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13 to 16 April, 2015

14/04/2015: France - Photo gallery
Mission Assembly- Nairobi 2014

Following the Second Marist Assembly on Mission in Nairobi, the Hermitage - Notre Dame de l’Hermitage - put on its festive garments to welcome the 55 representatives of the various provinces of Europe for the Second European Assembly on Marist mission.

This is not to repeat Nairobi but is to allow ourselves to be inspired by the great Assembly on Marist Mission that was held in that city in September last year. It is now time to welcome the great insights of Nairobi and to see how they can be experienced in Europe. Some big posters in the house remind us of these ideas: 

  1. New Marists in mission; 
  2. Prophets and mystics in communion. 

How can we live these great ideas in Europe? This will be the work of the European Assembly in the coming three days: to discover new ways of Marist life in the old continent. In Europe we want to live a new beginning for Marist life: it is a reminder of another poster. How will it be, this new beginning? The Assembly will try to come up with some ideas for this new beginning.

A large painting at the entrance welcomes the participants and offers warm hospitality. Everyone will find his/her photograph there and the invitation to become NEW MARISTS IN MISSION. Then, there are very significant words, deep words we would say, complementing the décor of the painting. We would say we can see in these words many invitations to the delegates of the Assembly as well. These words can show the way for a new Marist Europe. They are invitations that may become challenges. Among these words are: LIFE, JOY, HEART, HOME, HOPE, FAITH, MARIST, MISSION, VALUE, DREAMS, KARIBU, FIRE, CHAMPAGNAT, MARY. These are very simple words but how meaningful they are. How will Marist Europe articulate them in the future?

Lia Carmelingo from Mediterranean province was the first of the 55 European representatives to arrive at the Hermitage. We have noted her first impressions:

"I am delighted with the beauty of the place and the environment of the Assembly that we breathe in the house. This is my first visit to the Hermitage and I already feel at home. I am living Marist welcome here, in a very deep way".  And, referring specifically to the Assembly, Lia adds: "I hope it will be a great Assembly of communion in the varied richness that everyone will bring to it; we can be a small example for the world of how barriers can fall; our communion can inspire communion between both persons and nations; we can be a sign of unity in a world full of divisions”. And to conclude: "I will be going back home with the certainty that fraternity beyond borders is a reality more and more experienced in the Institute; I will also go back with the awareness that we, as Marist Europeans, are moving in the same direction, bringing together our strengths to be more effective in mission. "

Brother Iñigo Garcia from Ibérica province, and one of the members of the Preparatory Commission, emphasizes that what matters in the three days of the European Assembly "is not so much to share the Marist life that exists already between all representatives; rather, it will be to listen to the urgent calls that Europe is asking in order to be evangelized and to see how they can contribute to Marist vitality in 2015 and beyond”.  And he continues in way that has become well known in the Marists of today: "The Assembly should be a unique moment to awaken hope for Marist Europe: we are invited to look to the future with mystical and prophetical eyes. What does all this mean in a European context? This point of view leads us to a deeper relationship between ourselves and God, between ourselves and our brothers. How will we live the relationship between our spiritual life and our apostolic life? We may already find one direction in the letter of Emili: to have a look towards the future thinking of “a tent as the heart of our future”. And Brother Iñigo ends with an almost liturgical note, thinking of the time of our Assembly. "We are fully in Easter. Let us live the Assembly as a moment of GRACE and LIFE, but with a horizon of fire turned towards Pentecost, the first fire of God who in his strength gives birth to the Church and moves her forward to the corners of the known world at that time. In this fire that should push us ahead today I would like to emphasize a note of paramount importance: if we forget the poor, we forget our charism; to discover some new faces of poverty in Europe is also to discover the vitality of our mission”.

The official opening of the Assembly took place today in the afternoon (13th April) in the presence of all delegates. The opening proceeded in four stages:

  • Getting to know each other;
  • Remembering Nairobi;
  • Group work (7 language groups were done);
  • Prayer “around the fire”.

Mission Assembly- Nairobi 2014

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