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Meeting on consecrated and lay life

28/07/2008: Brazil

UMBRASIL, the body that represents the district and three provinces of Brazil, organized a meeting of commissions and sub commissions on the area of consecrated and lay life on June 19th, 20th and 21st, in Chácara Manacá, Brasilia. Brothers and lay people, gathered in search of new paths for the life of the Institute, reflected, debated and defined, from their experiences, concrete actions to put the Strategic Plan 2008-2014 into action.

The goal of this meeting was the integration of the Marist Apostolic Spirituality Commission, the Interprovincial Commission of Formation and Vocation Ministry, as well as the sub commissions of Marist Spiritual Patrimony and the Champagnat Movement. The focal points of the meeting were the search for common elements for working together and the realization of the reflections and the established actions

During the meeting some challenges emerged, coming from the communications of the formative experiences of the brothers and laypeople. In the first place, the urgent work of forming leaders was highlighted, since a concern exists regarding the preparation and follow-up of laypeople in the field of mission. There is a shortage of new leaders who are capable of maintaining the well-established processes and dreaming of a desired future.

Another aspect which presented itself as a challenge is the commitment to continuing the mission. Many times the processes and projects are seen as damaged through the lack of a structure that guarantees their continuity, independent from personnel change or styles of management. It’s necessary to give continuity to the projects.

A third question also emerged around the naming of brothers and laypeople to positions for service in provincial and interprovincial projects. In addition to competencies and abilities, such nominations must take into account the different projects.

The reduction of the number of brothers in the provinces and district was noted. Facing this reality raised the question before us about the vitality and viability of the many projects and initiatives that we have. In generated a reflection on the professional context of the laypeople who are dedicated to continuing the projects as well as the economic and human goal that can guarantee continuity. In general, it strongly pointed out the necessity of increasing the vocational training and formation of the brothers and laity.

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