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A Retreat with a different note

28/08/2017: Sri Lanka

The Marist Brothers of South Asian Province had their annual retreat done  from 13th to 19th of August at Monte Fano Retreat Centre at Ampitiya Kandy, 96km from Colombo the capital of Sri Lanka.There were 28 Brothers from Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Due to some unavoidable circumstances the Indian Brothers were unable to participate.

In fact the Brothers were very fortunate to have Brother Teófilo who came all the way from Rome to lead the retreat. The theme of the retreat was "THE IDENTITY AND MISSON OF THE RELIGIOUS BROTHER IN THE CHURCH". In fact the theme was taken from the book published by the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. And as the retreat was going by, day by day we have gone through the great themes presented in the roman document.

The visual presentations, the anecdotes, the sense of humour of the facilitator, his personal living experiences, and the booklet he prepared with selected passages of the document mingled with beautiful songs help the Brothers to grasp the deep meaning of the themes of the document. Although we got copies of this valuable document, published in 2015, explaining the very identity of the Religious Brother, we would not been able to understand it so clearly due to its deep theological background.  

The methodology followed by the facilitator, showing first of all the Biblical background of the different themes, going through the recent Marist documents referring also to the themes to reach finally the document itself was of great help for all of us. We have finished the retreat knowing quite deeply the document. We could even interiorize the salient points even through prayer and with the help of a song or a reading text related to the theme we were reflecting upon.  

The themes discussed were as follows:

 Day One:   Brothers in communion with the people of God;
 Day Two:  A mystery of communion for the mission;
 Day Three: The mystery: Brotherhood - The gift we receive;
 Day. Four:  Communion: Brotherhood - The gift we share;
 Day Five: The mission: Brotherhood  - The gift we give away;
 Day Six:   Who is my Brother?

The morning prayers and the Marian prayers of each day helped the group to be alive in the Spirit of the Lord. The Brothers appreciated the retreat and we hope it will yield some fruits in the near future, for both the communities and the brothers individually, related to community life, to prayer life and to mission. We all owe to God for the beautiful weather provided here at the Sylvester Benedictine monastery, in Kandy.

_________
Brother Joseph Peiris

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