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20 May

Saint Bernardine of Siena
1789: the birth of Saint Marcellin Champagnat in Rosey, near the town of Marlhes

Marist Calendar - May

Marist Bulletin - Number 204

 

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07.07.2005

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24.06.2005 - UNICEF
The rights of children on the Internet
INTERNET IS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR EDUCATION

The Internet is an opportunity for economic and social development, for education, for the exchange of information and of experiences, a fundamental instrument for the Defence of Human Rights and for the Convention on the Rights of the Child. During the latter, the following list of declarations of children’s E-rights and E-duties was developed by UNICEF in collaboration with a group of students.
Declaratios of childrens E-rights and E-duties:
1. We have the right to equal access to Information and Technology, without distinction of sex, age, race, nationality, social origin, birth or other status.
2. We have the right to freedom of opinion and expression and the right to freedom of association. This right includes freedom to search, receive and disseminate all kinds of information and ideas on the Internet.
3. We have the right to take part in the discussions on the Internet’s laws (restrictions on access and contents, the fight against abuses…) that can affect us.
4. We have the right to be protected against exploitation, illegal trade, abuses and all kinds of violence on the Internet.
5. We have the right to personal development and education and all the formation possibilities that the Internet and New Technologies offer us.
6. We have the right to have privacy in communication processes through the Internet.
7. We have the right to amusement, leisure and play with the Internet and other new technologies.
8. Our parents and teachers have the duty to guide and educate us on a responsible use of the Internet.
9. The governments of all the developed nations have the duty to be committed to cooperate with poor countries to facilitate the use of the new technologies and the Internet for all their citizens. The developed nations’ governments have the duty to avoid inequality and marginalisation.
10. We have the right to benefit from new technologies to advance towards a healthier, more peaceful, more caring, fairer and more respectful world.

26.06.2005 - United States
The third national Marist Youth celebration
WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A MARIST YOUTH

160 Marist Youth from Marist schools in the United States and Mexico gathered at Marist College during the recent Memorial Day weekend for Marist Youth 2005 sponsored by the Marist Evangelization and Vocation Offices.
The 160 students represented 12 Marist schools here in the U.S. and one in Mexico. The focus of Marist Youth is on what it means to be young, Catholic, and Marist. The participants listened to presentations given by Brothers, laymen and women, and young adults and college students. The themes presented centered around what it means to be a “Marist Youth”. The group looked at the qualities of Marcellin’s that they could relate to and imitate in today’s world.
This is the third national Marist Youth celebration. From past national meetings, two schools had begun Marist Youth groups at their schools. The students from St. Joseph Academy and Mt. St. Michael Academy spoke about the projects that their Marist Youth groups have been involved in over the past few years so as to encourage other schools to begin Marist Youth meetings that take place during the year.
A major focus of the meeting is to come closer to Jesus through Mary, in the Marist tradition. Students from Miami (Columbus, St. Brendan, and Msgr. Pace), Roselle Catholic, Centro Universitario Montejo, and Central Catholic organized prayer services around the various themes of Marist Youth 2005.
Students left Marist College with new insights into what it means to be “Marist,” and a wonderful understanding that “Marist” is much bigger than their own schools.
One of the highlights of this year’s Marist Youth 2005 gathering was the presence of students and faculty from Centro Universitario Montejo in Mexico. Both the Mexican Marist Youth and the American Marist Youth hope that this gathering is just the beginning of a wonderful relationship between these two parts of the Marist world.

27.06.2005 - Colombia
Meeting of aspirants at Chachagüi
CHAMPAGNAT’S DREAM IS STILL ALIVE

From the 3rd to the 6th June, a meeting of Marist aspirants took place at Champagnat House. This meeting was the first of two meetings at the national level (one in the north and another in the south of Colombia) intended for young people who are following vocational accompaniment.
Participating also in these four days of brotherhood were Brothers Martín Orduz, Fernando Palacios, Javier Echeverri, Jesús Manzano and Leonardo Yepes. There were twenty-two young people from Pasto, Sibundoy, San José de Albán, Belén and Guatarilla. We used a dynamic for getting to know yourself, for the meaning of vocation, for becoming closer to Jesus and for being more familiar with the Marist world. We finished with a desert day. During this meeting, all the young people had the opportunity to have a personal interview during which they shared their worries and their doubts, and we endeavoured to know and understand them better.
Our meeting finished on the 6th June with the celebration of the Feast of Saint Marcellin, during which we asked him to send us many more young people wanting to serve the Lord in our family, as Marist Brothers.
We give thanks to the lord for these days of special presence and we continue to ask our brothers and laypeople to give 20% of their time to the promotion of vocations. These twenty-two young men are the best proof that Champagnat’s dream is still alive today!

