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Marist Vocation Ministry in Rio Grande do Sul

12/03/2009: Brazil

February was an important month for Marist vocation ministry. On the 20th and the 25th those beginning or continuing their formation entered the centers at Bom Princípio and Lageado, and at the Santo Ângelo formation house. There are more than 20 young men aspiring to be Marist Brothers, feeling called to follow the religious life by living the mission and legacy of St. Marcellin Champagnat.

In Lageado, eight young men between 15 and 19 years of age entered the juniorate, the first level of Marist formation. At the beginning of the first year of secondary school they may enter the house of formation, where they become familiar with more details of Marist religious life in an atmosphere conducive to reflection on their future and on community life. According to Brother Sidnei Tramontin, the arrival of the young men on February 20 was a very special occasion. They were accompanied by their parents and one Brother. There were welcoming activities and they began to get to know their new home.

On February 25 nine prepostulants entered at Santo Ângelo. Prepostulancy is the stage for those who have completed secondary school. According to Brother Rodinei, the group was welcomed joyfully, and to make for a smoother transition, a campout was organized at a nearby spa.

Seven of the nine young men have already had contacts and experiences with the Congregation; the other two have only taken part in vocation meetings and now have the chance to become more aware of what is characteristic of Marist life. “In this stage we begin to deal with matters of autonomy and leadership so that each young man might go beyond his limitations and so grow into and live all the specific facets of the mission,” commented Brother Rodinei.

In Bom Princípio, the arrival of the postulants also occurred on February 25. The postulancy is the stage that involves the young man in a more intense living of community life and of the values of the Congregation. The new postulants were accompanied by their respective vocation advisors and exhibited joy and curiosity about getting to know their new home. According to Brother Vinícius Tenedini, formator there, five of the seven came from the prepostulancy at Santo Ângelo and two from the one in Canudos. Following their arrival, the young men began to familiarize themselves with the house and used their free time to explore the city, says Brother Vinícius. During Mass on Saturday, February 28 the postulants were introduced to the community.

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