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European Council of the Champagnat Movement

15/12/2008: General House - Photo gallery

From November 15 – 18, at the Generalate in Rome, the European Council of the Champagnat Movement of the Marist Family (hereafter CMMF) held its second meeting.
The following delegates took part, one from each of the European Provinces: Ana Sarrate (Ibé-rica), Carmina Romo (Compostela), Annie Girka (Hermitage), Frank Aumeier (West-Central Eur-ope) and Alejandro Martínez (Mediterránea). Present as well were Brother Pau Fornells, Director of the Laity Bureau, and Jesús Alberto Rodrígue who provided translation services.

We sensed how a deep sense of family has been growing among us, despite differences of language, of Province experiences and of personal opinions.
The topics we covered, though sometimes difficult and perceived from various points of view, were treated in a simple and open fashion. We engaged in open dialogue on all the issues, speak-ing frankly and listening attentively.

We came to a deeper understanding of each one’s personal situation and of each Province’s present status vis a vis the CMMF. We have an adequate idea of the Movement in Europe which enables us to see clearly what are our strengths and our weaknesses.

Knowing at close range the latest, most significant experiences of the laity encourages us to keep working on the animation of the Fraternities, on the path which is opening in the Church and within the Fraternities themselves. We become ever more aware of the value of the Marist vocation that we have received and of the responsibility to help our charism develop in the places where we live.

First, we evaluated what we have done up to the present. Then we set up the following goals, each one with a corresponding action to be effected in the coming year:
1. Keep awareness of the activities of the European Fraternities up to date;
2. Strengthen communication and communion within the CMMF;
3. Develop in the Fraternities a lay, Marist vocational awareness;
4. Aim at giving greater scope to the presence of CMMF at all levels: local, national,
Province, Region, and Institute.

As we wrapped up the meeting, we shared our feelings about the work we had accomplished and about our hopes and dreams. “I am more convinced now that the Marist charism is something having to do with the Brothers and with lay people, and I am inclined to work for it.” “I believe that the human person is a sacrament of Christ, and this sacrament gives me life. God has bestowed upon me as a gift of the people who are at my side. They are the greatest manifestation of his presence: my family, my community, my colleagues at work . . . A heartfelt thank you.” “This is the year of the General Chapter, and an opportune time for us. It is a challenge to have our voice heard in the Marist world. Thank you to the Brothers of the Generalate for the welcome they have given us. To visit the archives and the see the letters written by Champagnat was a great honor. “






“The dynamism that arises in our Marist heart gives us the strength to say that we are truly here, that we are an extension of the Institute, and that we must not be ashamed to say so in whatever place we may be.” “I strongly believe in the CMMF when the Fraternities are composed of people who live the charism in a significant manner, when they feel the Marist vocation and share in it, when they are people who commit themselves without measure to the mission.” “This meeting once again confirms my sense of the presence of the Spirit and my confidence in the Spirit’s guidance. I believe that we have done good work together, and that now we must convey to the Fraternities of our Provinces the enthusiasm needed to make the ideas a reality.”

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Rome, November 18, 2008-11-21
European Council of the CMMF

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