping at the side of the pathway looking at where we have come from, and  -  more important  -  the future that lies ahead.  We are taking a break from the journey to get to know our traveling mates, those who are also walking the same Marist pathway in the world, and we will exchange ideas and share our experiences.”

A second aspect of the work in which the young people will engage with Brother Superior General and his Council concerns the real-life situations we meet on our journey.  “We encounter many people, numerous children and young people who desire to share our history.  Who are they?  What are they looking for?  What do they believe in?  How might we make the journey in union with them? » Analyzing such everyday realities will be one part of the common work which we tackle in these days spent together. 

And lastly, we have to look at tomorrow, the future we must necessarily confront.  For this new stage of the adventure, the young people and the Brothers count on “Mary, our com-panion on the journey.”

Such are the goals.  We are going to remain alongside this special group of young people.  We will listen to the life which bubbles up in their hearts.  In the coming days, we will share with our readers what we hear.

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