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1st day of the Laity Continental Commissions Meeting

 

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Monday, October 3

04/10/2016: France

Photos 3 OctoberLearn more about the meeting

The first day of the Laity Continental Commissions meeting in Notre Dame of Hermitage began with a prayer inspired by Asian spirituality. Then the group received practical information about life in the house. Pep Buetas and Tony Clark, co-directors of the Secretariat of Laity, presented the meeting. Pep underscored that the participants are “co-creating a dream” and questioned what would have happened if Marcellin had had a group like this one.

The participants were then divided into group tables. They introduced themselves and stressed what they felt that is coming to light into the Institute. Each participant placed his own photo on the map, indicating his place of origin, a symbol of the Marist community presence worldwide.
 
Next, the four Continental Commissions presented themselves, speaking of their own reality, the dynamics they lead and the challenges they experience.
 
The second morning session was marked by the presentation of superior general Brother Emili Turú. He highlighted three elements that coincide with the preparation for the Institute's bicentenary celebration: we were born for a mission; the church needs a living community; we have a root. You can watch his whole speech here in Spanish.

After lunch, participants were divided into two groups and were given the opportunity to get to know the Hermitage house, with its various spaces that recall the beginning of the realization of Champagnat’s dream.
 
Back in the meeting room, Brother Javier Espinosa, director of the Secretariat of the Laity, presented the programme for the week, speaking about the “working document” that will be discussed throught the days of the encounter. It is a collection of proposals from the continental commissions on the six themes suggested by the Secretariat of the Laity: proposal of the General Council (Global Framework); initial and ongoing formation for lay people and brothers; lay bonding and belonging; updating the CMMF process; a communion pathway; structures and animation. Br Javier reminded the participants that these elements express the need to move and highlighted Br Emili’s assertion during the morning that "the presence and commitment of the laity in the Institute is irreversible."
 
Before the break, general councillor Brother Antonio Ramalho gave an overview of the current historical moment, characterised by a pre-chapter process, which began on Sept. 8 with Br Emili’s convocation letter, “A new La Valla”. Br Antonio outlined the letter's main points, pointing out that the question one should ask is “what does God want from us?” He said the Chapter seeks to answer this question through a fraternal dialogue and that this lay meeting expresses this. In fact, the encounter's goal is to bring concrete proposals to the Chapter.
 
After the break, there was a moment of animation that invited everyone to express himself through art. Participants were asked to feel free to dance and then each one expressed, through a drawing, the process that he is personally experiencing. The drawings were joined, replicating a mosaic, and everybody become aware of the richness of the Marist charism throughout the Institute.
 
The day's programme ended with a community meeting organised by the community of brothers and laity that are currengly living in Hermitage (six brothers and three laity). They offered a cocktail welcoming the group of lay people and also the Brothers that are participating in the formation course “Amanecer” for Portuguese and Spanish speakers, that travelled yesterday from Rome to visit Marist places.

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