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Brothers’ retreat and Year of Marist Spirituality

22/09/2008: Madagascar - Photo gallery

The second retreat for Brothers in Madagascar was held from August 25 – 31, 2008 at the Reception Center which is also the Provincial house. As we are living out the Year of Marist Spirituality within the Institute, “Water from the Rock” was the theme presented. This was very well adapted to the setting of the year’s celebration.

We began the retreat with an opening Eucharist, Monday evening at 6 p.m. After supper the program for the week was presented.

Usually, each day began with morning prayer followed by a presentation of one of the chapters from the book. After each presentation, time was allowed the Brothers to reflect and internalize, to pray and meditate on what had been presented. Afternoons were rather given to sharing and dialogue. Each day ended with the Eucharistic celebration.

However, let me point out that two days were chosen for special activites during the retreat. One day was especially devoted to a penitential celebration and the other was reserved as a day for a desert experience. The penitential celebration was based on the episode in Exodus 32 -34 and showed us very clearly how we can use the Bible to enrich our prayer. The desert experience helped us to review all the events of the retreat and through each of them to come closer to the Lord.

The closing Eucharist was on Saturday, August 30th in the evening around 6 p.m., celebrated by the Parish priest who had been the celebrant at Mass each day of the retreat. The final Eucharist was somewhat more solemn and at the moment of thanksgiving, the book « Water from the Rock » was handed to each of the retreat participants. The books were first blessed then each participant was given a book with the words : « Brother… receive this book for your sanctification in the Church by following the Marist Spirituality of Marcellin »

At the end of the celebration, the retreat director received gifts of a statue of the Virgin and one of St. Joseph typical of the Malagasy culture. This was a simple and very Marist manner of thanking the Lord and the director for everything we had received during the week.

Brother Alexander – Antsirabé, August 31st, 2008

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Further reading - Doc WORD in French:

- Promotion vocationnelle et spiritualité mariste - Fr Sylvain Ramandimbiarisoa
- À la découverte d’une richesse - Fr. Alexandre
- Dimension politique de la spiritualité de Marcellin – Fr. Tiana Richard Rajaonarison

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