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Meeting of the Enlarged Bureau of the Laity

23/02/2010: Brazil

Brasil! This was the destination of our new journey and the place for the annual meeting of the Enlarged Bureau of the Laity. For the lay members, it was our first time in these lovely lands and our first experience of the hospitality and warm welcome of our “Brasilian Brothers”.

In this setting, it was very easy to reflect, programme our work for 2010 and dream of the future. It is already the third year of our journey, since we set out in 2008, so we were able to evaluate the work achieved in that time and the challenges and proposals we see for the future. The five of us (Br. Pau Fornells, Br. Afonso Murad, Linda Corbeil, Tony Clarke and Ana Sarrate) have formed a little community, which shares life, concerns, faith and work. This means that each time it is easier to understand one another in our cultural pluralism and our diversity of life options. The great richness of these years has been our shared life, and, of course, being able to facilitate and support the same thing with other groups and in other places.

The work achieved can be divided into three main blocks which are, at the same time, achievements and challenges for the future:

- The document “Around the same table” which the editorial committee has presented to us and on which we have reflected. It is a beautiful text which requires to become known and have a wide diffusion and motivation for the same.
- The contributions and reflections we offered to the capitulants at the XXI General Chapter, and which have helped generate a greater awareness of the lay Marist vocation and new proposals for developing it.
- The experiences of joint formation, not only international, but also those made in some provinces, and the challenge of making them known and promoted in other places in the Institute, as a great richness for Brothers and for lay people.

But without a doubt, what was most heartening was the meeting with the laity and Brothers of Brasil. Thanks to the excellent organization of UMBRASIL, we were able to get to know the leading people in the different fields of formation, management, and ministry of this country. During a very intense day and a half, we shared our mutual situations and also reflected on the dreams and challenges of the future for the Marists of Brasil and of the world.

We perceived a Marist reality of great dimensions in the number of persons, works, and projects. But the greatest thing we noticed was the desire to have our charism reach the remotest corner of each work… The testimonies of many of the participants expressed a great power and boldness in their personal choices to continue this, a profound conviction of their vocation which impels them to give the best of themselves with full generosity and which involves no measuring of time or efforts, risks or difficulties in this choice. We were very moved!

We thank God for the gift of this meeting, which confirms for us the necessity of having future meetings of the Bureau programmed so that we can share the reality of Marist life in the provinces we visit. It is a wonderful opportunity for family sharing and indicating the future of the charism!

__________________
Curitiba, 25-30 January 2010
Ana María Sarrate Adot (Pamplona – Spain)

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