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1857:foundation of the Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary (SMSM)
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A commission completes the revision



Revision of chapter 4 of the Constitutions

20/08/2008: General House

The General Council received a mandate from the General Chapter to undertake the revision of chapter 4 of the Constitutions which refers to the prayer life of the Brothers. In order to respond to this mandate, the General Council, in its turn, nominated a commission, consisting of Brothers Antonio Ramalho, Pedro Herreros (Councillors), Antoine Kazindu (East Central Africa), Tony Clark (Melbourne), Pere Ferré (LHermitage) and Maurice Goutagny (LHermitage) entrusting them with the work of revising chapter 4 of the Constitutions and studying its relationship with the document Water from the Rock as well as the innovations introduced by the General Chapters of 1993 and 2001 relating to the prayer life of the Marist Brothers.

This commission has been given the responsibility of demonstrating the changes that would have to be made in chapter 4, if considered opportune, whether partially or completely, to prepare a draft of the new text for chapter 4, totally or partially, if they judge this to be necessary and to study the other chapters of the Constitutions to make sure that the spirituality contained in these texts is consistent with the possible revisions they might suggest.

The members of the commission met in Rome from 4th to 9th of August 2008 to do all that was required. The work- plan helped prepare various approaches to the reading of chapter 4. Among other things, they highlighted the value of the current text of the Constitutions which through its great gravity and solidity, expresses the essence of the message on Marist prayer. In its essential structure it continues to be an inspiring text for Marist religious life. Nevertheless, there has been a clear evolution of Marist spirituality in the past years as well as a very significant participation on the part of lay Marists.

During the work sessions, as individuals, in pairs and even in assembly, they studied reference texts such as: Water from the Rock, reference texts concerning the Constitutions and statutes, Brothers Basilio’s Letter on prayer and his Circular on the spirit of the Institute, the book Walking with the Constitutions, the Circular of Brother Charles Howard on Marist apostolic spirituality, the Acts of the General Chapter of 1976 (PAC), the Message of the 20th Chapter, the Formation Guide and Vita Consecrata.

The results of their efforts will be presented to the General Council for their study and they will decide which of the proposals will be taken to the General Chapter.

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