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Enlarged General Council Oceania (IV)

13/05/2008: New Zealand - Photo gallery

The Council selected May 8th as “Eucharistic Day.” The Brothers were encouraged to spend it in the spirit of the brief comment in Water from the Rock, «Living the Eucharist is at the heart of our community life and our way of relating. In many different places and with many different people we find ourselves, throughout our days gathered, blessed, broken and shared»

At the Liturgy of the Word, the Brothers were given a written copy of the day’s agenda. Each was then asked to spend some time prayerfully selecting the most important commitments which will bring to the Pacific Region the greatest vitality and the best chance of moving ahead. To stimulate reflection, two texts were offered: Isaiah 65,17-25 – prophecy of new heavens and a new earth - and Water from the Rock n° 155, entitled, “Seeing new visions, dreaming new dreams: Sustained by the faith and example of St. Marcellin and the first Brothers, Marist spirituality urges us to move towards unexplored horizons.” At the end of the reflection period, each Brother had a chance to share the fruit of his reflection and discernment with the group. The assembly then gathered common ideas together.

The afternoon got under way with a separate meeting of each Council so as to study the major areas of agreement and prepare its own reaction to each area. All the Councils unanimously agreed to commit themselves immediately to the major areas in question in view of the vitality and sustainability of the Region. These were most important topics, ones on which the future of Marist life depends: apostolate, community life, partnership with lay people, and research on what structures are most appropriate for the Pacific Region. The Oceania Council will search out the means to give substance to the proposals and to follow up on them.


Brother Seán brought the Enlarged General Council to a close, thanking each Brother for his participation and collaboration; he also thanked the Brothers of the New Zealand Province for the exceptional they had provided. Calling upon several incidents of our Founder’s life, Brother Seán encouraged the participants to be daring as was Marcellin, and not to be afraid of taking risks in venturing into lands beyond the known and familiar, doing so for the sake of Marist Brothers’ mission and Marist Brothers’ life.

Lastly, as an expression of what had been experienced during the meeting, the Extended General Council decided to issue the following communiqué to the Oceania Region:

“The visit of the General Councillors to our region concluded this week with a three-day Extended General Council meeting in Auckland.

“Our discussions over our time together have been shaped by the dreams and the fears we have for the future of Marist life and Marist mission in our part of the world. This future will be different from the past. The ways in which the Brothers live, the involvement of Lay Marists, the ministries we undertake together, the structures that will be necessary for governance and leadership, these are all things that we expect to continue to develop new expression. We have committed ourselves unambiguously to continuing to work as one in the process of imagining and planning for what may become possible.

“We invite you to join us in the process of building a vision for our shared future, and to give active support to initiatives that may emerge. May the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and the example of Mary and Marcellin guide you and us all during the time ahead”.

Members of the General Council, the District Council of Melanesia, and the Provincial Councils of Melbourne, New Zealand and Sydney.
8th May 2008

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