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International Commission for the Marist Spiritual Patrimony

24/07/2013: General House

When it met at the General House in the last week of June, the International Commission for the Marist Spiritual Patrimony marked the tenth anniversary of its work for the Institute.  The Commission was initially established by the previous General Council, with Brother Pedro Herreros as its liaison Councillor.  Two members of the original Commission remain as members of the present Commission – Brothers André Lanfrey (Coordinator) and Michael Green.  The other members of the Commission between 2003 and 2011 were: Brothers Paul Sester, Aureliano Brambila, Ivo Strobino, Jaume Parès, Robert Teoh, and Henri Réocreux (Secretary).   The Commission has met once per year, usually in June during the plenary sessions of the General Council.

The new Commission, now in its second year, includes Mrs Heloisa Afonso de Almeida Sousa, and Brothers Demosthenes Calabria, Patricio Pino, Spiridion Ndanga, and Michel Morel (Secretary).  Also participating is Brother Antonio Martinez Estaun who is working full time on developing the new post-graduate course in Marist charism and educational principles at the Catholic Pontifical University in Curitiba.  The Commission now works under the umbrella of ‘Brothers Today’ where Brother César Rojas is the Secretary, and Brothers Eugène Kabanguka, Ernesto Sanchez and Josep María Soteras are the General Councillors. 

This year the Patrimony Commission devoted the majority of its time to making a critical examination of the first draft of the two-volume Bicentennial History of the Institute which is being written by Brother André Lanfrey.  Many hours of discussion were devoted to this task, providing Brother André with useful feedback for him to continue to work on these two books.  Revised drafts will be considered at next year’s meeting, and discussion will continue by email in the meantime. The aim is to have the History published in the four languages of the Institute by the end of 2016, to be ready for the bicentenary.

The Commission acts as the editorial committee for Marist Notebooks, so time was given to the usual task of planning upcoming issues of this journal.  We are continuing with the practice of publishing one issue per year, in the four languages.  Planning centred mainly on Number 33, which will be published in 2015 and devoted mainly to the theme of Marist Laity.

Other topics for the Commission included:

* A proposed cataloguing system (developed by Brothers Patricio Pino and Aureliano Brambila) for documents associated with Marist Patrimony, which will be implemented across the Institute, and allow for a virtual library to exist on the Institute website.

* The next volumes of FMS Studia, a collection of Marist studies that have been written but never formally published

* The new specialist course in Marist Charism and Educational Principles which is being developed by a team at PUC Curitiba with the assistance of Brother Antonio Martinez Estaun, and for which two members of the Commission (Brothers André Lanfrey and Michael Green) have written units.

* A retreat which has been developed by Brother Michael Green, based on the retreat notes of Brother François, the letters  of Marcellin, and other Marist documents.  This retreat is not a retreat about Marcellin, but a retreat that we can imagine that Marcellin might himself give to Brothers today.

* The possibility of holding an international colloquium on various themes in Marist history and spirituality, in late 2016 or early 2017, as one of the ways by which the bicentenary could be marked

* The various courses, programmes, initiatives and projects that are under way around the Marist world to promote our Marist spiritual patrimony.

The Commission celebrated its ten years of work with a special Mass and meal, and sent a message of appreciation to its former members, to other Brothers who have helped with supporting research and diffusion of our spiritual patrimony over the last decade, and also to Brother Pedro Herreros who worked to establish and guide the Commission in its first six years.

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