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The celebration of Saint Marcellin Champagnat

26/06/2008: Haiti

Every year, at the end of the solar year we celebrate the day of our holy Founder. It is a great yearly celebration for our two institutes and our collaborators. With joy, the pupils take part in it and prepare for it with such an enthusiasm that we often need to moderate them. The Eucharistic celebration in the morning opens the festivity, which continues throughout the day.

Last year during the homily, in a sketch of the Children’s Marist Brotherhood, many people called on Fr. Champagnat and presented to him the needs of Dame-Marie. The great majority of the requests concerned a better control over young people. This was how the Karema group was born, involving young boys and girls of ages 10-15 who wish to develop their personality in an environment of healthy friendship, sharing and unity, under the direction of the members of the Marist Brotherhood.

After September 2007, the members of the Brotherhood have received formation on Marist pedagogy, and in November about 12 of them started the weekly meetings of the group. Brother Lucien Renaud prepared a song with a refrain in Creole:
“Sa nou vin apran nan gwoup KAREMA, se viv kòm frè ak sè.
Kit se nan fanmi, kit se nan lekòl, nan renmen pou nou mache”

This year we celebrated Saint Marcellin Champagnat on the 23rd May. The celebration in the church created an unequalled warm environment, and in his words of thanks Br. Lucien said: “I’m sure the angels in heaven don’t have celebrations as nice as this one”. Instead of the homily about a dozen people representing the different groups of Marist collaborators and movements, Professors, Marist Brotherhoods, Remar, Karema, came to say how they put into practise the dream of Saint Marcellin in their lives today.

Here are some witnesses:

“In our group Karema, I learn to live with the others; now I understand that we are all different and I try to respect everyone, to love and sometimes to forgive”.
(Kettlie Marceline, a pupil in the 8th year).

“Like Marcellin who with his religious aunt learnt to love Mary, who gave him a heart to care for children, Mary helps me too to make my heart holy, a real heart to love all my fellows. I want to be a great man, like Marcellin, who became a saint”.
(Christopher Orgéat, a pupil in the 6th year).

“What happened with the brutal professor completely disgusted Marcellin with school, and made him take a wise decision. I want to live like him, respectful for everyone, grown-ups and all my fellows”.
(Odère, pupil in the 6th year).

“Like Marcellin Champagnat, I want to be a good educator, loving and caring. For example, I had a restless and short-tempered boy in my class; I took his hand and told him: dear boy, God loves good boys, starting from today, try to be a good boy, better than before. Since then, this boy is among the best in my class. And as a mother and an educator, it is up to me to help young people and find solutions to the psychological problems of children”.
(Mrs Eveline, Professor in a 4th year class).

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