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Extended General Council in Bangkok II

19/07/2011: Thailand - Photo gallery

Work on the second day of the EGC – 11 July – began with a talk by the Superior General on the state of Marist Asia today and tomorrow. Starting from the context of a world in process of change and the birth pangs of a new civilisation, affecting even the religions, Br Emili insisted on the need for a new consecrated life: to be a significant presence for a humanity full of divisions and material dreams, but also thirsting for spirituality. What can the Church in Asia expect from us? If we live our charism in the light of mysticism and prophecy, we Marists can contribute to the creation of a Marial Church, marked by Gospel simplicity, dialogue, and fraternity.

All were then invited to a personal time of silence, prayer and reflection, for listening to God in their hearts and observing the demands and questionings that arose. Each one had received a supporting text, from Sister Sujita Kallupurakkathu, SND, on « Opportunities and challenges for apostolic religious life and theology of consecrated life in Asia: some reflections ». The subsequent sharing brought to light points strongly emphasized by the different groups. Religious in Asia, although greatly appreciated for the services they provide, must be especially witnesses of the experience of God and spiritual guides. This presumes conversion and a visible passion for Christ. Another key topic is dialogue which, according to the bishops of Asia, has to be triple: with the poor, with the religions and with the cultures.

After the groups were reconstituted, there was time for discernment about three questions:

- In what way do we, as Marist Brothers, make a difference in Asia today?

- The XXI General Chapter calls us to discover new ways of being Brothers; what does this mean for us in Asia?

- What would be possible new lands for us?

On 12 July, there was movement towards consensus in personal times, in the groups, in the respective Councils in plenary session. It was a matter of identifying two or three areas critical for Marist life and mission in Asia, as well as working jointly as a Region to provide a response.

LuísPrayer times, particularly the Eucharist, created spaces for inspiration, interiorisation and celebration of the experience lived during these days, with the gestures and chants of the cultures of Asia.

The day of 12 July finished with a special celebration marking the Golden Jubilee of Marist religious life of Brother Luis G. Sobrado, former Vicar General of the Institute and current Sector Superior of the Sector Ad Gentes in Asia (AMAG). The brothers and laity of the three ad gentes communities of Thailand participated in the Mass, at the meal and in the festivities; they were the ones responsible for the organisation and animation. After the words of salutation, specially from Br Emili Turú, and the congratulations of the  personnel of the Sector and the General Council, Br Luis expressed his gratitude and recalled the significant stages of his life and mission (More photos).

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