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Marist International Festival - Second day

18/07/2008: Australia - Photo gallery

The participants of the Marist International Festival stayed in the dormitories at St. Joseph’s College. At this time the schools in Australia are on holidays. Today, a group of young people got up early to attend Mass in the main chapel.

The main dynamic of the day consisted in a deepening of Marist identity, geared toward helping the young people to define Marist characteristics. This reflection was lead by Brothers César Henríquez and Tony Leon.

César, a native of El Salvador, has worked as an educator in Guatemala and Costa Rica, in high schools as well as social centers caring for at risk children and young people. Since 2006, he has been working as the Marist representative for the defense of the rights of children and young people at the United Nations in Geneva, a work he does with other religious.

His reflection was born precisely from that experience of working with young people in difficult situations, linked with the possibilities that the work in Geneva offers. That official presence – said César – is an instrument to support the work that must be made a reality in each school, college, university and social work where Marists minister.

On his part, Brother Tony Leon spoke of the ways that are open to young people who feel called to follow a Marist vocation. Tony is the coordinator of Marist vocation promotion in the Sydney Province. He attends to young Marists, accompanies those who wish to reflect on a possible call to religious life and also those who are interested in the Marist life and the charism of Champagnat. Aided by an excellent audiovisual technology he knew how to explain with simplicity and effectiveness the attitude of listening that is needed to perceive God’s call and follow it.

The day ended with a moment of contemplative prayer. The young people were lead toward the Festival’s large activity hall, preceded by the brothers who were dressed in the white cassock; then the prayer began with the singing of the “Salve Regina,” in accordance with the Marist tradition. The Word of God, proclaimed by the young people themselves, nourished the spirits, while the songs created an atmosphere of interiorization.

This was a day of proposals aimed at the generosity of these young hearts. It was the sowing season in a field of freedom, happiness, serenity and openness. This sowing, done in the opportune context of the Festival, foretells a future of young people committed to the Marist charism.

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Sydney - Friday, July 11th
H. AMestaun

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