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Meeting of the General Council with the young people from Brazil and Cono Sur (3)

29/10/2008: Argentina - Photo gallery

The conference of young people gathered in Luján to meet with the Superior General and his Council has entered an intense phase dealing with an exchange of life experiences. Three words have marked the working rules. Loving, believing, working. Three actions of a very distinct nature which have directed the reflections. One’s own individual identity or the one that shapes a human group is expressed to others in many different ways. After spending the previous few days in sharing the vision that is held of the young people in the Marist regions of Brazil and Cono Sur, today was spent in discussing how young Marists love, believe and work.

Group reflection helps us to look for what we have in common. Throughout the time that the meeting has lasted we have shared manifestations of our personal identity. We found it difficult to speak of our experiences as young people. The sharing with the assembly of the results of our reflections was done through the creativity of our hands. Each group devised a mode of presentation by using plasticine. The language employed was a symbolic one. “I was able to identify with many things that were said, a girl pointed out at the conclusion of the presentation.

Some appraisals garnered from the report presented to the assembly by each group show that the young people share the same dreams. In the Marist works the young person feels like the main character, they pointed out. What we love is people, we believe and we work for people. We have many things; we have health, formation, opportunities, schooling…, but there are many young people who are not represented here; many young people who do not have what we have. “We love, we believe and we work passionately. We have made a plasticine M” representing the Marist M because we share the Marist charism . These are some examples of what was shared in the groups.

On addressing the assembly they also underlined the need for the young people to relate. The problem for young people is not a reality for any specific country but something common to us all. “We are not bad, but misunderstood. We don’t need a house but a home. We look for new community spaces to project our dreams. If the brothers do not listen to us, if our bosses dont help us we won’t be able to give life to what we dream for our future. We thank them for being here with us today, listening to us.

Starting from these interventions we began to reflect on the importance of the brothers presence among the young people. We young people need guides, partners, and brothers. Personal histories are narrated: When I was a student the brothers came to the yard and they played with us, they were close, they left their books or their jotters and they accompanied us in our games. We need Marist Brothers to accompany us.

The insistence on the worth of the brother for the young people raised a question in the assembly: If the young people consider the brothers life to be so valuable, why dont the young people opt for the Marist Brothers vocation?” The answers were very varied. The brothers gave us the tools so that now we are able to continue their work. There are not only brothers, there are also lay people. The brothers live their vocation passionately. But, the lay people can also live passionately. I feel Marist in a school where there is no Marist community , remarks a young man who works in a brothers’ school. They point out that the brothers must make the educators more Marist. A good educational project in which the lay people can also be integrated into the work of the brothers. Although they continue to recognise that a pillar of Marist pedagogy is presence.

Following the noon break the young people were able to listen to each one of the brothers’ General Councillors. To do this, they organized a round of interventions in small groups. On the signal, the Councillors changed groups and they shared with everyone information about the reality of the Marist world: spirituality, solidarity, education and pedagogy, Champagnat, the children in countries at war, the brothers actions with the poorest, I very much liked” said one girl, “the information that you have given us about how Marcellin’s documents are being researched.

The day ended at the feet of Our Lady of Luján. The house is only a few hundred meters from the sanctuary. Dressed in a blue T-shirt all of the young people, accompanied by Brother Superior General and his Council, went on pilgrimage to the feet of the virgin of Luján to place under her protection the work accomplished in the course of these days.

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