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Marist spirituality seminar

27/04/2009: Sri Lanka

As the bus pulled in to the premises of the Marcellin Nivasa at 5.30 p.m. on Friday the 20th of March 2009, the invited participants from Negombo area got in to the bus very happily. They were males and females, young and old, religious and lay Christians and all of us were bound to the same destination for the same purpose-to attend the weekend Seminar on Marist Spirituality, held at Retreat House, Tewatte, on March 20, 21 & 22. After a hot cup of tea, we settled to our rooms in the Retreat House at Tewatta.

After dinner the participants were welcomed and introduced to the facilitator of the whole seminar by Bro. Sunanda Alwis. He mentioned the important of this group of participants who are going to study the Marist Spirituality in order to carry out the mission of the Fr. Champagnat in the present day society according to the needs of youth. We were told in detail the meaning of the five symbols and the key words in the book which explains the life of a Marist Apostle. We could sense in a clear way and in depth the Spiritual Qualities which the Marists are expected to fare practically throughout their life.

Saturday morning prayers held at 7a.m was enriched by the reading of articles 15,16 and 17th of Marist Spirituality and by the Narration of a story of Mother Theresa by one of the Brothers.

As we started the session on Saturday the participant were divided into 8 groups and each group was assigned a chapter in Marist Spirituality, to be read, reflected upon and subsequently commented upon when we return to the gathering. For the whole of Saturdays and Sunday morning, we studied the book with our facilitator, guiding us explaining and classifying to us all the important concepts of Marist Spirituality. The facilitator, who certainly is an expert in this subject, showed us how to use this valuable book in order to achieve its purpose and to use it as a companion for our own life.

It is worth mentioning that this was an occasion when Marist Brothers welcomed Lay Marists for the first time to stay 2 ½ days of living together to share the Marist Spirituality.

At the end of the Sunday Morning session both Brother Clinton and Bro. Sunanda thanked the facilitator on behalf of the gathering for his dedicated and expert way of facilitating the study Marist Spirituality. At 11.30 a.m. the Holy Eucharist was celebrated by Emeritus Arch Bishop Nicholas Marcus Fernando and the participants of the seminar enjoyed a festive family lunch.

__________________
Mrs.Kamala Xavier & Br.Victor Fernando
Negombo, 5th April 2009

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