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A deeper understanding of father Champagnat

09/12/2004: Spain

In 2001, the former Province of Catalonia offered an activity that had been introduced in its own colleges to the other Marist Spanish Provinces. It was called “Marcellin – The Story Continues”. It aimed to help the teachers of these centres to come to a deeper understanding and appreciation of the personality, the story and the charism of Father Champagnat. This year has seen the introduction of this initiative in other parts of Spain in the Province of Mediterránea (Bética Zone), where the following objectives have been set:
* To come to a deeper knowledge of the personality of Marcellin and his image today.
* To share and celebrate with other teachers who feel called to be disciples of Marcellin Champagnat.
* To arrange a meeting time for sharing and reflection.
* To refresh our dream as Marist educators.
* To be faithful to Marcellin’s charism.

In the Province of Mediterránea (Bética Zone), the invitation to participate in this has been extended also to youth ministers and catechists. Up till now, 150 teachers have already participated in six sessions and some 60 catechists in three sessions. The contents of the programme have been reduced to a module of about fifteen hours. It is a valuable time for meeting, sharing and pondering… and all of this in a family atmosphere where people can laugh, eat and talk with each other. As well, we have tried to ensure that the methodology be dynamic, in groups, creative, active, participatory and respectful of the ambiance of silence. Some time soon, we will commence a second module with voluntary attendance.
All the sessions are held at Castilleja de la Cuesta (Seville, Spain), throughout the school year: Thursdays and Fridays for teachers, and Saturdays and Sundays for youth ministers and catechists. On average, each group consists of about thirty people.
The development of this activity has been entrusted to a team of brothers, experts in the life and charism of Marcellin, and laypeople, enthused about and familiar with all things Marist. The evaluation of the participants at the end of each module has been, in general, positive and satisfactory.
This same experience started during the previous school year in other parts of the Province of Mediterránea (Levante Zone), where youth ministers, catechists and scouts will start to participate this year.

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