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29 November

Saint Saturnius

Marist Calendar - November

Meeting Based on Marcellin’s Charism, Refreshment for the New School Year



The Marist Brothers’ School in Giuliano, Naples

12/10/2008: Italy

Whenever the new school year gets underway, everyone starts breathing in the air of a Grand Prix or NASCAR competition. You see everyone so busy, class lists in their hands, while meetings are taking place in order to get the organizational machinery oiled and in gear . . . . So many activities! And as so often happens, you must keep up to date on new government regulations or the latest pedagogical innovations. Despite all of that, a Marist Brothers’ school gives special attention to its unique charism. At the Giugliano school, at present the school with the greatest number of students in FMS Italy, such attention to the charism is a constant. In fact, for a long time already, the teaching staff – lay teachers and Brothers - have had the chance to breathe deeply of the charism.

In the course of the Spirituality Year, we had already had a pre-Easter meeting led by Brother Onorino, who introduced us to the theme. As a concrete token of the Spirituality Year, each teacher received a copy of “Water from the Rock.” Feeling that a single meeting was insufficient to treat the theme, we thought that we might also begin the new school year by drinking of the same “Water.”

With a little luck and determination, we managed to bring to our school Brother Teofilo, a lead member of the committee directing the Spirituality Year. Without worrying overmuch about fine tuning the timetable, structure or outline, we simply disposed ourselves to listen to what Brother Teofilo had to tell us. Using an audiovisual and relating some of his personal experiences, with song and an abundance of photos, he enabled us to get a glimpse of the thousand and one faces of the Marist experience from points of view which were unusual, unexpected, even exotic.

About forty members of the teaching staff saw and heard things of a simple character, relevant, close to ordinary life experiences. Marcellin’s experience appeared to us as something fresh and lively. He is not a statue or a framed portrait that must be conserved like a museum treasure. Rather he is an unfinished work of art which remains to be completed, adapted, brought to life.

Thanks to the small group work, in which each one read and meditated upon a single part of the document, we were able to share ideas on the whole text. Brother Teofilo helped us in reading the text, each small group taking a chapter and then joining all the contributions. Thus, what could not be done by a single group was in fact done with the help of all.

This year, we are hoping that all the students, individually, may find in our community of Marist educators a garden-like environment, a life-giving soil in which they may spread their branches, come to flower and produce fruit. In the problematical reality of Giugliano, a city which has grown too quickly and without city planning, forming young people according to Marist ideals is - no questions asked - a great challenge and an important one. Marcellin, however, would have been ready to face the challenge.

Brother Giorgio B.

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