29.06.2005 - Argentina
Province of Cruz del Sur
TWO WORKERS FOR THE HARVEST

Two newly professed brothers, Maximiliano Berone and Diego Leroy, have joined the Lord’s harvest with great joy to work for the Kingdom in the province of Cruz del Sur.
Diego, born in San Rafael, province of Mendosa Argentina, and Maximiliano, born in San Francisco, province of Córdoba, also Argentina, made their first vows in Argüello where they had made their Novitiate.
On this occasion they were accompanied by their families and brothers from nearby as well as distant communities. In this way, they wanted to accompany the Lord Jesus who continues to call new workers for his harvest. They have generously chosen to start their consecrated journey in the service of children and young people, hand in hand with their brothers in community, Mary and Marcellin.
May these acts of consecration continue to encourage us to look to new ways of living this spirituality that our Founder sensed through the signs of his times and that was so attractive to the youth of that time as a daring response to life.
In this Marist Vocation Year we keep giving thanks for the charism that is incarnated in these new responses and we accept the challenge of accompanying them with our commitment to renewal in our fidelity and our witness in life.

30.06.2005 - France
Notre-Dame de lHermitage: meeting of brothers and laypeople
WE HAVE VALUED WHAT WE BRING TO LIFE

The field of our activities is vast as it includes the school environment, chaplaincies, catechesis, youth movements, vocational accompaniment, school support, ex-students and recreational activities. About thirty laypeople and brothers were able to deepen together “the Marist education mission”. All the participants spoke about their apostolic situations in which they are working, the field in which they are trying the sow the seed and in particular where they tend the young plants that are growing… It was a precious time for describing in a few words the different facets of their apostolate. We are committed to valuing what “we bring to life”, what we animate.
By using the document “In the footsteps of Marcellin Champagnat, A Vision for Marist Education Today” we deepened our experiences by putting this guide in parallel with what we are trying to do day after day. Often, it is a question of being “with”, of doing “with”, of forming lay Christians, of being attentive and vigilant witnesses, of allowing people to move ahead, to become autonomous, continuing on their journey of growth.
The convictions of all included: we need faith, prayer and the breath of the Spirit. We take small steps forward but we are certainly moving ahead. It is good for us, as laypeople and brothers together, to restate our common riches, to value our apostolic situations, our ministry successes and that which energises us for the future.
The future? We are going to find ourselves meeting again like this. Thank you to the brothers who led the weekend, who helped us to pray, who encouraged us to sing without forgetting those who had set the table for us!

02.07.2005 - Spain
Champagnat Festival in Badalona
WHEN CHILDREN ARE HAPPY MARCELLIN IS PRESENT

During the afternoon of Sunday, 19th June about one hundred children and adolescents from Escuela Maristes Champagnat (a Marist school) lived out their dream: presenting the life of Marcellin. The Salesian theatre was filled with parents, family and friends who enjoyed a number of scenes with a lot of music and creative choreography that taught us the life of the Founder of the Marist Brothers, his love of children and his audacity in starting the Marist Family. The end of the presentation brought the audience back to the present day by connecting what had been represented to the life of the Marist Brothers in Badalona in their educational work that they carry out with their lay co-workers.
Everyone agreed that the sacrifice and many rehearsals were worth every minute, ending in a very good result. Being able to be an actor in this work was a dream-come-true for many of the students, some of whom were only three years old.
At the end, the audience applauded the young actors very enthusiastically and they thanked the whole group of teachers and mothers who, co-ordinated by Brother Ismael Valls, prepared this festival.
To be Champagnat today! The dream lives! ... Someone from heaven smiled and enjoyed all of this... for it is when the children and young people are happy that Marcellin becomes present and helps us!

