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Siguenza: workplace for the new Europe

24/01/2005: Spain

Anyone could imagine the problems that the General Council must face in an Institute of 4300 members spread throughout 77 nations in the world. With this in mind, more than one person could ask why the eight members of the General Council chose to dedicate four days to listening to young people from Europe. The answer comes from Marcellin himself: “I cannot see a child without wanting to tell him how much love God has for him!” This is the mission of every Marist Brother and because of this, the leaders of the Institute decided to speak directly with young people, to see if they are being helped to meet Christ, if the “good news” is being sown abundantly and freshly in their hearts and if the witness given by the bearers of this “good news” is a sign, a challenge and an indication of the path to follow for each one of them. But, at the same time, it was an opportunity to look together at the contribution that lay Marists can make in building our common house.

The Pope, when speaking to the youth at the World Youth Day on the 19th August 2000, compared the faith experience of young people to a “laboratory”. And why not return to the laboratory of La Valla where Marcellin, with all the enthusiasm of his twenty-eight years, began his adventure; or to the Hermitage where Marcellin created a family while involved with his brothers in the construction of the house? It is really this idea that the person portraying Brother Sylvestre in the sketch that introduced the theme of the day addressed to the participants: “What is the Hermitage that we must build today and who will be the builders?” The answers that emerged from the meetings, the personal reflection and the sharing in small groups… gave the first orientations that were characterised by the richness and depth of their contents, but also by their abundant freshness. This all contributed to the intense feeling experienced at the evening Eucharist where the same builder chosen by Father Champagnat was asked to intervene to help us so that the house may not be built in vain.
On Saturday evening, as happens on such occasions, everyone enjoyed a relaxed and pleasant social time, such that it was necessary to take the early hours of Sunday to complete the programme.

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