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Seventh National Meeting El Salvador Fraternities

04/11/2008: El Salvador

On October 4-5, 2008 the seventh National Meeting of El Salvador Fraternities took place in the confines of the « Hermitage. » Eighty-four people were present among whom, besides the Fraternity members themselves, were the Marist Brothers who are their advisors. The desire of the El Salvador Fraternities to gather at least once a year - and the necessity to do so - have become ever clearer. Doing so gives the membership several important opportunities: the chance to experience the heartfelt support they need amongst themselves; a moment for strengthening their shared apostolates; a response to their aspiration of advancing in Christian spirituality along the Marist pathway.

Focusing upon one main topic, viz., “New Hearts for a New World,” the meeting took as its general goal: “To respond courageously to the challenges which today’s Church places before us, while assessing the commitments made at national and Province levels and bringing the commitments into reality.” The goal generated two themes:
* The experiences which followed upon the national and Province meetings which have taken place in the past;
* A study of the concluding statements which appear in the Mendes documents.

The El Salvador Fraternities responded to the invitations made by (a) the recent VI National Meeting and (b) the VII Province Meeting of 2006. As their response to the invitations, the Fraternities aim to go beyond the hedonist climate of our society, its anomie, its indif-ference. Touched by Christ’s love, strengthened by the realization that we do not go forwards alone, and true to our calling as Champagnat laity, we commit ourselves, overall and within each Fra-ternity to various decisions regarding the way each group wants to develop after evaluating the topics which were treated.



Commitments

* to get to know the Fraternities and to promote the formation of new Fraternities ;
* to encourage vocations both to the Marist Brothers and to the Champagnat laity;
* to support the formation of Champagnat laity.


How to make the Commitments a reality

* take maximum advantage of the opportunities offered by the Pro-vince Team;
* courses in Christology, Mariology, the Church’s social teaching, theology;
* offer formation opportunities to Councilors and leaders, so as to provide wider and better support to the Fraternities.


Conclusions

* Whether as laity or vowed Brothers, we see clearly that we have very distinct differences. At the same time, however, among us there exist common traits which we can share and, in this way, offer mutual help.
* A shared organization among Brothers and laity in order to provide formation which leads to a proper appraisal of Marist spirituality and Marist charism.
* Within the Fraternities, to undertake an ongoing study of docu-ments, ecclesial and Marist, with the goal of living the Gospel with a community dimension.
* We feel a need to form leaders for our Fraternities, to become much more familiar with the Mendes documents, and to set up action plans in order to put the documents into action.
* Renew the commitment to the formation process set up by each Fraternity for its own purposes.
* Solidify the apostolic commitment of the Fraternity membership.
* Motivate the Fraternity membership to participate in the National and Province Meetings.

* Make our families places where our children can grow up properly and, as a consequence, that the families get involved in our apostolic work.
* Give great attention to the suggestions coming from our sessions of 2006 to 2010, and bring the suggestions into reality.
* Encourage and invite the members of the third-level « Parents’ School », their friends and relatives to learn about the Fraternities’ work and so stimulate the creation of new ones.
* Ask the Province to provide formation experiences for the Fraternities’ Lay Councilors


Looking back, we see that the Meeting served as an invitation to make real-life commitments tied to the Conclusions of the two most recent National and Province Meetings, as well as to the Conclusions of the Mendes and Aparecida gatherings.

_________________
San Salvator, October 19, 2008
Ricardo Galdámez - the Messengers of Christ Fraternity

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