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Searching and listening to the XXI General Chapter

 

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Intercommunity Meeting

05/06/2009: Guatemala - Photo gallery

With the inspiration of the theme of the XXI General Chapter, “New Hearts for a New World” and enlightened by the logo itself, a gigantic heart which is an expression of love without limits, and an invitation to open more and more the tent of the Congregation, the Brothers of Guatemala, with the Sisters of Marcellin Champagnat and some other Laymen and Laywomen, representing the Marist Fraternities of Guatemala, met at the Marist Residence on May 3, 2009, starting at 8 o’clock in the morning, the Central Objective of this big reunion was “To Prepare Ourselves by searching and listening, as Brothers, Sisters and Laymen, to the XXI General Chapter.” Forty-two of us attended this meeting.

From 8 o’clock in the morning Brothers from far off were arriving after taking all the means necessary to be on time, not losing one moment of the happiness which they shared in the large Provincial Community… Some came the day before; they were the Brothers of Coatepeque, which is located near the border with Mexico. The punctuality was a good example of the love of the Brothers for each other. The members of the Marist family were happy to meet again and they were arriving as the rhythm and differences of their communities demanded: with sadness that the sick Brothers were not able to attend.

We began our meeting with great momentum, asking for the light of the Spirit so that our reflections concerning the soon to start General Chapter come up with good results. Our Brother Provincial presented us, in summary form, three keys to the meaning of our meeting:
• To celebrate the joy of the Resurrection of Christ, our Lamb, our hope
• The month of May, at the side of Mary, being invited to grow with her, Our Good Mother.
• Our part in supporting the XXI General Chapter which is soon to start.

We were reminded of the different phases in the life of our Congregation which are preparing us for this event which will determine our future: First, the worldwide reflection on what it means to be a Brother, the identity and the mission of the Brother; the involvement of the laymen and laywomen in our apostolate, and the different ways they identify with us; the diverse Lay Movements and their closeness to the Brothers.

The second important issue was seeing the support of each one of these groups, coming from all over the world and now, after very serious reflection, we come to the third step. We must try to come up with a synthesis of the ideas and different themes which previous reflections produced.

In order to facilitate this work, we divided ourselves into five groups and we agreed on the major themes which come forth from previous reflections, which were:
a- The Identity of the Brother, His Future Role/Profile, Signs of His Identity.
b- The Lay Marist, Identity and Signs Of, Their Formation for the Marist Mission.
c- The Marist Mission. Seen as the Heart of Our Charism…. The Complementarity Between/Among Brothers and Lay Marists.
d- Again, to go to the sources of Marist Spirituality, Steps for an increasingly real, effective, shared responsibility with the Church, With Our Founder, With our history…
e- Other reflection themes for the General Chapter… Here the theme of vocation strongly surfaced

This was the work of the groups. At the end of our meeting we experienced the satisfaction of and fruits or our lively reflection. Thus, we present the synthesis of the work done by the Marists of Guatemala.

The previous day we experienced the same dynamic in El Salvador and this process will continue in the other countries of the Province…. The following step will come for us, a very extensive Province: TO DEVELOP A TOTAL SENSE OF PROVINCE, BY SHARING THE REFLECTIONS OF ALL COUNTRIES IN THE PROVINCE.

I will not interfere with the next steps in this process, but it is interesting to know that within a few days, at the end of May, The CAPITULANTS of Arco Norte will meet to arrive at a common reflection point for this Marist zone. We will see with profound satisfaction all the work which has been accomplished in the Marist world. The only remaining work to be done will be from September 8 to October 10, when the Chapter Capitulants, open to the voice of the Holy Spirit, will make the best decisions for the good of our beloved Congregation….

Only a short time remained for our Meeting, and at one o’clock in the afternoon we came together for the closing : The Family Meal, which was fully shared withthe overflowing joy of being a Marist Family with great visions for the future of our beloved Congregation.

Let us pray without ceasing to Mary, our First Superior and to Saint Marcellin Champagnat, as they accompany us on our historic march in this XXI century.

_____________________
Bro. Jose Antonio Lopez

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