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Marist Calendar

26 November

Saint Conrad
1947: Birth of Brother Seán Sammon, 12th Superior General

Marist Calendar - November

Year of Spirituality



Annual retreat in Cameroon

23/09/2008: Cameroon - Photo gallery

The Annual retreat of the Brothers in Cameroon took place in Tatum from the 4th to the 10th of August 2008. It was based on the theme Marist Spirituality as articulated in the book Water from the Rock.

Each day of the Retreat began with Morning Prayer followed by a conference while the afternoon sessions were devoted to share our notes in each one of the Chapters from Water from the Rock. The evenings were taken up by general information concerning the District, the Institute or prayerful Adoration.

A day was devoted to the examination of the different chapters from Water from the Rock. Prior to the presentation of each chapter a general background of what lies behind was provided often in graphical details with the use of photographs collected from every corner of the Marist world, accompanied by songs, prayerful reflections or poems which gradually set the tone and ushered in the spirit of the chapter.

Apart from welcoming the Brothers and setting the tone, the first evening of the retreat begin with the explanation of the title. The two important symbols Water and Rock were highlighted with its biblical and Marist roots.

During the first day of the retreat attention was given to the general form and content of the book. Special attention was given to the first chapter. Each chapter begins with biblical quotations. This shows how much Marist spirituality can be seen as rooted in the Bible. Moreover, it was said that Marist spirituality was a gift to the Church not just to the congregation.

The second chapter was given due attention on the second day. The word charism was explained and what is Marist spirituality highlighted. The overall remark at the end of the second chapter was that this chapter was concerned mainly with practical elements offered to both brothers and lay Marist people to live Marist spirituality. Some of these elements are: Lectio Divina, personal prayer, review of the day, community prayer, faith sharing, Eucharistic celebrations and reconciliation. However the document fell short of mentioning a practical element rooted in Marist tradition from the very beginning of the institute: Marian Prayer.

The third day of the Retreat was devoted to chapter three with the title “Brothers and Sisters”. Special attention was given to the words brother and sister as the definition is given in number 119. At the same time it was underlined that our spirituality is a communal one. Through it we give and receive love. Through it, brothers and lay Marist people develop a quality of communion that allow families, religious communities and other forms of community living where Marist mission can flourish. It is also a chapter stressing a new vision of being church so dear to the first Marist people: a Marian Church. This is what Marist people of today should witness within the Church and for the world.

Day four was devoted to chapter four: bringing Good News to the world. This day we have reflected on the traditional points of our spirituality: it is Marian and apostolic. That is to say Marist Spirituality is to be lived out in mission. We are called to be attentive to the calls of the world, to the cries of the poor, to the signs of the time, to the needs of the world. We are called to be “sowers of hope” for the people of today. The quotation of number 142 was stressed: “for many people of today we may be the only gospel they will read”. What a great responsibility! We may be asked to move ahead with courage and apostolic zeal to difficult missions, unexplored surroundings where the seeds of the gospel have not yet taken root, spurring us on in the Mission of making Jesus Known and loved.

Day five was devoted to personal reflection.

By and large the book Water from the Rock permeated every facet of the retreat. Besides the daily reflections in the morning and afternoon, some more were given during the Eucharistic celebrations. This would bring unity to the reflections of the whole day and would show once more the biblical roots of our spirituality.

After mass on the last day the book Water from the Rock was symbolically given to each brother.

Brother Awoh Peter Acho
Read More:
* Cameroun Retreat – Chronic 2
ª Photos
* Lessons of faith in the school of mary - Prayer based on numbers 44-47 of Water of the Rock (Br. Kpunsa Stephen)
* Marist apostolic spirituality in the context of contemporary spirituality (Br. Peter Awoh Acho)
* Personal reflection on Water from the Rock (Br. Kpunsa Stephen)

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