03.07.2005 - Italy
The Champagnat Institute at Genoa celebrates 100 years
FACING THE SECOND CENTENARY

The 6th June is always a special feast day at the Champagnat Institute in Genoa in honour of the feast of the Founder of the Marist Brothers, but this year the date was chosen for the inauguration of the ceremonies marking the centenary of the arrival of the first Marists in Genoa. The bishop of the diocese, Cardinal Bertone, did not want to miss this important appointment with the city’s large Marist family. Many present students with their parents and also many former students welcomed him on this occasion.
During the solemn yet joyous ceremony, Cardinal Bertone spoke of the present-day educational charism of Marcellin Champagnat and recalled emblematic episodes from his life as a Salesian, referring to Don Bosco who came to know the young Marist congregation in some of his journeys to France. He spoke of the educational work of the brothers: the work of scholastic formation, human and religious formation, as well as through various associations including Catholic Action and scouting groups. As regards the scouts, Cardinal Bertone recalled that in 1916, in a Marist school, Mario Mazza founded the first Catholic scouting group in Italy. The brothers at the time encouraged and supported him as they could sense the positive effects of this movement. He also recalled the solidarity work of Family Groups, who regularly help the poor referred to them by Caritas and the police in Genoa.
The most moving moment occurred during the Offertory presentation. Among the various symbols presented was a lit candle carried by Brother Gaetano, symbolising his ninety-five years, most of which have been given to school and the education of children. A long applause acknowledged this as Cardinal Bertone embraced Brother Gaetano after receiving the candle from him.
At the end Brother Manuel Jorgues Bru, the Provincial of the Province of Mediterránea, confirmed the brothers’ continued work of service in the city of Genoa and the patronage of a “Marist Family” with parents, teachers, friends and co-workers, capable of keeping the educational style of Marcellin Champagnat, his dream, alive!

05.07.2005 - Romania
Project for homeless children
SAINT MARCELLIN CHAMPAGNAT CENTRE

After arriving in Romania in 1998, the brothers decided to work especially with street children and, connected to this, young abandoned and homeless children. After years of working with other institutions that work in this area, in April 2004 we opened the “Saint Marcellin” House to accommodate six boys in the community residence. We decided then to double the number of brothers in the two communities, to accompany the people of this home and to have a second place at Bucharest where we could aim at achieving two basic objectives: the creation of a ‘day centre’ where preventative work could be carried out to combat abandonment in families and to provide pastoral and vocational animation.
We are now starting the construction work of the new Saint Marcellin Champagnat Centre, an enclosure where the new Marist community and four houses will be situated. Each of these houses will accommodate from eight to ten boys and girls aged from six to eighteen. The idea of this mini-village is to be able to offer these young people a family atmosphere and a close accompaniment. The most important economic support is coming from Caritas Vorarlberg (Austria) while the basic pedagogical idea is coming from contact and exchanges with Voralberg Kinderdorf (Villages for Children). Other institutions are also working with us in this project, especially in Spain and in Austria.
We hope to finish the work in spring next year and then to start to accommodate the boys and girls that summer. In Romania last year, 4000 babies were abandoned immediately after birth. This gives some idea of the socio-economic and family breakdown that affects a great part of this society, despite the attempts at modernisation and adaptation to the European Union locomotive (integration is expected in 2007). The public social services are deficient and the large state boarding schools are generally incapable of responding to the needs of thousands of young people whose past is lost and who risk losing their future also.

06.07.2005 - Costa Rica
A musical on the Marist charism at the school in Alajuela
AN EXPERIENCE “THAT KNOWS NO BOUNDS”

In the Marist school of Alajuela (Costa Rica) a musical, “A Heart That Knows No Bounds”, presents the Marist charism at the dawn of this new century. It is an original work of the Argentinean, Manuel González Gil, who has already written another musical about Saint Marcellin Champagnat.
The musical had first been presented by the group “Catarsis”, with its première at Buenos Aires, followed by its presentation in Argentina and Chile. The adaptation of the musical for Costa Rica was the fruit of a collective creation, in which all the actors were involved, and its realisation has been an important part of the celebrations of the Marist Vocation Year.
The work, with its rich content and strong message, represented for the actors (the older students of the Marist school) a very gratifying and enriching experience. It was also a truly Marist experience to be better immersed in the values and dream of Saint Marcellin. The musical has been presented to all the students and parents connected with the school.
Before a world whose values change with the wind, a world nearly without a soul, Saint Marcellin tells us that hope is still possible, because dreams are possible, that nothing is definite unless love is at the centre giving it meaning. Today, at the start of the 21st century, this love passes on through solidarity, that is to say, by the capacity to feel and be one with another, and this demands ‘a heart that knows no bounds’. Saint Marcellin’s dream is possible today if each one of us wants it to be realised and decides to be part of it.
The satisfaction of having carried the message of solidarity and love, left to us by Father Champagnat, in a special and totally innovative way, through theatre and music, has been mixed with a time of enjoyable work, sacrifices and interminable rehearsals that have led to the strengthening of the bonds of friendship between those who were directly involved in this work.

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