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4 December

Saint John Damascene and John Calabria
1889, opening of the first Marist school in Colombia

Marist Calendar - December




Extended General Council for Oceania (III)

12/05/2008: New Zealand - Photo gallery

May 7 opened with a beautiful shared prayer, with the theme of Expectancy (Expectation). An image of Mary of the Annunciation illustrated the theme, calling to mind her attitude of openness to the Spirit, to the news of the unexpected… since…as was indicated in a poem which formed part of the prayer, the problem with God is that He never arrives at the right moment …

During the first session work was carried out in Councils, trying to identify which key topics were suitable to work on in order to contribute greater vitality and viability to the region of Oceania. Each Council would contribute a maximum of five topics.
At the beginning of the second session a dynamic was established so that the topics could be grouped around six great axes: the future of the Marist Brothers and communities in this region; the importance of having a common vision; how to incorporate the spirit of discernment in this whole process; Marist religious vocations and the role of the District of Melanesia and of the Brothers of the Pacific islands in the promotion of greater vitality; collaboration at different levels among the administrative units; the Council of Oceania.

At the beginning of the afternoon the work of the different groups was shared, and a rich dialogue demonstrated the will to advance together, as well as the explicit commitment of all the administrative units to further the vitality and viability of the region. As was said by one group: we realize that we are closer in our positions than we thought when we came here.

The fourth session was used to select in small groups the steps that should be taken in the future, with a view to the greater vitality and viability of the region. In our sharing, many coincidences have already been seen, which a small group will try to bring together during the night in order to facilitate the work of the assembly on the following day.

Before ending work for the day, the Brothers were invited to freely express their feelings about their experiences during the course of this long session. And this fraternal and honest sharing paved the way to the celebration of the Eucharist in this week when we are preparing for the joy of the feast of Pentecost, the feast of unity in the diversity of gifts and charisms.

On closing this day that opened with expectation, in Mary’s way, many Brothers expressed their happiness in having felt the presence of the gifts of the Spirit in themselves and in the assembly: unity, trust, spirit, happiness, clarity… In imitation of the community of the Apostles, united in the Holy Spirit on Pentecost day, we recognize among us the presence of Mary, Mother of the Church. She helps us to live fraternally, making us better understand that we form the Body of Christ Body (C 48).

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