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XX Chapter - 2001, Roma


09/2001 - 117 Brothers participants

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XXThe years that followed our 1993 Chapter were marked by continued strife in many parts of our world, strife that touched the life of our Institute: eleven brothers and some family members and others associated with the Institute met their deaths due to ethnic violence, war, or at the hands of extremists.There were bright moments also, with the canonization of our founder, Marcellin Champagnat, being among the most memorable. Provinces and districts also struggled with the process of restructuring, with some at first seeing little purpose to it. Over time, however, most regions of the Institute, accepting the fact that vitality and viability were the aim of the process, embraced this mandate of the Chapter and moved ahead.A new millennium was just getting underway as delegates gathered for our 20th General Chapter. Working under the heading of Choose Life, they produced a brief but substantial document bearing the same title. The text detailed five calls and challenged members of the Institute and all associated with it to be bold and daring in responding to them.These calls returned to several familiar themes of past Chapters—Jesus as the center and passion of our lives, community life, the lay Marist vocation, and issues of justice and the poorest of young people—and asked the new general government to create structures to address them effectively. Indeed, both general government and local governments were challenged to develop new approaches to animation and authority, approaches that would foster the vitality of our Institute.At this Chapter the Institute Solidarity Fund was further refined with Provinces being asked to donate to it a certain percentage of their surplus funds at the end of each fiscal year. An overall goal was also set for the Fund.Finally, delegates asked that a publication be organized, similar in style and format to the aforementioned education guide, that would help us all appreciate more fully the richness of Marist apostolic spirituality.Water from the Rock: Marist Spirituality flowing in the tradition of Marcellin Champagnat came to life in response.In the years that followed three bureaus were established by the general administration to help implement a number of Chapter directives. In addition to the already existing Bureau of Solidarity, these new ones focused on Marist laity, vocation promotion, and the evangelical use of goods and worked to develop these important areas of Institute life. A document exploring the identity of Marist laity was planned and a number of circulars and letters were sent out, with some having as their audience the entire Marist family while others were directed solely to brothers, to a particular age group or those working in a specific ministry.The year 2006 saw the first of 150 brothers begin their orientation in a new mission ad gentes initiative aimed at Asia and developed in response to a call on the part of Pope John Paul II to religious congregations throughout the world.In September 2007, an Assembly held in Mendes, Brazil brought together for the first time in our history as an Institute brothers and laymen and women involved in Marist works throughout the world. A month later, 47 of our brothers who lost their lives around and during the time of the Spanish Civil War were beatified as a part of a much larger group of 498 martyrs. Renovations at the Hermitage in France got underway a few months later. Aimed at preparing this Marist treasure for service in a new century, plans called for a complete refitting of the historical building as well as the construction of a new one aimed at better equipping the center to meet today’s needs.Even a quick study of the fruit of past Chapters and the events surrounding them provides us with a roadmap through Marist history. At each point along the way, we get a glimpse of the major concerns of the day, events working together to shape one epoch or other, and the good will of all involved.Responding as an Institute to events in history and the dramatic change in attitude taking place in many parts of our world during the years following Vatican II, we may not have noticed fully some other powerful but less obvious forces at work shaping our understandings about the age in which we are living. It is to some of these developments that we now turn attention.


XX Chapter - 2001, Roma


Government of the Insitute (2001 - 2009)